Lady Londonderry’s Viennese calling card book

PRONI's document of the month for May 2015 is a book of visiting cards from the congress of Vienna which belonged to Frances Anne Vane-Tempest Stewart.

Cover of book of visiting cards from the congress of Vienna book of visiting cards from the congress of Vienna Calling card book

The book belonged to the enigmatic Frances Anne Vane-Tempest Stewart. Frances Anne was the wealthiest heiress in England when she married Charles Stewart, half-brother of Lord Castlereagh and later the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. The couple lived in Vienna where Charles was British Ambassador from 1814-1823.

The cards read like a roll call of the European political and royal elite at a time of great upheaval caused by the ending of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of the peace conference known as the Congress of Vienna designed to bring stability to Europe.

The 200th anniversary of the Congress will be celebrated in June this year. The meetings served as a role model for later diplomatic organisations such as The League of Nations in 1919 and the United Nations in 1945.

The volume is from the family and political papers of the Stewart family known as the Londonderry Papers which are available in PRONI  under the following catalogue reference numbers: D654, D2846, D3030 and D3099.

The original volume of visiting cards is closed for preservation reasons. A copy may be viewed in PRONI’s reading room (catalogue reference number D654/B/7/1/1A).

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