14 JULY 1979, Page 8

One hundred years ago

The death of Lady Waldegrave, the wife of Lord Carlingford, which occurred almost suddenly on Saturday, must be recorded as one of the events of the week, for it has saddened a wide circle of English politicians, as well as general society. A woman of singular conversational ability, a warm heart, and large means, Lady Waldegrave made her house a centre of political society, where, though the prevailing tone was Whig, men of the most opposite opinions could meet in amity, and where the tact of the hostess soothed away all difficulties and heartburnings. The influence of such houses may be, and often is, overestimated; but it is considerable, and none has been managed in a more genial spirit, or with more complete success, than Lady Waldegrave's. The loss to her husband and her personal friends is irreparable, and the loss to politics great, the feminine leaders of political society too often lacking the inner kindliness and graciousness which, even more than her brightness, won for Lady Waldegrave so wide a circle of hearty friends.

Spectator, 12 July 1879