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  1. Harriet Arbuthnot was born Harriet Fane on 10 September 1793, the daughter of the Hon. Henry Fane, second son of Thomas Fane, 8th Earl of Westmorland. As a young man, Henry Fane had been described as "very idle and careless and spending much time in the country".

  2. Harriet Arbuthnot (10 de septiembre de 1793 - 2 de agosto de 1834) fue una diarista inglesa de principios del siglo XIX, observadora social y anfitriona política del Partido Tory. Durante la década de 1820 fue la «amiga más cercana» del héroe de la Batalla de Waterloo y primer ministro británico, Arthur Wellesley, 1. er duque de ...

    • Obsessed with Politics
    • Friendship with The Duke of Wellington
    • Negative View of Canning
    • Contribution to The Historical Record

    At the time of his marriage to Harriet, Charles was one of the joint secretaries of the Treasury in the administration of the then Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool. This role, which was centrally concerned with the distribution of patronage (the allocation of crown appointments as a means of shoring up support for the ministry) meant he occupied one of the most important and influential offices in the government. Through her marriage to Charles, therefore, Harriet gained access to the inner workings of government and the leading men of the day. Moreover, it is clear from the detail in her journal, and her passionate commitment to the Tory side of the ideological divide in early nineteenth-century politics, that Harriet was obsessed with politics and the great game of who was in and who was out, whose star was in the ascendant and whose on the wane. There is a dramatic, almost novelistic element to her journal, replete as it is with heroes and villains. Chief among the heroes was Arthu...

    It is clear that Wellington relied a great deal upon Harriet to provide the sort of female companionship that his own troubled marriage did not and she often provided a sympathetic ear for him to discuss his marital difficulties. In an extended entry for 27 June 1822, Harriet records her conversation with Wellington about his ‘domestic annoyances’ and the fact ‘that discussing political or important subjects with the Duchess [of Wellington] was like talking to her At the end of a lengthy discussion Harriet recorded that Wellington ‘seemed quite [relieved] after having made me this confidence, & seemed quite glad to have someone to whom he could say anything.’ Inevitably, this close relationship led to rampant public speculation about the true nature of Harriet’s relationship with the Duke. She wrote in her journal on 24 April 1824: Mr. Arbuthnot & I have been greatly annoyed by another anonymous letter accusing me of being in love with the Duke of Wellington, of being always in hole...

    If there were heroes in Harriet’s journals then there were also villains, chief amongst whom was the future Prime Minister George Canning. Canning’s brand of liberal Toryism, especially his vocal support for Catholic Emancipation, was increasingly at odds with the high Toryism of men like Wellington and Arbuthnot, who sought to defend the existing order of Church and state. These tensions are amply reflected in Harriet’s journals. In her opinion Canning ‘has no moral principle in public affairs’, is ‘a tricking, dishonest politician’, and his supporters are ‘dirty intriguing wretches’. Harriet’s attitudes to Canning were permeated with the kind of snobbery that was commonly directed at Canning due to his lowly circumstances at birth (he was frequently disparaged as the son of an actress); with typical added piety she wrote: To those who, like me, think there is a good deal in blood, it may appear that Mr. Canning’s want of principle or high & honorable [sic] feeling may be derived f...

    Focussing on Harriet Arbuthnot’s attitudes to Wellington and Canning has allowed us to draw out some of the key features of her running commentary on high politics in the 1820s. As a diarist she was passionate, obsessed, charming, snobbish, generous, insightful, serious, loving, and hateful but we should be careful not to dismiss her diary as mere gossip. For even at her most gossipy, Mrs Arbuthnot’s entries inform us about her and others’ hopes, fears and expectations. Moreover, when so much political interaction was personally conducted in face-to-face meetings that went un-minuted, she gives us access to the thoughts and actions of politicians that, without her diary, could have been lost forever. Her journal demonstrates how woman in the ruling elite could and did play a serious and significant role in party politics despite the constraints imposed by gender roles and the lack of the franchise.

  3. Harriet Arbuthnot (10 de septiembre de 1793-2 de agosto de 1834) fue una escritora británica, observadora social y testigo político del partido Tory a principios del siglo XIX. Durante los años veinte del siglo XIX fue "la amiga más cercana" del primer duque de Wellington, héroe de la Batalla de Waterloo y Primer Ministro británico.

  4. Harriet Arbuthnot nació como Fane, hija de Henry Fane, segundo hijo de Thomas Fane, octavo conde de Westmorland.Cuando era joven, Henry Fane fue descrito como "alguien muy vago e imprudente y que pasa mucho tiempo en el campo".

  5. Harriet Arbuthnot nació como Harriet Fane el 10 de septiembre de 1793, hija del Excmo. Henry Fane , segundo hijo de Thomas Fane , octavo conde de Westmorland .Cuando era joven, Henry Fane había sido descrito como "muy ocioso y descuidado y pasaba mucho tiempo en el campo".

  6. ⓘ Harriet Arbuthnot. Harriet Arbuthnot fue una diarista inglesa de principios del siglo XIX, observadora social y anfitriona política del Partido Tory. Durante la década de 1820 fue la "amiga más cercana" del héroe de la Batalla de Waterloo y primer ministro británico, Arthur Wellesley, 1. er duque de Wellington.