An Evening with Christopher Warleigh-Lack
August 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh. As part of the commemoration programme, Dr Christopher Warleigh-Lack, Property Curator for the National Trust at Mount Stewart will give an informal talk on the Life & Legacy of Viscount Castlereagh.
Christopher will be bringing along one or two items linked to the Life and Legacy of Castlereagh to highlight the significance of his political career. Castlereagh saw himself as a diplomat and statesman, not a politician and when we look at his life and legacy, it’s in these fields that his influence was far-reaching and long-lasting.
Prosecco and canapés will be served following the talk.
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh and later 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, was born in Dublin in 1769 and spent his youth at the Stewart family home at Mount Stewart. He embarked on a distinguished political career, representing County Down in the House of Commons in Dublin, before being elected to the House of Commons in London in 1794.
Four years later he was appointed Chief Secretary of Ireland, in effect the Prime Minister, and the first Irish man to ever hold this position and he was responsible for suppressing the civil disobedience during the 1798 Rebellion, while also commanding the local Militia.
The same role of Chief Secretary saw him steer the Acts of Union through both Dublin and London parliaments, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
His political career continued for the rest of his life, as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Leader of the House of Commons and Foreign Secretary. This last role saw him leading the Congress of Vienna that sought to establish long-term peace after 23 years of European war against France.
In August 1822, suffering depression that he had lived with for many years, he took his own life. Castlereagh was buried with full honours in Westminster Abbey in London, and later his brother, who succeeded him as 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, would have a life-sized statue erected in the abbey to commemorate this complex man and his many achievements.
Images courtesy of the National Trust's Image Library.
£12 including refreshments
Getting to Castlereagh: Life & Legacy
Ards Arts Centre