SOLDIER, SPORTSMAN AND POLITICIAN
Many Sided Activities of the Marquis of Londonderry
Article from the Illustrated Chronicle c1919
The huge garden fete which the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry gave to their employees at Seaham Hall on Saturday provided out another example of their solicitude for those who are dependent on the family estates and enterprises.
Though the present Marquis only succeeded to the title in 1915, at a time when he was doing his country’s work in France, he has since then shown the greatest consideration for his employees and their wives and families, and the party provided the opportunity for his Lordship to resume that close personal relationship which has always been characteristic of his house.
From the commencement of the war, when the young men of the Londonderry collieries in the works, and round the docks at Seaham, swarmed to the Colours. Lord Londonderry decided that those they left behind should not suffer because of their men folks’ patriotism, and determined to make allowances to the dependents of those on service and to permit them to live house and coal free.
Such a generous act was not unappreciated, and, though the cost must have been great, Lord Londonderry’s kindness was not brought to an end with the cessation of hostilities, as witness his very recent announcement that the widows of his employees who had paid the price of victory would henceforth not be troubled with the worries of providing house rent and coal, but would have these necessities without cost.
SOLDIER and POLITICIAN
The Marquisate of Londonderry was created in 1816, and the present Marquis, Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, is the seventh holder of the title. Born on May 13th, 1878, he is the eldest son of the 6th Marquis of Londonderry and Lady Theresa Susy Helen Chetwynd Talbot, daughter of the 19th Earl of Shrewsbury.
He was educated at Eton, and being destined for the Army, entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. From there he was gazetted to that crack regiment of Household Cavalry, the Royal Horse Guards (Blue), and so great was his military ability that he ultimately rose to be second in command of that unit.
Viscount Castlereagh as he then was also showed great promise as a politician, and in 1900 he entered the House of Commons in the Conservative interest, as a member for Maidstone. In Parliament he was as successful as he was popular. His measured had great weight in debate, and it was a loss to the House of Commons when the death of his father, in 1915, removed him to “another place”
When the war broke out in 1914 Lord Londonderry was immediately sent to Franceant from August 5th 1914 to 1916 he served as ADC to Lieutenant-General Sir William Pulteney, and after two years of war he was posted major and second in command of The Royal Horse Guards, and joined his regiment in the front line. He was twice mentioned in despatches.
Regarded as an expert on the Irish question, he was recalled to sit on the Irish Convention, and afterwards was the official representative of the Air Ministry in the House of Lords. Lord Londonderry is reputed to own 50,400 acres, and has seats at Wynyard Park, Stockton, Mountstewart, Newtownards, Ireland, Oakham, Rutland, Seaham Hall and a London residence, Londonderry House, Park Lane.
An all round sportsman, he is a prominent figure in the hunting field, and a well known owner of racehorses, with stables at Wynyard and Newmarket. Among his horses have been Corcyra and Benevente.
The Marquis was married in 1899 to the Hon. Edith Chaplin, daughter of Viscount Chaplin, then Mr Henry Chaplin, and there are four children — Viscount Castlereagh, the heir to the Marquisate, Lady Maureen, Lady Margaret and Lady Helen Stewart.
The Marchioness did much war work, her activities including the management of the officers’ hospital at Londonderry House. She is the founder and head of the Women’s Legion and was made a Dame of the British Empire in recognition of her services.
The freedom of the city of Belfast is to be conferred on the Marquis of Londonderry in commemoration of his military services during the war and his association with the province of Ulster.