|Winston Churchill to The Duke of Marlborough, December 7, 1909
In 1909 Churchill, then a Liberal, bet his Conservative cousin, the eighth Duke of Marlborough, that Parliament's House of Lords would not reject the reform budget as passed by the House of Commons. The Lords did in fact reject the measure, precipitating a constitutional crisis. Churchill's private secretary, Eddie Marsh, sent this payment with the explanation,"This is for Winston's budget bet. I didn't know jokes were allowed on cheques." Marlborough never cashed the check, made out for the amount, "Twenty-five pounds-Cheap at the price."
Printed and signed check. Marlborough Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (54)