Carnarvon Diaries: Camden Series, volume 35. Comments and Corrections

Peter Gordon, ed., The Political Diaries of the Fourth Earl of Carnarvon, 1857-1890: Colonial Secretary and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 

Camden Fifth Series, volume 35  (Cambridge University Press, for the Royal Historical Society, London, 2009)[1]

In 2009, the Royal Historical Society published, as Volume 35 of its Camden Fifth Series, an edition comprising extensive extracts from the diaries of the fourth Earl of Carnarvon (1831-1890), the selections particularly emphasising his interest in Canada, South Africa and Ireland.

The volume was edited by a senior scholar, Dr Peter Gordon, former Professor of History and Humanities at the Institute of Education, UCL (London).[2] The present edition, referred to here as Carnarvon Diaries, describes the source as sixty volumes covering the years 1852 to 1890. About one third of the text has been reproduced, with the years from 1860 to 1865 omitted altogether. While Carnarvon was obviously a committed diarist – given his ministerial workload, he might have been forgiven for abandoning it altogether while holding office – it is not clear whether he made an entry for every day, although he seems to have written close to the time of events, with few retrospective summaries.[3] It should be noted that the diary was not his only form of record. Important discussions formed separate memoranda. One example of this was a series of meetings with J.C. Molteno, premier of the Cape Colony, in 1876, which do not appear in the Carnarvon Diaries.[4]

This essay proposes a number of corrections to the Carnarvon Diaries. Most of my points relate to editorial commentary or identifications of people mentioned. In a few cases, I query statements in the text. In relation to these, I make clear that I have not consulted the original diaries: my days for travel and archival research are over. Hence, it is important to state that my challenges to statements in the text of the Carnarvon Diaries do not imply editorial mistranscription. It is overwhelmingly clear both from his authorised biography and from published correspondence with the governor-general of Canada, Lord Dufferin, that Carnarvon carried an enormous administrative burden, especially when he was in office, and it is easy for the twenty-first century to forget that most of it involved the creation of handwritten documents. His diary was very likely his lowest priority, and it is only to be expected that errors might stem from tiredness and haste.[5] In such cases, editorial intervention would have been appropriate to draw attention to misleading entries.

Comments are grouped into four sections: [i] Canada, [ii] South Africa and [iii] Ireland, followed by a general section [iv]. Page and footnote references to the Carnarvon Diaries are given in the text.

[i]: References to Canada / British North America

The Introduction makes a general statement about the background to the British North America Act of 1867. "The policy of confederation, announced in 1848 by Sir Edmund Head, Governor-General of British North America, involved the unification of Canada ─ including the United Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ─ and the creation of its own parliament. The seat of government was to be Ottawa. Not all Canadian politicians were in favour of this move: some from the Maritime Provinces preferred their own parliament and, more worrying, the United States of America showed a lively interest in impeding the establishment of such a confederation."(7)

This is a clumsy statement. Sir Edmund Head was formally styled Governor-in-Chief of British North America but he was in practice governor-general of Canada, which (prior to 1867) meant the union of the two provinces that became Ontario and Quebec.

Head endorsed a proposal to discuss the federation of all the provinces made by a Canadian ministry in 1858, not 1848. Confederation involved a quasi-federal constitution, and the term "unification" is misleading. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were not part of Canada until 1867, and so their politicians were not in any sense "Canadian".

The statement may seem to imply that parliamentary government was to be introduced as part of the Confederation settlement. In fact, there had been local legislatures in Nova Scotia since 1758, New Brunswick since 1786 and Upper and Lower Canada from 1792 (merged into a single province in 1841). Each of the colonies had become internally self-governing. Ottawa had been selected as the seat of government for the province of Canada in 1858, and it was taken for granted that it would become the headquarters of the new Confederation. The statement that "some [politicians] from the Maritime Provinces preferred their own parliament" seems to be derived from a loose allusion to the alternative policy of a union of the Maritime Provinces in Hardinge, i, 301.[6]

The United States showed almost no formal interest in British North American union, although politicians mired in the problems of Reconstruction did turn a blind eye to the activities of the Fenians who staged border raids from American territory in 1866, and later.

Note 74 (113) explains that the Newfoundland Fishery Question was "the controversy with France over its demands to fish in the region". This is a weak statement. The French fishery was based on St Pierre and Miquelon, islands off the south coast of Newfoundland. Fishermen from France had possessed residual rights to land on the west coast of Newfoundland (the "French Shore") since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Problems of interpretation of these rights erupted intermittently until 1904, when the French claims were extinguished as part of the general Entente Cordiale.[7]

On 17 September 1866, the diary records the arrival in Britain of "the North Britain and the Nova Scotia delegates" (132). The reference is obviously to the delegation from New Brunswick. Perhaps Carnarvon had used the abbreviation "N.B." and it has been written out in full in this absurd form. Scotland was often referred to in the nineteenth century as "North Britain", and this was abbreviated to "N.B." in addresses. In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), Ernest Worthing seeks to impress Lady Bracknell by listing his properties, which include "The Sporran, N.B." "N.B. and N.S." was an abbreviation frequently used in official records for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A methodological note (xviii) states that abbreviations have been written in full for the names of individuals but does not specify any wider editorial intervention. Elsewhere in the diary (104-5, 138), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are mentioned together.[8] This is a strange error.

Note 164 (139) states that the conference of British North American delegates at the Westminster Palace Hotel, which began on 4 December 1866, was chaired by Carnarvon. This is not correct. The conference was entirely composed of representatives from the three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (who had not formally met since the autumn of 1864). Canada's John A. Macdonald was voted into the chair. Three of the delegates, Macdonald, George Cartier and Alexander Galt, visited Carnarvon at Highclere on 11 December, apparently for consultations. Carnarvon himself took no part in the Westminster Palace Hotel meetings.[9]

On 18 December 1866, Carnarvon noted: "Received Howe, Annand, and Macdonald, anti confederates at the C.O." (139) In Notes 165 and 166, Howe and Annand are correctly identified as Nova Scotian opponents of Confederation. Note 167 identifies "Macdonald" as Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada. In fact the third member of the "Anti" deputation was Hugh McDonald of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Given that there were several men with various versions of this common surname active in British North America at the time, the confusion may be understandable, although it might have been asked why the chief proponent of Confederation, based in Kingston (Ontario) could have formed part of a delegation from Nova Scotia against the measure.[10]

