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Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry KG, GCVO, CB, PC, DL (16 July 18528 February 1915) was a Britishmarker Conservative politician who served in various capacities in the Conservative administrations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known as The Hon. Charles Vane-Tempest from 1852 to 1872 and Viscount Castlereagh from 1872 to 1884.

Early life

Vane-Tempest was born in Londonmarker on 19 July 1852, the eldest of six children of Lord George Vane-Tempest, and his wife, Mary Cornelia Edward (died 1906), daughter of Sir John Edwards, 1st Baronet. He was educated at Eton Collegemarker and at Christ Church, Oxfordmarker, and also spent a year studying at the Royal University of Ireland. On 2 October, 1875, he married Lady Theresa Susey Helen Chetwynd-Talbot (1856–1919), the eldest daughter of Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 19th Earl of Shrewsbury. The marriage united two great aristocratic families, and is considered to have been a dynastic alliance rather than a love match. They had three children, although his youngest child was believed to be the son of the Prince of Wales:

In 1878, Castlereagh was returned for County Down in an expensive by-election. Although an inconspicuous Member of Parliament, Castlereagh was, like many Irish magnates, frightened by the growth of agrarian agitation in Irelandmarker after 1879, and the parallel development of the Home Rule movement: at this time he joined the Orange Order. He left the Commonsmarker in 1884 on the death of his father, to take his seat in the House of Lordsmarker as Earl Vane (the marquessate being an Irish creation). In 1885 he changed the family surname from Vane-Tempest to Vane-Tempest-Stewart, restoring a reference to the clan from which he was descended.


In July 1886, after the formation of Lord Salisbury's second administration, Londonderry was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with Sir Michael Hicks Beach as the Chief Secretary. Londonderry was much more of a Unionist than Hicks Beach and there were tensions between the two ministers, resolved only in March 1887, when Hicks Beach was replaced by Arthur Balfour, who was much more in tune with Londonderry's loyalist convictions. Londonderry supported Balfour's programme of interactive coercion and conciliation, and was rewarded in 1888 with the Garter. He retired from the viceroyalty in 1889 and was later a prominent critic of the Second Home Rule Bill in 1893 and rejected Gerald Balfour's Land Bill of 1896.

Later life

Londonderry was offered the post of Lord Privy Seal in 1895 but, anxious for departmental experience, he declined. Between 1895 and 1897, he was Chairman of the London School Board. On the formation of Lord Salisbury's fourth administration, he was appointed Postmaster General. From 1897-1909 he served as honorary president of the Irish Football Association. In August 1902 he became President of the Board of Education, and was responsible for the administration and the guiding of Balfour's controversial Education Bill through the Lords. After 1903, he held the education portfolio as Lord President of the Council.

After 1906, and the return of a Liberal government, Londonderry devoted himself to the Irish Unionist cause. He was one of the most prominent critics of the Third Home Rule Bill, and the single most vocal Unionist in the House of Lords. He was a signatory of the Ulster Covenant of September 1912, and chaired the Standing Committee of the Ulster Unionist Council. In September 1913, he presided over the Ulster Unionist Council meeting that brought about the creation of a provisional government in Ulster.


After his struggle against home rule, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 brought anxiety and depression. He was concerned for the fate of the Unionist cause and especially of his son and heir, Viscount Castlereagh, who had gone to the Western Front. Londonderry fell victim to influenza and, later, to pneumonia in January 1915. He died at his County Durham home, Wynyard Parkmarker, on 8 February 1915 and was buried at Long Newtonmarker, County Durham. In 1919, a statue was erected at the entrance to the Londonderry Offices (now Marquis Point), his County Durham headquarters in Seahammarker.


  1. Garnham, N: Association Football and society in pre-partition Ireland, page 140. Ulster Historical Foundation, 2004
  2. Brodie, M. (ed.): Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009-2010, p. 107. Belfast:Ulster Tatler Publications

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