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In 1878, the year before his appearance in Vanity Fair, Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest (1852-1915) had just returned as MP for the Irish seat of County Down. He was styled as Viscount Castlereagh until 1884, when he succeeded his father as Marquess of Londonderry. In July 1886, he was appointed Viceroy of Ireland in Lord Salisbury’s government.
“Lord Castlereagh is not yet twenty-seven, and he has already fought three of the most expensive contested elections of this generation, the last of which resulted in his being returned to Parliament for Co. Down, and in his moving the Address with much modesty and good taste. The son of an affectionate father, he was sent to Eton and Oxford, was made a Volunteer and a Conservative, and three years ago married a beautiful and charming wife. He has very good manners; he is a fair rider to hounds, is fond of horses, and is known as ‘C’ to all the smarter sort. He has good natural talents, no excessive amount of application, and none of that devouring ambition which wears men out before their time. His prospects are of the most brilliant kind, and if he should show a disposition to be so, he will certainly become one of the subaltern officers of that Conservative Party which his father has done so much to support.”