Pamela Beryl  Digby

Pamela Beryl Digby

Female 1920 - 1997  (76 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and 3 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Pamela Beryl Digby  [1, 2
    Relationshipwith Adam
    Born 20 Mar 1920  Farnborough Park Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Female 
    Died 5 Feb 1997  Paris, Île-de-France, Fr Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I39749  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 31 Mar 2002 

    Father Edward Kenelm Digby,   b. 1894, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1964, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Hon. Constance Pamela Alice Bruce,   b. 14 Jun 1895,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1 Jul 1919  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 2 siblings 
    Family ID F32374  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Randolf Federick Howard Spencer-Churchill,   b. 28 May 1911, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jun 1968, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years) 
    Married 4 Oct 1939  St. John's, Smith Square Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Divorced 1946 
    Children 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 20 Nov 2001 
    Family ID F16893  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 John Hay Whitney,   b. 17 Aug 1904,   d. 08 Feb 1982  (Age 77 years) 
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F66905  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Bill Paley 
    Last Modified 31 Mar 2002 
    Family ID F147604  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Edward Roscoe Murrow,   b. 1904,   d. 1965  (Age 61 years) 
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F66904  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 5 Giovanni Agnelli,   b. 12 Mar 1921, Torino, Piemonte, It Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 2003, Torino, Piemonte, It Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married 1948 
    Last Modified 20 Aug 2004 
    Family ID F39117  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 6 Baron Elie de Rothschild,   b. 29 May 1917,   d. 6 Aug 2007  (Age 90 years) 
    Last Modified 21 Sep 2001 
    Family ID F66908  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 7 Prince Aly Salomone Shah,   b. 13 Jun 1911, Torino, Piemonte, It Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 May 1960, Paris, Île-de-France, Fr Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 
    Family ID F66907  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 8 Stavros Niarchos,   b. 3 Jul 1909, Athens, Greece Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Apr 1996, Zürich, CH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married Type: Affair 
    Last Modified 7 Nov 2012 
    Family ID F147608  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 9 Leland Hayward,   b. 1902, Nebraska City, Nebraska Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 1971, Haywire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 4 May 1960  Carson City, Nevada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 20 Nov 2001 
    Family ID F32372  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 10 Governor William Averell Harriman,   b. 1891, New York City, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1986, Arden, Westchester County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years) 
    Married 27 Sep 1971  New York City, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Pamela had a reputation as a party girl and had many liaisons, one of them being with W. Averell Harriman, while he was still married. When Averell's wife died, he and Pamela linked up again; they were married 30 years after their earlier affair.
    Last Modified 20 Nov 2001 
    Family ID F32373  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 27 Sep 1971 - New York City, NY, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 5 Feb 1997 - Paris, Île-de-France, Fr Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    39749.jpg
    39749.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Pamela Digby was born to an aristocratic family in England and was determined to marry well.