Note 166 calls William Annand "Prime Minister [of Nova Scotia] (1871)" (139). Annand was premier of Nova Scotia from 1867 (his exact emergence is slightly vague in the fog of post-Confederation province-forming) until 1875. The footnote is puzzling, although Annand's ministry won an election in 1871. The term "Prime Minister" is rarely used for the head of a provincial administration.[11]

Note 167, on John A. Macdonald, is also muddled, and indeed reverses the terminology. Macdonald is called "First Premier of the Dominion (1867), Leader of the House of Assembly (1856-1891)" (139). John A. Macdonald was prime minister of the Dominion of Canada from 1867 to 1873 and again from 1878 to 1891. He had held office in the province of Canada from 1854 to 1862 and again from 1864 to 1867, and was briefly formally designated as premier of the province in 1857-58. The lower house of the legislature of the province of Canada was styled the Assembly, but its successor after 1867 was the House of Commons. Macdonald never held any specific office as Leader of the House of Commons. Macdonald was knighted in June 1867, hence was not "Sir John" at the time of his discussions with Carnarvon.[12]

The entry for 20 December states: "The Canadian delegates arrived 19 December. Macdonald went." (140) The meaning of this is not clear. Delegates from the province of Canada, the last to reach London, had arrived some weeks earlier. As noted above, a formal conference of delegates from all three provinces had begun on 4 December and concluded on 19 December. On 12 December, after returning from his excursion to Highclere, Macdonald had fallen asleep while reading in bed in his hotel room, and somehow knocked over a candle, which set fire to his bed. Elsewhere, I have ventured to link this incident to Macdonald's alcohol problem (Carnarvon was privately aware of his "notorious vice".) Carnarvon's diary entry is perhaps a coded allusion to this episode.[13]

In his entry for 20 December 1866, Carnarvon referred to discussion with Macdonald on "the guarantee question". Note 168 describes this as a previous British offer "on the subject of colonial defence." In fact, it was a proposal for the British government to underwrite a loan to finance the construction of a railway from Halifax to Quebec. The railway was a vital part of the deal to win over the Maritime provinces. It was also referred to as the "Intercolonial Railway".[14]

The subject is bizarrely referred to on 27 January 1867 (145) as "the Intercontinental Railway Guarantee". Lord Carnarvon must surely have intended to write "Intercolonial".

The entry describing a cabinet discussion on 10 January 1867 constitutes a major problem. "Some discussion on Canadian matters. France and Russia willing to support a scheme of local autonomy with a tribute if we join." (143) There is an extensive historical and political science literature about the end-game of the shaping of Canada's constitution, the British North America Act of 1867 (renamed the Constitution Act in 1982). At no point has there ever been the slightest suggestion that other European powers sought to be involved in the new structure. Indeed, it might be asked why France and Russia were offering to endorse a scheme of government for Canada, which – despite its considerable autonomy – was still legally a British colony? Since Russia was about to sell Alaska to the United States, it is doubly puzzling that the Tsar should concern himself in the matter at all.

The diaries of the Foreign Secretary, Lord Stanley, provide the most likely answer. Entries for 26-31 December 1866 indicate concern about the danger of European war over Crete, which in diplomatic parlance was known as "Candia". Stanley raised the issue at a cabinet meeting on 10 January, and mentioned the issue in entries for 21 and 25 January.[15] (Carnarvon was familiar with the term: he had referred to Crete as Candia in the House of Lords three years earlier.[16]) There was no reason for the cabinet to discuss Canada at that time: it was not until 19 January that Carnarvon was able to assure the prime minister, Lord Derby, that he was close to providing an appropriate paragraph for inclusion in the Queen's Speech that would open the 1867 session.[17] Carnarvon's diary entry cannot possibly relate to Canada, and almost certainly refers to Crete. If he did inadvertently write "Canadian", there was surely an editorial responsibility to point out his mistake.

Whereas the other errors relating to Canada will probably be received with puzzlement or even derision by Canadian historians, this one has the potential to cause serious misunderstanding. There has long been a conspiracy theory in the majority French-speaking province of Quebec that John A. Macdonald, the principal architect of the British North America Act, sought, with British support, to increase central government powers in the new constitution, thereby undermining the autonomy of the province of Quebec and, by extension, its ability to defend the French language.[18] The phrase "a scheme of local autonomy" will be read in Canada as referring to provincial rights. Any suggestion that France offered to guarantee the constitutional position of Quebec (and, presumably, was rebuffed) can only be unhelpful.

The omission of editorial discussion is to be regretted. The term "Candia" is now almost totally forgotten. Students are entitled to rely upon the Camden Series, and could be led into embarrassing error.[19]

Note 175 (144) calls Hector-Louis Langevin "Solicitor-General, Quebec Parliament (1864-1866)". Langevin was Solicitor-General for Canada East (or Lower Canada), i.e. the former French territory which retained its own legal system and became the province of Quebec in 1867. The words "Quebec Parliament" are redundant. Langevin never held office in the province of Quebec. He is described as "Sir Hector-Louis Langevin" although he was not knighted until 1881.[20]

Note 180 (147) is a 5-line account of the disagreement between Carnarvon and the British North American delegates over the composition of the upper house of the Dominion parliament (eventually styled the Senate). The footnote does not explain that the key issue was a mechanism to break potential deadlocks between the two houses.[21]

Note 403 (223) explains: "A condition of British Columbia joining the Confederation in 1871 was a subsidy towards the construction of a Pacific Railway. Lord Dufferin, the Governor-General, wanted Macdonald's resignation, but it was not until November 1873, after a vote of severe censure was passed in Parliament, that he resigned."

British Columbia joined Confederation (the direct article is usually omitted) with a pledge that a transcontinental railway would be completed within ten years. The allusion to "a subsidy" is misleading, because the promise of the railway was unconditional.

Throughout 1873, a political scandal gradually broke through successive allegations that the Montreal businessman to whom the Macdonald ministry had given the contract to build the railway had funded Macdonald's 1872 election campaign. The governor-general, Lord Dufferin, was placed in a difficult position. It was not until 19 October 1873 that he warned Macdonald that his position might prove untenable, and even then Dufferin quickly withdrew from appearing to threaten dismissal. Macdonald resigned on 5 November 1873, not in response to the passing of any vote of censure but because his majority had crumbled and the censure motion under debate was likely to pass.

The incoming Liberal government of Alexander Mackenzie that took office late in 1873 doubted whether the promise could be fulfilled, and it was this lack of action that prompted British Columbia politicians to appeal to Britain (i.e. to Carnarvon, as Colonial Secretary). Carnarvon felt obliged to offer mediation to head off threats of secession. The circumstances account for the diary entries on British Columbia that follow.[22]

Note 404 (224) describes G.M. Sproat as "agent to British Columbia". He was agent-general for British Columbia.[23]

In November 1874, Carnarvon had to make decisions on the Lépine case (239-40). The note continues: "Ambroise-Dydime Lépine, a Canadian accused of committing a murder in 1873, had been sentenced to death a few weeks earlier. The French Catholics were demanding commutation and caused a government crisis." This is inadequate. The Lépine case relates to the Red River Troubles of 1869-70. During the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Territories from the (light) control of a trading company to the Dominion of Canada, the French-speaking Métis established a provisional government that filled a temporary vacuum of authority. To establish his position, their leader, Louis Riel, court-martialled an obstreperous Orangeman, Thomas Scott, and had him shot by firing squad.[24] When the Dominion of Canada subsequently took control, Riel fled but Lépine, his associate, was arrested in 1873, and convicted of Scott's murder in 1874. The issue of his execution thus raised the larger questions, both of the legitimacy of the provisional government and the handling of the affair by the Canadian government.[25] Riel is mentioned on the following page (239) but not identified.

Note 631 states: "The financial and administrative obstacles to the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway had caused much friction between the [Canadian] government and the Columbians. It was not until 1881 that the contract was finally sanctioned, and a further seven years before the line to Vancouver City was opened." (297)

This is inaccurate in almost every respect. The Canadian Pacific Railway contract was signed in October 1880.[26] The line was completed in November 1885. Transcontinental train services began in the summer of 1886 to a temporary terminus at Port Moody, five years after work had begun. The line was extended into the recently established city of Vancouver in May 1887.[27] The term "Vancouver City" reads oddly: it was perhaps adopted here to distinguish the mainland terminus from Vancouver Island. Occasionally in Carnarvon's time, the people of the Pacific province were called "Columbians", but the term is never used nowadays. Canadian readers are likely to be struck by the lack of familiarity with their country.

[ii]: South Africa.

Carnarvon's memorandum of his term of office in 1858-9 includes an allusion to "B. Kaffrania", which is not identified. (112) This was British Kaffraria, a separate British territory from 1848 to 1865 when it was absorbed by the Cape. It was the hinterland of the port of East London, and was later known as the Ciskei.[28]

Note 70 (111) describes Sir George Grey, addressing "the South African legislature" in 1857. The federation policy, which Grey espoused and Carnarvon later continued, was of course intended to create such a legislature, which did not come about until the Union was achieved in 1910. The allusion here is to the legislature of the Cape Colony.[29]

The 1873 clash between the Natal colonists and the Hlubi chief Langalibalele over gun control was an important episode in southern African history. Langalibalele is twice referred to as a "Kaffir chief" (22, Note 449: 237). The adjective has unacceptable since the apartheid era. The Hlubi (or amaHlubi) people are not easily categorised into South Africa's main tribal groups, since they originated as fragmentary survivors of the explosion of the Zulu kingdom in the early 19th century. Their closest links seem to be with the Swazi. When "Kaffir" was not simply used as a pejorative term, it applied primarily to the Xhosa and Mpondo on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony.[30]

The entry for 15 April 1874 records a cabinet discussion about a problem in South Africa caused by "infringement" of the "Krater award". (217) It is likely that this refers to the Keate award of 1871, which had drawn a boundary line preventing the South African Republic (Transvaal) from taking over the Diamond Fields. The Keate award is referred to in many histories of South Africa in this period, usually also appearing in their indexes.[31]

On 31 October 1874, Carnarvon commented on a discussion with Bishop Colenso, "I found him very reasonable in conversation at least." (237) Note 448 is inaccurate and unhelpful: "John William Colenso (1814-1883), Bishop of Natal (1853-1863) and of Cape Town (1863-1883)." Although he was bishop in a peripheral part of the Empire, Colenso made his mark in the history of 19th-century Anglicanism by taking the "new" (to Britain) Biblical criticism into the realms of heresy, with a book on the Pentateuch which led to a call for his resignation from 41 bishops of the Church of England. Although formally deposed from his bishopric in 1863, after trial by an ecclesiastical court in South Africa, he remained in effective possession. By not identifying Colenso's opinions, the footnote does not explain why Carnarvon, a mainstream Anglican, was evidently suspicious of him. The entry for Colenso in the Concise Dictionary of National Biography states "formally deposed and excommunicated by Robert Gray, bishop of Cape Town, 1863". Presumably this, or some similar biographical note, has been interpreted to mean that Colenso was rewarded for his heretical views by promotion to the metropolitan see of South Africa. It is an unfortunate error.[32]

In addition, Colenso aroused the suspicions of imperial administrators by defending African interests. In fact, his defence of Langalibalele made a favourable impression on Carnarvon, but the text of the diary entry seems confusing. "I said that if I could release him [Langalibalele] it must be without creating prestige of local government, to which he assented." (237) It is possible that Carnarvon accidentally penned "creating", but wished to use some such term as "denting" or "damaging".[33]

Notes 487 (253) and 685 (311) identify Sir (Henry) Bartle Frere. The second calls him "Sir Henry Frere" although the diary entries confirm that he was always known as "Sir B. Frere".

The record of cabinet decisions on 11 August 1875 (261) contains the curious note that "the regiment of 840,000 in Natal should now remain there." This is about double the number of troops that Britain concentrated in South Africa in the crisis of 1899-1900. There is no editorial comment. I offer a speculative explanation in an endnote.[34]

"By August [1877], the Cape Frontier War had broken out and the Zulus were now fighting the British rather than the Dutch." (23) Historians – and, indeed, citizens – of South Africa will be bemused by the assumption that all African peoples were Zulu (the preferred plural term in modern scholarship).[35] The 1877-79 Cape Frontier War was fought against the Gcaleka, a Xhosa people. The Cape Colony did not share any border with Zulu territory, and warfare against the Zulu only began with the British invasion from Natal in January 1879. The implication that the Zulu had previously been fighting the Dutch reflects an unhelpful stereotype. In reality, both Cetshwayo and his father Mpande avoided armed clashes with the Boers. In 1877, a boundary dispute between the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Zulu kingdom had considerable potential for conflict. Thanks to Shepstone's annexation of the republic, the British inherited this claim (caused by Boer incursions), and Frere wrongly calculated that the destruction of Zulu power would reconcile the Afrikaners to British rule.[36]

[iii]: Ireland

Note 959 (393) describes Parnell as MP for "Co. Neath" (i.e. Meath) and states that he was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol "(1881-1883)". Parnell was released in May 1882.[37]

Note 960 (393) is inadequate in describing the Maamtrasna case. The note states that Parnell "condemned the actions of Lord Spencer [the Lord Lieutenant] in 1882 for sentencing to death two alleged murderers at Maamtrasna." Three men were hanged for the Maamtrasna murders, one of whom was almost certainly innocent. They were tried by what passed in Ireland for normal legal processes. Spencer did not sentence them, although he confirmed the executions.[38]

Note 970 (396) describes the three Queen's Colleges as "Belfast for Presbyterians, and Cork and Galway for Roman Catholics." Although the founding of the colleges in 1845 had aimed to cater for those denominational communities, the Queen's Colleges were (famously) condemned in 1850 by the Catholic hierarchy as "godless". The Church established the rival, non-official, Catholic University in Dublin. Consequently, enrolments at Cork and Galway were small and contained substantial numbers of Protestants: for instance, in 1878-9, Queen's College Cork had 280 students, of whom only 146 were Catholics. It was the fact that the Cork and Galway colleges were not satisfactory to the demands of Catholics – an issue pressed by Parnellites from 1883 – that made Carnarvon wish to carry University reform as part of his policy of winning over the bishops.[39]

The entry for 4 April 1889 (455) notes that the [City of London] Salters Company had sold their property in the North of Ireland for "£240.0.10". The Salters Company sold their lands around Magherafelt in County Londonderry in 1886, for £220,000.[40]

The entry for 27 May 1889 (460) reports a conversation with Lord Randolph Churchill, who "said that he had reason for believing that the Parnellites are meditating a parliamentary session ─ a contingency certainly indicated in Parnell's recent speech". This seems curious. Members of Parliament have never had the power to requisition a meeting of the House of Commons when it is in recess: in any case, the House was sitting at the time. Parnell had delivered a speech on 23 May 1889, in which he threatened that the Irish Nationalist MPs might withdraw from the Commons if they could not secure Home Rule. An extended quotation from the speech appears in the standard biography by F.S.L. Lyons.[41] It would seem that Carnarvon intended to write "secession".

[iv]: General

In 1839, the future Lord Carnarvon was taken by his parents on a tour of the eastern Mediterranean. At Constantinople, the eight year-old boy fell seriously ill and remained in a high fever for 35 days. His parents "had reason to believe" that he had caught "the Asiatic plague", and it is likely that this was cholera. As the Dictionary of National Biography put it, it was "an illness the evil effects of which never wholly left him": poor health added to the pressures upon him while he was in office in the 1870s, and again in 1885. In adult life, he was also noticeably shorter than most of his fellow politicians: Disraeli derisively referred to him as "little Carnarvon". This, too, may have been a long-term legacy of the childhood health crisis, during which he was "bled and leeched and blistered according to the barbarous custom of the times". In the Carnarvon Diaries, the illness is characterised as "Asiatic 'flu" (1). It is possible that this represents a confusion with "Asian 'flu", a mutation of the influenza virus which caused a pandemic in 1957.[42] It seems a very weak description of a major and probably formative episode in Carnarvon's early life.

Page 19 states that Carnarvon "resigned from Disraeli's Cabinet" in 1867. The prime minister at the time was Lord Derby.[43]

Note 26 (7) twice refers to "Frederick Rogers" of the Colonial Office. His forename was "Frederic".[44]

A letter by the Liberal MP A.J. Mundella is quoted on page 63, giving the opinion from Dublin of "McDonnell" on Irish politics in December 1885. The editor has supplied the identification "[Sir Antony]" in the text. This seems highly unlikely. Sir Antony MacDonnell (he was knighted in 1893) was appointed to Dublin Castle in 1902, where he became a highly influential civil servant. However, throughout the 1880s he was a British official in Bengal. There is no indication that he was on leave in 1885.[45] A possible identification is discussed in the endnote.[46] The "Macdonell" who breakfasted with Carnarvon in London on 23 December 1885 (439) is described in note 1099 as unidentified. The possibility might have been considered that they were the same person.

Page 69 twice refers to "West Australia". The correct term is "Western Australia".

Page 71 refers to the "Hon. John Forrest, an official at Government House, Adelaide". He is correctly identified in the index (482) as the first (and indeed, only) Baron Forrest. Forrest was the prominent figure in the small pond of Western Australian politics and served for a decade as first premier when that colony acquired responsible government from 1890. The allusion to South Australia is a mystery.[47]

"Carnarvon was appointed as Colonial Secretary in Lord Derby's government in January 1858" (83). Carnarvon was a junior minister in 1858-9, taking office as parliamentary under-secretary at the Colonial Office on 27 February 1858.[48]

Note 120 (127) identified Sir John Pakington as "Secretary of State for War (1852) and for the Colonies (1858-1859), First Lord of the Admiralty (1866)". The cabinet minister conventionally referred to as the Colonial Secretary was in fact styled from 1801 to 1854 Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. From 1815, successive ministers exercised no responsibilities for defence, and Army administration was overseen by another appointee, the Secretary at War. In 1854, following the outbreak of the Crimean War, the offices were reorganised, creating Secretaries of State for the Colonies and for War. Pakington in 1852 was one of the last politicians to hold the office in its dual title, which has been spread over two periods of office in this Note. He was First Lord of the Admiralty in 1858-9 and again in 1866-7, and Secretary of State for War in 1867-8.[49]

Carnarvon's parliamentary under-secretary in 1866-67, C.B. Adderley (135), was notoriously incompetent, as is made clear on page 141. This might usefully have been made explained on page 135 in order to clarify the entry for 13 November 1866.

In September 1875, Carnarvon received a visitor while shooting on his Nottinghamshire estate. "Hamilton from the Colonial Office came, a pleasant comprehending youth." (233) The identification in note 437 to Lord George Hamilton is unlikely to be correct. The son of a duke and a Conservative MP since 1868, Hamilton had recently been appointed parliamentary under-secretary for India. This was a more responsible post than most junior ministries, since his chief, Salisbury, was in the Lords, and Lord George carried responsibility for Indian business in the Commons. He was also close to his fortieth birthday in the autumn of 1875. None of this fits with the description in the text. It is more likely that the visitor was William Baillie Hamilton, who had entered the Colonial Office from Harrow in 1864, and was promoted to a junior clerkship in 1870. Dual surnames can cause confusion in the late nineteenth century as they tended to become hyphenated, but Baillie Hamilton is cross-referenced in the authoritative list of Colonial Office staff published by the Institute of Historical Research to the surname Hamilton.[50]

Note 471 (249) refers to Sir James Ferguson, and calls him "Permanent Under-Secretary at the Home Office", 1866-68. His surname was Fergusson. He was parliamentary under-secretary at the Home Office in 1866-68, not (as stated) its senior civil servant. He is described as governor of South Australia 1869-70 and of New Zealand 1870-75. The correct dates are 1868-73 and 1873-4. Fergusson was parliamentary under-secretary at the Foreign Office from 1886 to 1891, and is referred to again in 1888 (449), but not identified.[51]

Note 472 (249) is an example of the uneven treatment of honorifics. It identifies the diplomat Odo Russell. In 1872, after his elder brother succeeded as Duke of Bedford, he was accorded the status of younger son of a duke, and was styled Lord Odo Russell. The note describes him as "ambassador at Berlin (1871-1874)", which may make readers wonder why the cabinet was considering a telegram to him in May 1875. In fact, Lord Odo Russell (Baron Ampthill from 1881) died in post at Potsdam in 1884.[52]

In August 1875, Carnarvon met "Princess Louise and Lorne" at Osborne. Note 508 (260) refers to "John Douglas Campbell Lorne". His surname was Campbell. As the eldest son of the Duke of Argyll, he used the courtesy title of Marquess of Lorne.[53]

At Balmoral in September 1875, Carnarvon encountered "Lady Churchill" as a companion of the Queen. Note 527 (264) identifies her as "Lady Jennie Churchill, wife of Lord Randolph Churchill, whom she married in 1874." In fact, this is Jane Lady Churchill, wife of the second Baron Churchill.[54] The distinctions of style and title in the British aristocracy may seem arcane, but it is unlikely that Carnarvon would have referred to the wife of a younger son of a duke as "Lady Churchill". Most biographies of Winston Churchill discuss the extent to which his childhood was shaped by a distant relationship with his parents. Consequently, an inaccurate location of his mother in Scotland when he was nine months old has the potential to be seriously misleading.[55]

The diary entry for 22 March 1878 (300) refers to a discussion with R.W. Trutch of British Columbia. Carnarvon agreed to consult with Trutch on "any application to Bench." Other entries around this time describe Carnarvon's contacts with Sir Michael Hicks Beach who had succeeded him at the Colonial Office. "Bench" is not identified, and it is likely that Carnarvon intended to write "Beach".

In a review of the political scene written on 29 December 1879 (318), Carnarvon commented: "The Conservatives have become Tory Democrats avowedly appealing to a combination of the Crown and Populace." This seems to be a very early allusion to the concept of "Tory Democracy" and perhaps merited a note.[56]

In 1883, Carnarvon discussed the life and literary output of Charles Kingsley with his friend J.A. Froude. The context confirms that the Kingsley referred to was the clergyman, historian and novelist. Note 789 (344) gives Charles Kingsley's dates as 1781-1860. This is a confusion with his father and namesake. Kingsley was born in 1819 and died in 1875. Some of the best-known episodes in his life took place after 1860. He held the Chair of Modern History at Cambridge from 1860 to 1869. He published a revised version of his novel, Alton Locke, in 1862, followed by The Water Babies in 1863. An attack on Newman provoked the writing of the Apologia, which appeared in 1864. In 1866, he defended Governor Eyre's handling of disturbances in Jamaica.[57]

In one of his last acts as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Carnarvon recorded a ceremony held on 25 January 1886: "I held a Privy Council to swear in A. Kavanagh, a curious and strange spectacle." (416) Note 1034 identifies Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh as a former MP, but does not indicate that this remarkable man was born with only stumps for arms and legs, a disability that did not prevent him from becoming a noted horseman, yachtsman, member of parliament and father of a large family.[58]

Note 1093 (438) quotes a letter from Carnarvon to Salisbury, 27 July 1886, thanking him for a "frank and friendly" explanation of his omission from the incoming government. The extract may suggest that Carnarvon did not make his meaning clear. "I could render you real help in the present circumstances by joining your cabinet, but as I said today at the Carlton you have my best wishes and may count on any support that I can give". The phrase "real help" has a twentieth-century ring and perhaps it was intended to read as something like "scant help".

Some minor inconsistencies are listed in an endnote.[59]

ENDNOTES     All websites were consulted in March / April 2019.  An associated essay, "The fourth Earl of Carnarvon (1831-1890): towards a reconsideration" is also available on Martinalia:

[1] Cited as Carnarvon Diaries.

[2] Dr Peter Gordon was Professor of History and Humanities at the Institute of Education, UCL (London). His impressive career is outlined in an obituary in The Guardian, 25 June 2018:

[3] The diaries were discovered by Professor John Vincent in 1976, following the death of Carnarvon's grandson two years earlier, and were purchased by the British Library in 1978. In this selection, there are sections of entries over several consecutive days (e.g. 352-6), as well as long unreported intervals. In July 1859, Carnarvon used his diary for a long retrospective analysis of his first term in office, Carnarvon Diaries, 103-15. This was unusual.

[4] C.F. Goodfellow, Great Britain and South African Confederation, 1870-1881 (Cape Town, 1966), 102, 108; Hardinge, ii, 209-10.

[5] There is a glimpse of Carnarvon surrounded by "a mass of correspondence" each morning in A. Hardinge, The Life of Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert Fourth Earl of Carnarvon, 1831-1890 (3 vols, Oxford 1925), iii, 317-18 [cited as Hardinge]; A scholarly edition of Carnarvon's correspondence with the governor-general of Canada was published by the Champlain Society of Toronto: C.W. de Kiewiet and F.H. Underhill, eds, Dufferin-Carnarvon Correspondence,1874-1878 (Toronto, 1955). The Carnarvon Diaries contains only one footnote reference to the Champlain Society volume, in the Introduction, and this useful source is not cited to illuminate diary entries for 1874-8. One editor's name is given incorrectly, and there is a minor discrepancy in transcription. Carnarvon Diaries, 85n.

[6] There is extensive historical writing on the origins of Canadian Confederation: D.G. Creighton, The Road to Confederation: The Emergence of Canada, 1863-1867 (Toronto, 1964) remains authoritative.

[7] F.F. Thompson, The French Shore Problem in Newfoundland (Toronto, 1961).

