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Frederick William Robert Stewart, 4th Marquess of Londonderry, KP, PC (7 July 1805 – 25 November 1872) was an Anglo-Irish nobleman and minor politician.

Eldest son of the Hon. Charles Stewart by his first wife Lady Catherine Bligh, daughter of the third Earl of Darnley, Frederick was only seven years old when he lost his mother. While his father was serving in the army overseas, Frederick was looked after by his uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Castlereagh, before he went to Etonmarker in 1814. Educated there from 1814 till 1820, Frederick was styled Viscount Castlereagh from 1822 until, in 1854, he succeeded his father and became the 4th Marquess of Londonderry. From 1826 to 1852 he was Member of Parliament for County Down; from 1828 to 1830 a Lord of the Admiralty; in 1834 and 1835 Vice-Chamberlain of the Household. On 23 February 1835 he was appointed a Privy Councillor.

"Young Rapid" was a delightful companion, very popular with all classes of society and always full of boyish jokes and good humour. A member of Lady Blessington's social and literary circle, it was in her house in Seamore Place, Mayfairmarker, that he first met Disraeli, with whom he became friendly.

In June 1838 he was shot through the wrist in a duel at Wormwood Scrubsmarker by Gérard de Melcy, husband of a famous opera singer, Giulia Grisi, to whom, without having received any encouragement, Frederick had addressed a declaration of love. Four years later Frederick had another narrow escape when a boat on which he was travelling up the Nile ran aground on a sandbank and capsized, and he was saved from drowning only by the prompt action of his companion, Dr. Tardrew, who threw him a rope and dragged him to safety through the window of the after cabin which he smashed as the boat was practically full of water.

From 1845 till 1864 he was Lord Lieutenant of Down. At the British Embassy in Parismarker, on 2 May 1846, he married Elizabeth Frances Charlotte, widow of Viscount Powerscourt and daughter of the Earl of Roden. In 1855 his wife, influenced largely by Cardinals Wiseman, Manning and Newman, changed her religion to Roman Catholic. Frederick was a very keen salmon fisherman and deer stalker in days when these sports were only just beginning to come into fashion.

Londonderry's mental trouble manifested itself about the middle of 1862, and being certified medically as of unsound mind, he was removed to White Rock Villa, Hastingsmarker. After a long seclusion in consequence of this mental disease, he died childless in 1872 and, as Marquess of Londonderry, was succeeded by his half-brother the 2nd Earl Vane. Aged seventy, his widow died on 2 September 1884 and was buried with him in Newtownardsmarker.


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