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Lord londonderry.

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The 7th Marques of Londonderry.


The family seat of the Londonderry's was Mountstewart House in County Down, their association with Ireland began when one of their ancestors Colonel W Stewart was granted an estate near Movilla in County Donegal. The family's financial and social success was attained by astute political maneuvering and a series of fortuitous marriages. The 7th Marques was educated at Eaton and Sandhurst, in 1906 he entered the House of Commons as a Conservative member. He served in the First World War, in 1915 upon the death of his father he succeeded to the title.

In 1919 he was appointed Finance Member of the Air Council, a year later he was appointed Under Secretary of State for Air. When the Northern Ireland government was set up in 1821 he resigned his post with the Air Council. He was leader of the Senate and Minister of Education for NI between the years of 1921-26, he was largely responsible for the controversial 1923 Education Act, which became known as 'The Londonderry Act'

Londonderry was an enthusiastic aviator, he was largely responsible for the establishment of Northern Ireland's first civil airport at Newtownards in County Down, in 1928 he was appointed First Commissioner of Works and in 1931 became Secretary of State for Air, in this post he pushed for re-equipping the Royal Air Force. In 1942 he was appointed first regional commissioner of the Northern Ireland Air Training Corps.

Lord Londonderry was married to Edith Helen Chaplain daughter of Henry, 1st Viscount Chaplin (1840-1923) they spent much of their time at Mountstewart although Lady Edith frequently entertained many of the leading figures of the social, literary and political world of her time at their London home, Londonderry House in Park Lane. She also played an active part in numerous war and peace time charities, after the First World War she remodeled the gardens at Mountstewart employing soldiers returned from the war. In the years leading up to the second World War Londonderry caused more than a little controversy by befriending Goring and Ribbentrop, the latter visited them at Mountstewart, landing his plane at Newtownards airport. Another frequent visitor to Mountstewart was Winston Churchill to whom they were related, Churchill once owned a hotel on the County antrim coast to the best of my recollection it was the Ballygally Castle Hotel, now owned by the Hastings Group. Londonderry was Chancellor of The Queen's University of Belfast and the University of Durham.

The Londonderry's were large property owners, besides Mountstewart they had property in County Antrim which included limestone quarries. they had extensive English and Welsh estates, as well as coal mines near Seaham Harbour In the early years of the 1800's the Londonderry's yearly income was calculated to be in excess of £100,000.

Mountstewart house and gardens are now owned by the National Trust and are open to the public, the house and the temple of the Winds a little to the south of the house can be hired as a wedding venue. The farmland is the property of Lady Marie Bury, daughter of The 7th Marques and lady Edith. The elderly Lady Bury still lives in part of the house.

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