George Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry

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The Marquess of Londonderry

George Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry - Project Gutenberg eText 20074.jpg
The Marquess of Londonderry
Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham
In office
Preceded byThe Earl of Durham
Succeeded byThe Earl of Durham
Personal details
Born26 April 1821
Died6 November 1884
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Mary Edwards (d. 1906)
Children6, including Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry
ParentsCharles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry
Lady Frances Vane-Tempest
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

George Henry Robert Charles William Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry KP (26 April 1821 – 6 November 1884), styled Viscount Seaham between 1823 and 1854 and known as The Earl Vane between 1854 and 1872, was a British aristocrat, businessman, diplomat and Conservative politician.

Background and education[edit]

Born George Vane, he was the eldest son of Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, by his second wife Frances Anne, daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Vane-Tempest, 2nd Baronet. He was the nephew of the second Marquess, better known as the statesman Lord Castlereagh, and the half-brother of the fourth Marquess. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. He became known by the courtesy title Viscount Seaham in 1823 when his father was created Earl Vane and Viscount Seaham, with remainder to his sons by his second wife.[1]

Political and diplomatic career[edit]

Lord Seaham entered the 1st Life Guards, purchasing a lieutenancy on 7 February 1845,[2] and retiring on 5 May 1848.[3] He was returned to parliament for Durham North in 1847, a seat he held until 1854, when he succeeded his father as Earl Vane and entered the House of Lords.[1][4] In 1867 he was sent on a special mission as Envoy Extraordinary to Russia to Emperor Alexander II, to invest the emperor with the Order of the Garter.[5]

When his half-brother died childless in 1872 he inherited the marquessate and family estates. Two years later he was appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick. In 1880 he became Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, a post he held until his death four years later.[1]

He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the 2nd (Seaham) Durham Artillery Volunteer Corps on 26 March 1864. This was a part-time unit largely recruited from his family's Seaham Colliery, and his younger brother and later two of his sons also became officers in the unit. He was succeeded in the command by his eldest son in 1876.[6][7]

Business interests[edit]

Lord Londonderry managed his father-in-law's estates (see below), which included some of the slate quarries around Corris, and was one of the original promoters of the Corris Railway, created to carry the slate from the quarries to the markets. He sat on the board of the Cambrian Railways, latterly as Chairman.[citation needed]


Lord Londonderry married Mary Cornelia Edwards, daughter of Sir John Edwards, 1st Baronet, on 3 August 1846.[1] They set up home at Plas Machynlleth, the Edwards family seat,[citation needed] and had six children:

Lord Londonderry died in November 1884, aged 63, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles.

The Marchioness of Londonderry remained in residence at Plas Machynlleth, where she entertained Princess Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, in 1897.[9] Lady Londonderry died in September 1906.[1]

The sixth Marquess left Machynlleth on succeeding to the marquessate, but Lord Herbert Vane-Tempest remained resident at the Plas, and also served as Chairman of the Cambrian Railways, until he was killed in the Abermule train collision. The family gave the Plas to the townspeople after World War II.[citation needed]

The sister of the 5th Marquess, Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane (1822–1899) married John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, and was the mother of Lord Randolph Churchill and grandmother of Winston Churchill. Lord Herbert's bequest to Winston, his first cousin once removed, enabled him to purchase Chartwell.



  1. ^ a b c d e George Henry Robert Charles William Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry
  2. ^ "No. 20440". The London Gazette. 7 February 1845. p. 358.
  3. ^ "No. 20853". The London Gazette. 5 May 1848. p. 1746.
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 4)
  5. ^ "No. 23291". The London Gazette. 13 August 1867. p. 4541.
  6. ^ Army List.
  7. ^ Ian F.W. Beckett, Riflemen Form: A Study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859–1908, Aldershot: Ogilby Trusts, 1982, ISBN 0 85936 271 X, p. 62.
  8. ^ Viscountess Allendale portraits
  9. ^ "Magnificent jewels and noble jewels".

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hedworth Lambton
Hon. Henry Liddell
Member of Parliament for North Durham
With: Robert Duncombe Shafto
Succeeded by
Robert Duncombe Shafto
Lord Adolphus Vane-Tempest
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Durham
Lord Lieutenant of Durham
Succeeded by
The Earl of Durham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles William Vane
Earl Vane
Succeeded by
Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Frederick Stewart
Marquess of Londonderry
Succeeded by
Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart