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Elizabeth Ann Everest

Elizabeth Ann Everest

The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Nanny
Gender female
Birth 1832
Death 3 July 1895
The details

Elizabeth Ann Everest (c. 1832 in Chatham, Kent – 3 July 1895 in Finsbury Park, North London) was Winston Churchill's beloved nanny, and an important figure in his early life. Churchill's parents, Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome Churchill, were very active in society but emotionally distant, even neglectful, of their son. He became very close with his nanny, Mrs. Everest, and addressed her as "Woom," which in his childhood was the nearest he could get to saying "Woman." She was born in Chatham in Kent, England. So far as is known, she was never married, so the "Mrs." may well have been an honorary title, as was the custom for nannies at the time. Churchill wrote in his autobiography, My Early Life : "I loved my mother dearly - but at a distance. My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her I poured out all my many troubles. Before she came to us, she had brought up for twelve years a little girl called Ella, the daughter of a clergyman who lived in Cumberland." Mrs. Everest went into service with the Churchill family in early 1875, a few months after Winston's birth, and remained with the family until 1893, when she was let go. Churchill biographer William Manchester wrote that her firing was handled abruptly and poorly, given her long and devoted service to the family. When Mrs. Everest died of peritonitis on 3 July 1895 at her sister's house, 15 Crouch Hill in Finsbury Park, North London, Churchill telegraphed the clergyman for whom Everest had previously worked, the Venerable Thompson Phillips, in Barrow-in-Furness. Churchill wrote, "He had a long memory for faithful service. We met at the graveside. He had become an archdeacon. He did not bring little Ella with him." Churchill paid for Mrs. Everest's headstone in the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Newham, Greater London. His son, Randolph, wrote in the first volume of the biography of his father, "For many years afterwards he paid an annual sum to the local florist for the upkeep of the grave." The same book states that the headstone bears Churchill's name along with that of his brother, Jack, but if so, it is no longer visible.

Other articles

  • Churchill by Roy Jenkins
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill by William Manchester
  • Young Winston, a film featuring Churchill and Mrs. Everest

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