What Can We Learn From Winston Churchill? Insights Into Legacy and Clarity in Last Wills

What Can We Learn From Winston Churchill?

One of the best known and effective dignitaries in the history of British politics Winston Churchill was a cat lover. His favorite (I’d like for you to read this with a British accent please as I’m writing it with a British accent) was an orange marmalade cat with a white bib and paws named Jock that was given to him on his 88th birthday in 1962 by his private secretary, Sir John “Jock” Colville.

The kitty was a close companion, and it was reported that the feline was by Churchill’s bedside when he ultimately passed away several years later in 1965 at the age of 90.

Legacy of Jock: A Feline Tradition

Following his passing, Churchill’s will bequeathed his Chartwell estate to the public; with one unique and important stipulation. Upon transferring the home to the National Trust for the public good, it was required that a marmalade cat named Jock always be permitted to live within its premises, in perpetuity.

The politician’s wish for a cat named Jock in Chartwell has been honored for the past 60 years since his passing. While the original Jock passed away years ago, there have been a line of unrelated successors living in Chartwell. The National Trust recently installed Jock VII in 2020. While these felines may not be related to each other they bear strikingly similar appearances to maintain a connection to the first of their kind on the property.

Lessons in Clarity: Understanding Last Wills

So, what can we learn from Churchill’s pussy? (take your mind out of the gutter people! We’re being British here!)

We can analyze last will clauses and ensure that last will articles are written carefully. It could be that Churchill intended for a string of marmalade cats named Jock in Chartwell. It also could be that Churchill intended for HIS marmalade cat, named Jock, to be permitted to reside in Chartwell and would think it rubbish to have a bunch of cats running around. Or, it could be that the National Trust took it upon themselves to have a sting of marmalade cats named Jock living in Chartwell as an homage to Churchill. It’s hard to know, and that’s the point. Guessing at last will never good. A clearly written last will avoids these ambiguities.


So, there you have it, we learn that my British accent is very loud and very cockney, even to me LOL. We also learn that the last will should be as clear as possible to avoid a bloody cat situation.

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