      Aged seventeen, Pamela Digby was sent to a boarding school in Muenchen and later maintained that, in the six months spent there, she was introduced to Adolf Hitler by Unity Mitford. In 1939 she went to work at the Foreign Office in London, doing translations from French for which she was paid £ 6 a week.
      While being shown the flat she was going to rent, the phone rang. When she answered, it was Randolph Churchill who asked her out to dinner. Within ten days they were engaged and a week later they were married. With the exception of Winston and Clementine Churchill, Randolph's parents, everybody was against the marriage. One reason for the objections was their lack of money, to which Winston remarked: "Nonsense! All you need to be married is champagne, a double bed and a box of cigars!" However, married life began on the wrong footing when Randolph, wanting to improve her education, began to read in bed to her Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Hilaire Belloc would have been fine, she maintained, but Gibbon was too much.
      When Pamela became pregnant, to be close to a doctor she went to live with her parents-in-law at 10 Downing Street, where she spent many nights in the air-raid shelter. On 8 October 1940 Randolph took his seat in the House of Commons and two days later their son, Winston, was born.
      In 1941 Randolph went with the army to Africa; but while on board the ship taking them there, he gambled and lost £ 3,000. From Cape Town he sent Pamela a telegram which shattered their marriage. Never having been in debt before her marriage, she was already worried about bills, debts and people threatening to sue for payment; now she had to find another £10 per month to pay off this debt. Accordingly, she sold all her wedding presents and took a £12-a-week job at the Ministry of Supply. Pregnant again but, with all the tension, she miscarried. She paid off the debts but security in her marriage was gone.
      When Averall Harriman, a representative of the American President, was introduced to her they started an affaire. Pamela regarded him "the most beautiful man I had ever set eyes on". When he had to go to Cairo, it was Randolph who showed him around Egypt. In July 1941 when Harriman returned to England, Randolph asked him to take a letter to Pamela in which he jokingly referred to Harriman as his rival in her affection. It took until 1942 before Randolph realised what was going on. He then had a furious row with his father as he maintained that his parents had condoned Pamela's affaire. After this his mother banned him from their home for the rest of the war, fearing Winston might have a seizure.
      At the suggestion of Brendan Bracken, Pamela established a social club to enable professional men and women from the U.S.A. and Canadian forces, while off duty in London, to meet their British counterparts. As agreed, after the war in 1946 Pamela and Randolph divorced. Pamela then moved to Paris and her son spent his school holidays with his grandparents. In 1948 she began a five-years affaire with Gianni Agnelli which would be the happiest period of her life.
      Then Baron Elie de Rothschild came into her life and, as he was married, discretion was required. She spent much of her time learning about art, history, techniques of wine-making and furniture. However, this relationship did not last.
      In 1959, in search of a husband, Pamela went to live in New York and, already having renewed their acquaintance, on 4 May 1960 married the Broadway producer, Leland Hayward. This prompted her remark: "Theatre and politics are alike; they're both made up of triumphs and disasters".
      In the spring of 1971 she married Averell Harriman. who maintained that marrying Pamela had been the best thing he ever had done.
      As Pamela Churchill Harriman she became involved in politics and created a fund-raising system which helped to return the Democratic party return to the White House. In her opinion, when Clinton was copying President Kennedy, "Where Jack Kennedy was born to power, Bill Clinton got there all by himself." In September 1992 she opened up her Virginia estate for a ten-thousand-dollar-a-head Day in the country for Clinton and Gore and raised $3.2 million. Many people were surprised when President Clinton appointed her U.S. Ambassador to France. In 1997 when she died President Clinton praised her as "one of the most unusual and gifted people I ever met".

      Her last husband, a former New York governor and ambassador to Britain and the Soviet Union, got his bride interested in politics and the Democratic party, which during the Reagan years had lost its drive and its direction. She hosted dinner parties to mend her husband's party, with grace and skill.
      "Almost anybody who was asked was going to come to one of the gatherings at her spectacular house," said political analyst Norman Ornstein. "She had an ability to attract people around her, and a willingness to try to be a catalyst for the Democratic party."
      She spoke at the 1984 convention, supported the Michael Dukakis campaign and Al Gore's 1992 presidential campaign, then worked hard raising money -- $12 million -- for young governor Bill Clinton when he won the party's nomination.
      Her reward for her constant support was the ambassadorship to France. According to former State Department official Richard Holbrooke, she was a natural for the post.
      "She spoke the language, she knew the country, she knew its leadership. She was one of the best ambassadors that ever served the United States," he said.
      Not many women could have journeyed so far -- from the English countryside to diplomat in Paris -- with a formal education that ended at the age of 16.
      But, says historian Michael Beschloss, "She was very graceful, and graceful in a lot of different worlds," a woman just as able to move through Winston Churchill's world during a world war as to maneuver through diplomatic life in Paris.
    • (Medical):While swimming in the pool at the Ritz Hotel as a part of her regular exercise, she had a stroke and drowned.

  • Sources 
    1. [S106] Churchill: A Life, Martin Gilbert, (Henry Holt & Company, New York ,).

    2. [S14] University of Hull Royal Database (England), Brian Tompsett, (copyright 1994, 1995, 1996 , , Repository: WWW, University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX bct@tardis.ed.ac.uk).


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