Lady Houston was from a poor family, 9th of 10 children.
A dancer she married a rich guy when she was 16. She married 3 times, each time with a wealthier man.
Then comes her 3rd marriage. This time with Lord Houston.
Reading wiki.en :
By the time of their marriage Sir Robert was an invalid who suffered from bouts of depression and believed that he was being poisoned. He died aboard his yacht SY Liberty on 14 April 1926, leaving his widow roughly £5.5 million.
Lady Houston was now England's second richest woman. Although not liable to pay death duties on Houston's estate she negotiated personally with Winston Churchill, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to pay £1.5m as an 'act of grace', as she put it.
I dont understand : she had 5.5 millions £ but she was unable to pay the taxes ???
She had to make an arrangement with Winston Churchill ?
Anybody could explain that, please ?
Thank you !