[8] New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are repeatedly mentioned together in Hardinge, i, 297-301.

[9] Creighton, The Road to Confederation: The Emergence of Canada, 1863-1867, 407-17. It is curious that no delegate from the Maritimes visited Highclere on 11 December. The Maritime delegations had arrived in Britain in the summer, and may have been entertained by Carnarvon earlier. On 19 December 1866, Macdonald reported to Carnarvon on the likely closing date of the delegates' meeting, thus confirming that Carnarvon took no part in them (140).

[10] J.M. Beck, Joseph Howe, ii: The Briton Becomes Canadian, 1848-1873 (Kingston and Montreal, 1983), 210 and passim. Howe formally introduced Hugh McDonald in a letter to Carnarvon's private secretary on 11 December 1866, L.J. Burpee, "Joseph Howe and the Anti-Confederation League," Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Series 3, 1917, 448.

[11] For William Annand, see Dictionary of Canadian Biography, ix, The head of government in the province of Quebec is called "premier ministre". W.A.C. Bennett, in office from 1952 to 1972, called himself "Prime Minister of British Columbia".

[12] There are several biographies of John A. Macdonald. The extensive outline in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xii, by J.K. Johnson and P.B. Waite, is excellent.

[13] Macdonald's account of the episode is in Johnson, ed., Affectionately Yours, 102-3; G. Martin, John A. Macdonald: Canada's First Prime Minister (Toronto, 2013), 98,105.

[14] Creighton, Road to Confederation, 409. Strictly speaking, the proposed railway would terminate at Lévis, on the south shore of the St Lawrence opposite Quebec City

[15] John Vincent, ed., Disraeli, Derby, and the Conservative Party: Journals and Memoirs of Edward Henry, Lord Stanley, 1849-1869 (Hassocks, Sussex, 1978), 281-86.

[16] Hansard, House of Lords, vol. 169, col. 62 (05 February 1863).

[17] G.W. Martin, "Britain and the Future of British North America, 1837-1867", (PhD thesis, Cambridge, 1972), 326.

[18] Ged Martin, John A. Macdonald: Canada's First Prime Minister (Toronto, 2013), 100-1. For a modified re-statement of the story, see J.T. Saywell, "Backstage at London 1864-1867: Constitutionalizing the Distinct Society", National History, i (2000), 331-46.

[19] Curiously, an earlier Cretan crisis, in 1840, had caused consternation in Canada, when "Candian" was similarly misreported in a newspaper, and French threats of intervention had been interpreted as threatening war with Britain. P. Knaplund, ed., Letters from Lord Sydenham, Governor-General of Canada 1839-1841, to Lord John Russell (London, 1931), 99.

[20] Andrée Désilets, "Langevin, Sir Hector-Louis", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xiii,

[21] Creighton, Road to Confederation, 419-20.

[22] Several standard scholarly sources cover events between 1870 and 1874: W.L. Morton, The Critical Years: The Union of British North America, 1857-1873 (Toronto, 1964), 245-8; P.B. Waite, Canada, 1874-1896: Arduous Destiny (Toronto / Montreal, 1971), 13-31; D. Creighton, John A. Macdonald: The Old Chieftain (Toronto, 1955), 103-79. British Columbia issues are extensively documented in de Kiewiet and Underhill, eds, Dufferin-Carnarvon Correspondence, 1874-1878. The Carnarvon Diaries makes no reference to D.M.L. Farr, The Colonial Office and Canada, 1867-1887 (Toronto, 1955), a detailed discussion of British-Canadian relations in that period.

[23] H. Foster, "Sproat, Gilbert Malcolm", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xiv, .

[24] Morton, Critical Years, 241-4; Creighton, John A. Macdonald: The Old Chieftain, 33-70; L.H. Thomas, "Riel, Louis", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xi,

[25] Waite, Canada 1874-1896: Arduous Destiny, 43-5. The Lépine case was extensively discussed in de Kiewiet and Underhill, eds, Dufferin-Carnarvon Correspondence 1874-1878. The wording of the footnote perhaps echoes Hardinge, ii, 118: "The French Catholics were demanding a full and entire amnesty both for Lepine and Riel". Note 452 refers to a telegram from Lord Dufferin which is published in de Kiewiet and Underhill, eds, Dufferin-Carnarvon Correspondence 1874-1878, 99-100.

[26] The previous deal, which had led to Macdonald's downfall, was abandoned by the contractor in 1873.

[27] Waite, Canada 1874-1896: Arduous Destiny, 108-10, 144, 173-4; P.E. Roy, Vancouver: An Illustrated History (Toronto, 1980), 16.

[28] It is identified and discussed in Hardinge, i, 126-27, and in Goodfellow, Great Britain and South African Confederation, 1870-1881, 17-19. British Kaffraria is extensively discussed in W.P. Morrell, British Colonial Policy in the Mid-Victorian Age (Oxford, 1969), esp. 68-9, 82-7, 90-12, 119-20, 131-3, 145-8.

[29] The source quoted in Note 70 (with one minor difference in transcription) is J. Rutherford, Sir George Grey K.C.B., 1812-1898: A Study in Colonial Government (London, 1961), 295. Rutherford quoted a newspaper report: a speech to the local legislature may be implied.

[30] A. Duminy and B. Guest, Natal and Zululand from Earliest Times (Pietermaritzburg, 1989), 151-5, 183-5; W.R. Guest, Langalibalele: The Crisis in Natal 1873-1875 (Durban, 1976). Langalibalele's case was discussed in the House of Lords in April 1875. Hansard, House of Lords, vol. 2, 664-714 (12 April 1875). This unfortunate usage is perhaps owed to Hardinge (ii, 163) who described Langalibalele as a "Kaffir Chief".

[31] e.g. Goodfellow, Great Britain and South African Confederation, 1870-1881. Robert Keate, governor of Natal 1867-72, was the nephew of a notorious headmaster of Eton.

[32] O. Chadwick, The Victorian Church, Part Two (2nd ed., London, 1972), 90-7 argued that Colenso undermined his own case by indulging in fantastical calculations based on Old Testament accounting. (He had ranked second in the Mathematics Tripos at Cambridge.) See also B.M.G. Reardon, Religious Thought in the Victorian Age (rev. ed., London, 1980), 343-5, and P. Hinchliff, "Colenso, John William", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (

[33] Wyn Roberts, Colenso Letters from Natal (Pietermaritzburg, 1958), 267-70 argues that Colenso won Carnarvon to his point of view.

