Hardinge, Charles Stewart (DNB01)

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HARDINGE, CHARLES STEWART, second Viscount Hardinge (1822–1894) of Lahore and King's Newton, eldest son of Sir Henry Hardinge, first viscount [q. v.], and elder brother of Sir Arthur Edward Hardinge [q.v. Suppl.], was born in London on 12 Sept. 1822. He was educated at Eton and destined for the army, but while a boy met with a severe accident which compelled him to use an artificial leg for the rest of his life. In 1840 he matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1844. Within a month after taking his degree he accompanied his father to India as private secretary, and was with him during all the period of his governor-generalship. From 8 Aug. 1851 to 1856 he was M.P. for Downpatrick in the conservative interest, and after his succession to the peerage (in 1856) he was under-secretary for war in Lord Derby's second administration (March 1858 to March 1859). He never held office again, but always remained a supporter of the conservative party. In 1868 he was appointed a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, and in 1876 chairman of the trustees, an office which he actively filled till his death. Owing to his father's friendship with Sir Francis Grant (1803-1878) [q. v.] and Sir Edwin Henry Landseer [q. v.], he was brought up among artistic associations, and was himself no mean painter in water-colours. In 1847 his friends in England published a folio volume entitled 'Recollections of India,' consisting of twenty lithographs from his drawings made in India. The most interesting of these are portraits of Sikh chieftains and views of scenery in Kashmir, then an almost unknown country, which he visited in company with John Nicholson (1821-1857) [q. v.], afterwards the hero of Delhi. The originals hang among the military trophies of his father on the walls of South Park, near Penshurst. In 1891 he contributed a brief memoir of his father to the 'Rulers of India' series (Oxford, Clarendon Press).

Hardinge died at South Park on 28 July 1894, and was buried in the churchyard of Fordcombe, Kent. He married, on 10 April 1856, Lavinia, third daughter of Sir George Charles Bingham, third earl of Lucan [q. v. Suppl.], by whom he had a family of five sons and three daughters; she died on 15 Sept. 1864.

[Personal knowledge.]

J. S. C.