The decline and fall of the British aristocracy looked headlong and irreversible in the twentieth century yet many grandees tried to preserve their power, wealth and influence by every means - and with some success. There is no better example than the Seventh Marquess of Londonderry whose life from 1878 to 1949 spanned and mirrored the period. The Londonderrys had enjoyed immense wealth in land and minerals in Britain and Ireland for centuries, played leading roles in Parliament and the state, and in an earlier time the Seventh Marquess would have continued in the family tradition of patrician prominence. Drawing upon original state and family papers, Neil Fleming places the Londonderrys in the context of the history and the political theory of aristocracy and shows the constant struggle - not without success - against marginalisation. The theme runs through Londonderry's career as Conservative MP, on the Irish Viceroy's Council, as a junior minister in Lloyd Geroge's coalition, at the Air Ministry with Trenchard - the 'father of the RAF' - and in the National Government. Perhaps an element of desperation entered in his private business ventures and with contacts with the far Right - all in sharp contrast to past family achievement.
Marquess of Londonderry
Aristocracy, Power and Politics in Britain and Ireland