Marriages Provisional Order. A Bill to confirm a Provisional Order made by one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State under the Provisional Order (Marriages) Act 1905
Winston S. Churchill
Price: 150.00 USD
London: His Majesty's Stationery Office (H.M.S.O.), 1911. This obscure item is a noteworthy and scarce oddity, a bill signed by Winston S. Churchill as Home Secretary in 1910 and published by His Majesty's Stationery Office in 1911. This is made scarce by its early printing date, relative obscurity, and lack of identification in any Churchill bibliographies. A little less than three decades after this modest Bill was published, Churchill would be engaged in leading his nation through the defining struggle of the twentieth century that ensured not only Britain's survival, but also Churchill's own enduring fame. But in 1910, before the First World War, Churchill was a young statesman, often engaged in Parliamentary minutiae of the nation he would (much) later lead. This Marriages Provisional Order Bill published in 1911 is one example. In October 1910, when this bill was signed, Churchill was a powerful political force and a member of the Cabinet. In February, 1910 he was promoted from President of the Board of Trade to Home Secretary, becoming the second youngest person to hold this important Cabinet position. This bill is a modest affair. Its purpose was merely to formally legitimize the marriages of people who were wedded in a church that was only licensed to perform marriages of residents of a specific district. We find no mention of this bill in the great volume of biographic material published about Winston Churchill. This bill is printed on a single sheet of gray-blue paper which was folded in half to form four 12.25 x 8.125 inches (30.9 x 20.7 cm) pages. The front cover begins "WHEREAS the Right Honourable Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State has made the Provisional Order set out in the..." The second page is a 40 line schedule giving the order of the bill, signed in print "WINSTON S. CHURCHILL." The third page is blank, save for the number "685" ink-stamped in the upper right corner. The lower half of the fourth and final page is printed perpendicular to the first and second pages, ostensibly as a cover with the intention of folding the document. It specifies the title of the bill, the House of Commons order to print it on 13 February 1911, and the publication information. This disbound copy is in good minus condition. The pages are clean, free of creases or folds, and have a crisp feel and sharp corners. Nonetheless, small binding holes run neatly along the folded edge, and a split runs along the top half of the fold. First edition.