A gift to the nation

13 October 2017

October 12th, 1917

THE nation has been enriched by the gift of a noble residence for the Prime Ministers of England in a part of the country typical of what is loveliest and homeliest. With singular forethought, the generous donors, Sir Arthur and Lady Lee, have planned out the scheme under which the full benefits of their gift may be enjoyed by its tenant, whoever he may be of the few personages named, the United States Ambassador being one of them. The house and its domain are not only established but endowed, a fact which should lend its added interest to Mr Lloyd George. “Chequers” the estate is named, from its first known owner, Elias, Clerk of the Exchequer to Henry II. Legend carries its story back to Cymbeline and his queen, but eight centuries of ownership by families of repute more than suffice to place it in the front rank of ancient holdings. Situated in a sheltered cleft of the hills that stretch through the territory watched over by the Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, “Chequers” is the ideal residence for a magnate of the land, and is richly supplied with pictures, books, and rare manuscripts, which, in course of time, we may expect to see amplified with further gifts especially appropriate to a house henceforth to be of such national importance.

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