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
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