Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)NC7/11/28/30-33
TitleCorrespondence with Marchioness of Londonderry
Extent4 items
DescriptionLetters from 'Circe' [Stewart, Edith Helen Vane-Tempest- (1879-1959), wife of 7th Marquess of Londonderry, political hostess and writer], Londonderry House, Park Lane, London to Neville Chamberlain; and copy of letter from Chamberlain to Lady Londonderry.

The letters mainly relate to her husband 'Charley' [Lord Londonderry, Secretary of State for Air] and her feelings there was a plot to get rid of Londonderry from his post [Londonderry did not remain in his post for much longer, being moved from the post when Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister in June 1935].

The file contains the following items:
/30: Letter regarding: her cancelling meeting with Chamberlain; her worries about her husband and asks Chamberlain to support him in his 'most uphill job' suggesting lack of finance for the Air Ministry and support from Cabinet colleagues; says her husband has succeeded in making the Air Ministry 'really efficient'; and regarding other people wishing to take her husband's post 'and reap the...harvest that Charley has sown'. 2 May (marked 'among 1935 letters' by Anne Chamberlain).
/31: Letter regarding 'intrigues' against her husband; her 'scouts' saying that Chamberlain wanted her husband to leave his post as they say he thought the post should be occupied by a member of the House of Commons; says she has been told that Lord Trenchard's name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for her husband 'just to fill the public eye' and she says that he would not be suitable for the job; says that despite obstacles (lack of money, refusal to let Londonderry deal in the House of Lords with matters concerning his department) her husband 'has the complete confidence of all his people, and the entire Aeroplane Industry'; says 'none of you [the Cabinet] supported Charley'; says she is 'not going to stand by and see C[harley] pushed out of his post, as if he had been a failure'; and says 'to carry on intrigues behind his back by our so called friends - in which your name is involved is most unsavoury'. The letter also relates to her talk with Herr [Melchior] 'the great tenor singer' [possibly Lauritz Melchior] and him having told her 'what Hitler said of Simon - what they are doing etc, and that 'revenge' is their only thought'; and says that 'the [Melchiors] themselves - are watched even here - by spies'. 18 May.
/32: Copy of letter from Chamberlain (in reply to /33) saying he is glad to know that her previous letter (/31) 'was not intended to bear the construction which I put upon it' [ie Chamberlain being involved in the 'intrigue']; and says that 'Charley is, I know, satisfied that I have not acted otherwise than as a friend'. 21 May.
/33: Letter apologising for appearing to accuse Chamberlain of intriguing against her husband saying she only meant to say what had been reported to her; says she is 'incensed at the attitude of our people and very fearful of the results'; regards Winston Churchill's attack at the Court Ball and says that 'someone evidently has talked far too much, and although W[inston Churchill] is devoted to Charley as a cousin his love of mischief will outweigh affection!!'. 21 May.
Access StatusOpen


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