The mistress of Joseph Chamberlain's Highbury - Mary Endicott Chamberlain

The mistress of Joseph Chamberlain's Highbury - Mary Endicott Chamberlain

Joseph Chamberlain was one of the dominant figures of political life in Britain and its Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, famously described by a young Winston Churchill as ‘the man who made the political weather’.

But less attention has been given to Chamberlain’s  personal life which was scarred by tragedy when his first two wives died in childbirth.  Then, after more than a decade, Joe surprised everyone when  he met and proposed to the beautiful American Mary Endicott, the much younger daughter of a member of the US cabinet.

Mary became Joe’s third wife and the step mother of his children including Austen and Neville who would later become Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minster respectively.

At Chamberlain’s homes at Highbury in Birmingham and in London, Mary was a famous hostess who, for more than two decades, was at the very centre of the country’s political and social life.  Then after Joe suffered a stroke in 1906 she remained at his side until he died in 1914.

Intrigued by Mary, historian Justine Pick spent more than a year researching her voluminous correspondence to uncover the life this charismatic woman and her marriage to Chamberlain.  In this programme Justine talks to  History West Midlands publisher Mike Gibbs.

Keywords: Mary Endicott, Justine Pick, Joseph Chamberlain, Highbury, Birmingham

Picture courtesy of: CCO – Birmingham Museums Trust 

The House where the Weather was Made

From 1881 to 1914 Highbury, standing on the edge of Birmingham in the English Midlands, was the home of Joseph Chamberlain, the often controversial politician described by Winston Churchill as ‘the one who made the political weather’. In this fascinating book Chamberlain’s biographer, Peter Marsh, explores how the house designed...

£19.00
More than Munich: The forgotten legacy of Neville Chamberlain

In 1938 rapturous crowds greeted Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain when he proclaimed “Peace for our time” on his return from meeting Adolf Hitler in Munich. Yet today Chamberlain is vilified as a naïve appeaser – an image cynically cultivated by Winston Churchill for his own political gain. What is...

£9.99
New Guide to Chamberlain's Highbury

New Guide to Chamberlain's Highbury Released on Sunday, 16th September - Pre-order for despatch on Monday, 17th September 2018 Highbury is the home of the Chamberlain dynasty on the outskirts of Birmingham. Built in 1879 by Joseph Chamberlain - one of the pre-eminent politicians and statesman of the late Victorian...

£4.99
The Birmingham Political Machine: Winning Elections for Joseph Chamberlain

The British electorate swelled dramatically with the passing of the Second Reform Act in 1867. This presented the political class with a significant challenge. Here was a large, new electorate which needed to be understood, managed, enthused, and persuaded to vote for the right candidate in local and parliamentary elections....

£14.99

With:

Michael Gibbs, Publisher

Featuring:

Justine Pick

In: Chamberlain, Birmingham, Women, Highbury,

History WM iTunes Podcast