The Most Hon. Henry Vivien Pierpont Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham (born 25 May 1951), styled as Viscount Slane until 1974 and as Earl of Mount Charles from 1974 until 2009 and predominantly known as Lord Mount Charles, is an Anglo-Irish nobleman who is best known for the rock concerts that he organises at his home Slane Castle, and for his column in the Irish Daily Mirror under the byline "Lord Henry".
Henry Conyngham was born into an aristocratic family of partial Ulster-Scots descent, the eldest son of The 7th Marquess Conyngham (1924–2009) by his first wife, Eileen Wren Newsom. The Conyngham dynasty are members of what used to be known as 'the Ascendancy', the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. He attended Harrow School before studying at Harvard University. Henry became known as the Earl of Mount Charles, a courtesy title, in 1974.
He succeeded his father in the Marquessate of Conyngham and other hereditary peerages in March 2009. However, in the Republic of Ireland, he is frequently referred to as 'Lord Mount Charles', his former courtesy title. He also inherited the title Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey in the County of Kent, created in 1821 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom for his ancestor, The 1st Marquess Conyngham, thereby giving the Marquesses Conyngham the automatic right to sit in the British House of Lords (until 1999).
Conyngham and his wife, Iona Grimston, divide their time between Beauparc House[where?] and Slane Castle in County Meath; the latter was the family's principal ancestral seat until it was badly damaged by fire in 1992, but has now been restored.
In 1997, Conyngham stood for election to Seanad Éireann for the University of Dublin, again without success. At the 2004 European Parliament election, he was approached by Fine Gael to enter the contest for selection as a Fine Gael candidate for the East constituency. However, when the television presenter and agricultural journalist Maireád McGuinness emerged as a potential candidate, Conyngham withdrew from the race.
Conyngham enjoys a high profile in Ireland as the author of a weekly column in the Irish Daily Mirror. He has been dubbed the rock and roll aristocrat or the rock and roll peer owing to the very successful series of rock concerts he has hosted since 1981, held in the natural amphitheatre in the grounds of Slane Castle. These concerts have included performances by The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy, Queen, U2, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Oasis and Madonna. Henry, Lord Conyngham, received the Industry Award at the 2010 Meteor Awards. In his autobiography Public Space–Private Life: A Decade at Slane Castle, he described his business career and the challenges of being an Anglo-Irish peer in modern Ireland, and how being Anglo-Irish has gradually become more accepted there.
Conyngham married Juliet Ann Kitson in 1971. They have three children, a daughter and two sons, and were divorced in 1985:
- Alexander Burton Conyngham, Earl of Mount Charles (born 30 January 1975), married Carina Bolton (paternal granddaughter of banker Sir George Bolton and maternal granddaughter of The 4th Baron Terrington), having a daughter and two sons:
- Lady Henrietta Tamara Juliet Conyngham, (born 1976), married Thomas, 6th Earl of Lichfield (son of the celebrated photographer Patrick Lichfield);
- Lord Wolfe Conyngham (born 1978), celebrity chef
Conyngham married 1985 Lady Iona Charlotte Grimston (born 1953) in 1985. She is the youngest daughter of The 6th Earl of Verulam. They have a daughter:
- Lady Tamara Jane Conyngham (born 1991)
- Henry Vivien Pierpont Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham thePeerage.com
- "Lord Henry". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Hunting horn sounds lament for horse-loving countess (Irish Independent, 27 November 2016). https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/hunting-horn-sounds-lament-for-horse-loving-countess-35247800.html
- "Henry Mountcharles". ElectionsIreland.org. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- Brennock, Mark (4 March 2004). "Mountcharles not to seek FG nomination". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Mount Charles lands music industry gong". Hot Press. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Google Groups – Peerage News
- "Mount Charles". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
- "The Earl of Lichfield and Lady Henrietta Conyngham – Engagements Announcements". The Daily Telegraph. London. 25 September 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Lord and Lady Wolfe Conyngham at Maison Dauphin New Collection, Paris
- Michael Rhodes "7th Marquess Conyngham" 7 March 2009, Peerage News blog.
- Public Space-Private Life: A Decade at Slane Castle, September 1989, Faber & Faber