[34] The British garrison in Natal in 1875 was the 1st Battalion of the 13th Light Infantry: a detachment of "about 38 men" was stationed at Durban, with the main body at Pietermaritzburg, where barracks accommodation was so poor that 120 soldiers lived in tents. They took part in the annexation of the Transvaal in 1877, where their "capital band" perhaps lightened the tension. At the battle of Khambula in 1879, 1/13th Light Infantry numbered 537 men.  A. Preston, ed., The South African Diaries of Sir Garnet Wolseley 1875 (Cape Town, 1971), 155, 160; The Times, 7 June 1877; J. Laband and P. Thompson, Kingdom and Colony at War (Pietermaritzburg, 1990), 87. The regiment (which later became the Somerset Light Infantry) had served as a mounted unit in the Crimean War, suffering heavy casualties in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Carnarvon had visited the battlefields in 1856, and possibly still thought of the 13th as dragoons (their title at that time). A facsimile of Carnarvon's handwriting in Hardinge, iii, facing 332, shows one example of his rendering the letter 'd' in lower case with a forward flourish to the stem. It is tentatively suggested that perhaps this has been interpreted as the number 8, with his cramped lower-case r being taken as a 4. If so, "840,000" might be read as "dragoons", which would make more sense of the entry. The 80th and 88th regiments took part in the Zulu War, but were not in Natal in 1875. The absence of editorial comment on this strange entry is to be regretted.

[35] This statement also appears in Dr Peter Gordon's essay on Carnarvon in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

[36] J. Laband, Rope of Sand: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century (Johannesburg, 1995), 184-5; J. Wright and R. Edgecombe, "Mpande ka Senzangakhona, c. 1798-1872" in C. Saunders, ed., Black Leaders in Southern African History (London, 1979), 45-60.

[37] F.S.L. Lyons, Charles Stewart Parnell (London, 1978 ed.), 204.

[38] Lyons, Parnell, 281-4. Since Professor Peter Gordon was an authority on the career of Earl Spencer, a more felicitous note might have been expected: P. Gordon, ed., The Red Earl: The Papers of the Fifth Earl Spencer (2 vols, Northampton, 1981 / 1986), i, 221, 277-80.

[39] J.A. Murphy, The College: A History of Queen's / University College Cork, 1845-1995 (Cork, 1995), 44-6, 109, 161, Lyons, Parnell, 253-6; A.B. Cooke and J. Vincent, The Governing Passion ... 1885-1886 (Brighton, 1974), 293; D. Steele, Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography (London, 1999), 190; Hardinge, iii, 171-3.

[40] The Times, 21 August 1886.

[41] Lyons, Parnell, 444.

[42] Hardinge, i, 24; G.E. Buckle, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli Earl of Beaconsfield, v: 1868-1876 (London, 1920), 475 (26 April 1876). An influenza epidemic, in 1888-9, was called "Asiatic 'flu". Carnarvon suffered at least two bouts of influenza early in 1890, almost certainly the Asiatic 'flu virus. These probably contributed to the final breakdown of his health, and his death in June 1890. Hardinge, iii, 312, 315. However, it should be noted that Carnarvon did survive the bleak experience of schooling at Eton, which suggests that the connection between his childhood illness and later health problems may be exaggerated

[43] The formal ceremony of returning the seals of office following the resignation of Carnarvon and two cabinet colleagues was an awkward episode, since the Queen disapproved of their decision and was especially angry with Cranborne (later Marquess of Salisbury). However, there is some contradiction between the allusion to this in the Introduction (9) and the diary entry for 8 March 1867 (156-7). E. Longford, Victoria R.I. (London, 1966 ed.), 440.

[44] H.C.G. Matthew, "Rogers, Frederic, Baron Blachford (1811–1889)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (

[45] L. P. Curtis jr, "MacDonnell, Antony Patrick, Baron MacDonnell (1844-1925)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( There are reports by A.P. MacDonnell, in his capacity as secretary to the Government of Bengal, dated 8,16 and 26 December 1885 in the Calcutta Gazette, 9, 23, 30 December 1885, 2213-15, 2297, 2351-3, consulted via These references seem conclusive in placing Antony MacDonnell in India in December 1885. The source was probably not available online at the time of the publication of Carnarvon Diaries.

[46] In his edition of the correspondence of Earl Spencer, Dr Peter Gordon included a subsequent letter from Mundella, dated 14 January 1886, which listed "McDonnell" among critics who felt "universal derision" for Carnarvon's lord-lieutenancy. It was suggested that this was "possibly Schomberg Kerr McDonnell, Carnarvon's private secretary". (He was also a connection by marriage.) However, it seems unlikely that a private secretary to a Conservative grandee would have conveyed such negative sentiments to a radical MP. A more likely identification emerges from the Camden Series edition of the diary of Sir George Fottrell, a Dublin Castle official. This volume indicates that, shortly before 22 December 1885, Earl Spencer met "Dr Robert Macdonnell", who was visiting England. He is identified as a prominent Dublin doctor, and early supporter of Home Rule. The source is a letter from Spencer to W.E. Gladstone, in the Gladstone Papers. Gordon, ed., The Red Earl: The Papers of the Fifth Earl Spencer, ii, 102-3; S. Ball, ed., Dublin Castle and the First Home Rule Crisis: The Political Journals of Sir George Fottrell, 1884-1887 (Cambridge, 2008, Camden Fifth Series, vol. 33), 294-5.; P.M. Geoghegan, "McDonnell, Sir Schomberg Kerr (1861-1915)", Dictionary of Irish Biography, v, 972. D. Murphy, "McDonnell, Robert (1828-1889)", Dictionary of Irish Biography, v, 971-2 outlines the medical career of Robert McDonnell, but says nothing of his political stance.

[47] The available sources for the career of Forrest prior to 2009 were F.K. Crowley, Forrest, 1847-1918: Volume I, 1847-91 Apprenticeship to Premiership (St Lucia, Qld, 1991) and F.K. Crowley, "Forrest, Sir John (1847–1918) ", Australian Dictionary of Biography, viii ( Neither indicates any connection with South Australia at that time. Since then, the National Library of Australia has established its excellent Trove website of online newspaper archives. Any visit to Adelaide by a public figure as prominent as Forrest would surely have been reported in some newspaper from either of the colonies, but a keyword search reveals nothing.

