Ms Liz Bregazzi writes: Charles William Vane-Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, (1778-1854) was a British soldier and politician, and half-brother to Lord Castlereagh. He had a highly distinguished career. Initially commissioned into the British Army as a Lieutenant at the age of 16, he saw service in Flanders in 1794, and was Lieutenant Colonel of the 5th Royal Irish Dragoons during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. He was elected to the Irish House of Commons as Tory representative for Thomastown, County Kilkenny, two years later, and exchanged this seat for that of County Derry, representing the same constituency at Westminster after 1801. In 1803 Stewart was appointed aide-de-camp to King George III, and four years later became Under Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. In 1809 he was made Adjutant General to Sir John Moore with the British forces fighting in the Peninsular War. In 1813 he was made Colonel of the 25th Light Dragoons and until the end of the war was the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Berlin, and also Military Commissioner with the allied armies. In 1814 he was made Ambassador to Vienna, a post he held for nine years, and was present at the Congress of Vienna. In 1820 he was made colonel of the 10th (The Prince of Wales’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars). Lord Stewart succeeded his half-brother as 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in 1822 and became Governor of County Londonderry from 1823.
Thanks to the generosity of the FNL Durham Record Office has been able to add these letters to the large and internationally significant collection of Londonderry papers which was deposited in 1963 and Accepted in Lieu of Inheritance tax in 2015, with permanent allocation granted to the Record Office on 19th May 2016. Amongst much else, it includes a fine series of diplomatic correspondence of the 3rd Marquess, Charles Stewart consisting of over 1,000 files, to which the present letters make a significant and appropriate addition.