Vane-Tempest-Stewart Family, Marquesses of Londonderry


The Stewart family of Stewart's Court and Ballylawn, near Moville in Co. Donegal, were settled there by the early 17th century. In 1744 Alexander Stewart employed a portion of his wife's legacy from her brother, Sir Robert Cowan, to purchase the manors of Newtown and Comber, Co. Down; she had also inherited a small estate in Co. Londonderry and some property in Londonderry City. Their son, Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, expanded the properties and enlarged Mount Stewart 1803-5. The 3rd Marquess had a successful miltiary and political career, married the heiress to the Vane-Tempest Co. Durham estates and collieries and built a thriving seaport at Seaham. His brother, Lord Castlereagh, was Secretary of State and a very astute statesman. Mount Stewart was acquired by the National Trust in 1955; at the start of the 21st century a descendant, Lady Mairi Bury, lives there.