[48] This statement prefaces a contemporary comment on Carnarvon, from an unknown source, quoted in the sometimes muddled memoirs of Sir Henry Drummond Wolff. Wolff initially dated the assessment to 1858, but then corrected his error, pointing out that Carnarvon was only the under-secretary at that time. H. Drummond Wolff, Rambling Recollections (2 vols, London, 1908), i, 256-8. The unflattering assessment should be set against Carnarvon's contemporary verdict of Wolff (Lytton's private secretary in 1858-9) as a person of "inferior mind and character". Carnarvon Diaries, 113.

[49] P. Chilcott, "Pakington [formerly Russell], John Somerset, first Baron Hampton (1799-1880)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (; J.C. Sainty, comp., Office Holders in Modern Britain, vi: Colonial Office Officials (London, 1976), ix, 6. Pakington's unexpected appointment as Colonial Secretary in 1852 is a well-known episode in 19th-century political history: R. Blake, Disraeli (London, 1969, ed.), 312-13; Vincent, ed., Disraeli, Derby, and the Conservative Party: Journals and Memoirs of Edward Henry, Lord Stanley, 1849-1869, 71-2. Given that Carnarvon was the junior minister at the Colonial Office in 1858-9, it is curious that this Note should make Pakington his ministerial superior.

[50] J. Ramsden, "Hamilton, Lord George Francis (145-1927)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( During the formation of Disraeli's ministry in 1874, Lord George Hamilton was switched from a comparable post at the Foreign Office, having pleaded that he knew no French. Disraeli roguishly (if revealingly) assured him that a knowledge of Hindustani was not required at the India Office. He rose to cabinet rank in 1885. For William Baillie Hamilton, Sainty, comp., Office Holders in Modern Britain, vi: Colonial Office Officials, 36, 41. On his retirement, Baillie Hamilton wrote an affectionate memoir of his career, which is cited in at least two major administrative studies. He played [association] football for Scotland in 1870, taking part in the first international against England, and was knighted in 1897. The Times, 7 July 1920; "Forty-Four Years at the Colonial Office", Nineteenth Century and After, April 1909, 599-613, referred to by Farr, The Colonial Office and Canada, 1867-1887, 32-3, B.L. Blakeley, The Colonial Office, 1868-1891 (Durham, N.C., 1972), 7, 26-7 and R.C. Snelling and T.J. Barron, "The Colonial Office and its permanent officials 1801-1914", in G. Sutherland, ed., Studies in the Growth of Nineteenth-Century Government (London, 1972), 139-66.

[51] Fergusson is also described as governor of South Australia 1869-70 and of New Zealand 1870-75. The correct dates are 1868-73 and 1873-4. V. A. Edgeloe, "Fergusson, Sir James (1832–1907)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, iv (; G. McLean, The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General (Dunedin, 2006), 83-5. Both his son and his grandson served as Governor-General of New Zealand. Fergusson was Governor of Bengal 1880-5.He was killed in an earthquake in Jamaica in 1907. The office of the governor of New Zealand was renamed governor-general in 1917. Note 69 (111) is in error in calling Sir George Grey "Governor-General of New Zealand" in the 19th century. Grey's second term of office terminated in 1868, not 1867 as stated.

[52] R. Davenport-Hines, "Russell, Odo William Leopold, first Baron Ampthill", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (; London Gazette, 28 June 1872, 2972.

[53] Lorne was married to Queen Victoria's daughter. P.B. Waite, "Campbell, John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland, Marquess of Lorne and ninth Duke of Argyll", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( Waite also contributed the entry on Lord Lorne to Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xiv. (

[54] Lady Churchill is identified in A. Ponsonby, Henry Ponsonby: Queen Victoria's Private Secretary (London, 1943), 58, and her presence at Balmoral in September 1875 is mentioned at ibid., 123. "Beloved Jane" died one month before the Queen, after 50 years of service. Longford, Victoria R.I., 703.

[55] H. Pelling, Winston Churchill (London, 1974), 30-1. In 1875, the Randolph Churchills were firmly in the camp of the Prince of Wales, and she was unlikely to have been acceptable to the Queen. Visiting Berlin in 1888, Lady Randolph was mistaken for her namesake, Jane, Lady Churchill, by the widowed Empress Augusta, who embarrassed her by repeatedly asking after Queen Victoria. The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill (New York, 1908), 251-2. There seems no evidence that Lady Randolph Churchill ever visited Balmoral.

[56] The term was in use in the 1870s, but Lord Randolph Churchill, with whom it is most often associated, did not take it up until 1882. Carnarvon himself seems to have entertained some atypical theories of government around that time. In 1875, Derby had been "alarmed" by his claim that the Crown and the people might unite against the House of Commons, "an unsafe sort of nonsense to be taught by a minister." The following year, he recorded that "Carnarvon is by nature inclined to absolutist as against parliamentary theories of gov[ernmen]t."R.F. Foster, Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life (Oxford, 1988 ed.), 25, 106-9; Vincent, ed., The Diaries of Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby (1826-93) between September 1869 and March 1878, 212, 310.

[57] N. Vance, "Kingsley, Charles", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( The entry(Carnarvon Diaries, 344) was also quoted extensively by Hardinge, iii, 311, with some small differences in transcription.

[58] J.M. Rigg / H. C. G. Matthew, "Kavanagh, Arthur Macmorrough", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (

[59] The Introduction quotes an assessment by Edward Hamilton, Gladstone's private secretary, on Carnarvon's position in politics after 1880, dated to 3 February 1889. What appears to be an indentical entry is given for 3 January 1883 in D.W.R. Bahlman, ed., The Diary of Sir Edward Walter Hamilton (2 vols, Oxford, 1972), ii, 1.

There is a typographical error in note 806 (350). The "Earl of Albermarle" should be "Albemarle". The spelling is correct in the text.

Note 1096 (439) refers to Sir George Russell as "4th Baronet Russell" and note 1105 (443) calls Henry Northcote "Baronet Northcote". The usage is curious. Unlike peerages, baronetcies were bestowed without change of surname, although surnames were sometimes subsequently elaborated through inheritance. Technically, Sir George Russell might be styled as "of Swallowfield, Berkshire" to distinguish his title from another Russell baronetcy, but the detail hardly seems necessary.

Note 1129 (453) refers to "Lord John David Fitzgerald". This is a clumsy conglomeration of names: FitzGerald (note the capital G) became a law lord in 1882. J. D. FitzGerald / S. Agnew, "FitzGerald, John David, Baron FitzGerald of Kilmarnock (1816–1889)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ( He was a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench in Ireland: the apostrophe is omitted.