Henry Vivien Pierpont Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham (born 25 May 1951), styled as Viscount Slane until 1974 and as Earl of Mount Charles from 1974 until 2009 and predominantly known as Henry Mountcharles, is an Anglo-Irish nobleman who is best known for the rock concerts that he organises at his home Slane Castle, and for his column in the Irish Daily Mirror under the byline "Lord Henry".
Mountcharles was born into an aristocratic family of Ulster-Scots descent, the eldest son of Frederick Conyngham, 7th Marquess Conyngham (1924–2009) by his wife, Eileen Wren Newsom. He attended Harrow School before studying at Harvard University.
He succeeded his father in the Marquessate of Conyngham and other hereditary peerages in 2009. However, in Ireland, he is frequently referred to as 'Lord Mount Charles', his former courtesy title. e also inherited the UK peerage title Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey in the County of Kent, created in 1821 for his ancestor, the 1st Marquess, thereby giving the Marquesses Conyngham the automatic right to sit in the British House of Lords (until 1999).
Mountcharles unsuccessfully contested the Louth constituency for Fine Gael at the 1992 general election. In 1997, Mountcharles stood for election to Seanad Éireann for University of Dublin, again without success. At the 2004 European Parliament election, he was approached by Fine Gael to enter the contest for selection as a Fine Gael candidate for the East constituency. However, when the television presenter and agricultural journalist Maireád McGuinness emerged as a potential candidate, Mountcharles withdrew from the race.
Mountcharles and his wife divide their time between Beauparc House and Slane Castle in County Meath; the latter was the family's principal ancestral seat until it was badly damaged by fire in 1992, but has now been restored.
He enjoys a high profile in Ireland as the author of a weekly column in the Irish Daily Mirror. He has been dubbed the rock and roll aristocrat or the rock and roll peer owing to the very successful series of rock concerts he has hosted since 1981, held in the natural amphitheatre in the grounds of Slane Castle. These concerts have included performances by The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Queen, U2, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Guns N' Roses, Oasis and Madonna. Mountcharles received the Industry Award at the 2010 Meteor Awards. In his autobiography Public Space–Private Life: A Decade at Slane Castle, he described his business career and the challenges of being an Anglo-Irish peer in modern Ireland, and how being Anglo-Irish has gradually become more accepted there.
Marriages and children
Mountcharles married Juliet Ann Kitson in 1971. They had three children, a daughter and two sons, and were divorced in 1985:
- Alexander Burton Conyngham, Earl of Mount Charles (born 30 January 1975), married Carina Bolton (paternal granddaughter of banker Sir George Bolton and paternal granddaughter of James Woodhouse, 4th Baron Terrington), having a daughter and two sons:
- Lord Wolfe Conyngham (born 1978), celebrity chef
- Lady Henrietta Tamara Juliet Conyngham, (born 1976), married Thomas, 6th Earl of Lichfield (son of the celebrated photographer Patrick Lichfield);
Mountcharles was married secondly in 1985 to Lady Iona Charlotte Grimston (born 1953), youngest daughter of John Grimston, 6th Earl of Verulam. They have a daughter:
- Lady Tamara Jane Conyngham (born 1991)
|Ancestors of Henry Mountcharles|
- Henry Vivien Pierpont Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham thePeerage.com
- "Lord Henry". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Henry Mountcharles". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 10 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
- Brennock, Mark (4 March 2004). "Mountcharles not to seek FG nomination". Irish Times. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Mount Charles lands music industry gong". Hot Press. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Google Groups – Peerage News
- "Mount Charles". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Lord and Lady Wolfe Conyngham at Maison Dauphin New Collection, Paris
- "The Earl of Lichfield and Lady Henrietta Conyngham – Engagements Announcements". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- Michael Rhodes "7th Marquess Conyngham" 7 March 2009, Peerage News blog.
- Public Space-Private Life: A Decade at Slane Castle, September 1989, Faber & Faber
|Peerage of Ireland|