7th Marquess of Londonderry Papers

Political and personal papers of Charles S.H. Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry (1878-1949) and of his wife Edith Helen, 1880-1950. The Londonderry Family were among the most influential political families in Britain from the 18th century onwards. The 7th Marquess carried on this tradition serving in numerous official positions both locally and nationally which are reflected in the contents of his archive. In addition to playing an active role in Conservative politics throughout his career, particular highlights included his leadership of the Northern Ireland Senate and his position as Minister of Education for Northern Ireland, 1921-1926, during which time he prepared and piloted through Parliament the controversial 1923 Education Act. Lord Londonderry also served as First Commissioner for Works 1928 and 1931, Secretary of State for Air, 1931-35, and was instrumental in the setting up of Northern Ireland's first civil aerodrome at Newtownards. In 1932 and 1933 he attended the disarmament conference at Geneva and became Lord Privy Seal for a short time in 1935 which marked the end of his ministerial career. As an influential private individual he also laboured to bring about Anglo-German reconciliation, befriending Goering and Ribbontrop and exposing himself to the charge of being ‘pro-German’. In his retirement, Londonderry served as Chancellor of both the University of Durham and the Queen's University of Belfast and also Lord Lieutenant of Co Durham and HML of Co Down. Lady Londonderry was also a prominent figure in her own right, playing an active part in numerous war and peace-time organisations and charities, and, as a political hostess, was intimate with many of the leading lights of the social, literary and political world of her time, in particular the Labour Party leader and Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald. All these activities, responsibilities and individuals are fully represented in the archive. In addition, the collection also includes the papers of Lady Londonderry's father, Henry Chaplin, 1st Viscount Chaplin (1840-1923), for many years M.P. for the Sleaford Division of Lincolnshire and, among other things, President of the Local Government Board, 1895-1900. His papers relate to his career as a Conservative politician and to his sporting interests, which included the famous Blankney Hunt, Lincolnshire.


Of great interest to those researching the 7th Marquess of Londonderry's career and Lady Londonderry and her social connections

Physical characteristics

Approx. 10,400 documents occupying c. 35 PRONI boxes

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/3099 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room. See also http://www.proni.gov.uk/records/private/londerry.htm for a more detailed introduction to the collection.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018