Lady Hariot Dufferin

Hariot was born in 1843, the eldest daughter of Archibald Hamilton-Rowan of Killyleagh Castle. In 1862 she married her distant cousin, the 5th Baron Dufferin and Claneboye. Her husband became a renowned diplomat but Hariot shone in her role as a diplomat's wife.

In 1884, her husband was appointed Viceroy of India and Hariot was tasked by Queen Victoria to devise a plan to improve conditions for Indian women in illness and childbearing. She established the Countess of Dufferin Fund which provided medical care for women by women.

She was a tireless fundraiser for the fund, as evidenced by these diaries written in her last years. She died on her 93rd birthday in 1936.

These are a selection of quotes from her diaries. Given that she is in her late 80s and the diaries run to a few weeks before her death, she is remarkably active and curious. There are a lot of gaps, due to illness, and her writing is, at times, difficult to read but we still get a vivid impression of a woman who takes great interest in her fund, Mothers Union and her large family.

There are some poignant moments e.g. the loss of her last son and a reflection on her wedding anniversary but there are some funny moments with her caustic comments on film making, gushing acquaintances and boring speakers!

Researcher: Nicola Jones

PRONI Reference for Diaries: D1071/J/C/2/11/1-3

Bio & Researcher's Note

Lady Hariot Dufferin Diary Entries

19th January, 1930
Church considered too cold for me...
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21st July, 1930
My darling son Freddy killed...
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8th March, 1934
Controversial questions of birth control came up...
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12th April, 1934
Such a plan infringed upon the sanctity of marriage...
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14th June, 1934
The day of our sale at Hall of Remembrance...
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18th July, 1934
The Baby a satisfactory one...
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4th August, 1934
We watched the making of a cinema in the village...
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26th September, 1934
Launch of the Queen Mary...
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29th November, 1934
I was not well in the night and decided to stay in bed...
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28th February, 1935
The motor broke down on the way...
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5th May, 1935
All preparations for Jubilee ready...
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23rd October, 1935
My wedding day 73 years ago...
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19th December, 1935
Select candidate for post in India...
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