Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry

Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry, KG, MVO, PC, PC (Ire) (13 May 1878 – 10 February 1949), styled Lord Stewart until 1884 and Viscount Castlereagh between 1884 and 1915, was a British peer and politician. He is best remembered for his tenure as Secretary of State for Air in the 1930s and for his attempts to reach an understanding with Nazi Germany. In 1935 he was removed from the Air Ministry but retained in the Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords.

The Marquess of Londonderry

Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
7 June 1935  22 November 1935
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byThe Viscount Hailsham
(Leader of Lords)
Anthony Eden
(Lord Privy Seal)
Succeeded byThe Viscount Halifax
Secretary of State for Air
In office
5 November 1931  7 June 1935
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byThe Lord Amulree
Succeeded byThe Viscount Swinton
First Commissioner of Works
In office
25 August 1931  5 November 1931
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byGeorge Lansbury
Succeeded byHon. William Ormsby-Gore
In office
18 October 1928  4 June 1929
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byThe Viscount Peel
Succeeded byGeorge Lansbury
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Air
In office
2 April 1920  18 July 1921
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterDavid Lloyd George
Preceded byGeorge Tryon
Succeeded byThe Lord Gorell
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
9 February 1915  10 February 1949
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 6th Marquess of Londonderry
Succeeded byThe 8th Marquess of Londonderry
Member of Parliament
for Maidstone
In office
8 February 1906  8 February 1915
Preceded bySir Francis Evans
Succeeded byCarlyon Bellairs
Personal details
Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart

(1878-05-13)13 May 1878
Died10 February 1949(1949-02-10) (aged 70)
Mount Stewart, County Down
Political partyConservative
Ulster Unionist
(m. 1899)
ChildrenLady Maureen Vane-Tempest-Stewart
Robin Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 8th Marquess of Londonderry
Lady Margaret Vane-Tempest-Stewart
Lady Helen Vane-Tempest-Stewart
Lady Mairi Vane-Tempest-Stewart
ParentsCharles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry
Lady Theresa Chetwynd-Talbot
Alma materRoyal Military College, Sandhurst

His main record at the Air Ministry included:

He preserved the core of the RAF at a time when even this was under threat from the Treasury. He encouraged the planning of vital new fighter aircraft such as the Hurricane and Spitfire. It was under his tutelage that radar was developed for use by the RAF. The Staff College at Cranwell was opened in the last months of his time as air minister....[But in underestimating the Luftwaffe he was] badly astray over the issue of German air strength in 1934–5."[1]