Lord Henry Palmerdale was, according to James Skinsale, "a jumped up little money-grabber". He was on way to Southampton in his steam yacht when it crashed into Fang Rock. He was accompanied by his secretary, Adelaide Lessage, his bosun, Harker and his friend and blackmailer, Skinsale.
After they were rescued by Vince Hawkins, they went to the lighthouse to warm up and settle for the night, but their plans were ruined when the Fourth Doctor revealed Engineer Ben had died that very night and the lighthouse was under attack by a Rutan. Lord Palmerdale was desperate to get to Bristol, so he looked around the lighthouse for a means of communication until he found one. He could not use it so he bribed Vince Hawkins to work it. When Palmerdale stood on the outside of the lighthouse he was electrocuted and thrown off the lighthouse by the Rutan. (TV: Horror of Fang Rock)