Mary Anne Disraeli

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"Mary Anne Evans" redirects here. For the popular Victorian novelist, see George Eliot.
Lady Beaconsfield

Mary Anne Disraeli, 1st Viscountess Beaconsfield (née Viney; 11 November 1792 – 15 December 1872) was a British peeress and society figure, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

Hughenden, home to the Disraelis

Born in Tongwynlais, Cardiff, the only daughter of Commander John Viney and his cousin Eleanor, she first married Wyndham Lewis, MP (1780–1838). The year following Lewis's death she married Benjamin Disraeli. In recognition of his services to the nation, Queen Victoria desired to ennoble Disraeli; as he wished to remain in the House of Commons, his wife accepted the title in his place and became Viscountess Beaconsfield, of Beaconsfield in the County of Buckingham (After Mary's death he accepted the title Earl of Beaconsfield).

Staid Victorians were often scandalised by Mary's uninhibited remarks but soon learned not to insult her within Disraeli's hearing.[citation needed] Even Queen Victoria herself was said to be amused when Mary Anne commented, in response to a remark about some lady's pale complexion, "I wish you could see my Dizzy in his bath!" Once, at a house party where Lord Hardinge, a great soldier of the day, was in the room next to the Disraelis, Mary Anne announced at breakfast that she had slept the night before between the greatest soldier (Hardinge) and the greatest orator (Disraeli) of their times: Lady Hardinge was definitely not amused.[citation needed]

The Disraeli family tomb, Hughenden

Disraeli had been unimpressed by Mary when he first met her, but he came to understand that she was shrewder than her outwardly silly manner and non-sequiturs had led him to believe, and she was a great help to him in editing the books he wrote.[citation needed] He joked that he had married her for her money but would do it again for love, but the truth is that she was not really wealthy. She was some twelve years older than her husband, and he may not have known her true age, but their romance continued until the day she died.[citation needed]

She is buried with Disraeli in a vault in the Church of St Michael and All Angels Church, Hughenden, in Hughenden, Buckinghamshire, close to the Disraeli family home, Hughenden Manor. The house is now in the care of the National Trust and has been preserved in the state when it was occupied by the Disraelis, and is open to the public as a visitor attraction.[1]

Arms[edit]

Arms of Mary Anne Disraeli
Coronet
A Coronet of a Viscountess
Escutcheon
Argent a Slip of Vine fructed and leaved proper between two Flaunches Sable each charged with a Boar's Head of the field
Supporters
Dexter: an Eagle Or; Sinister: a Lion also Or, each gorged with a Collar Gules pendent therefrom an Escutcheon of the last charged with a Tower Argent
Motto
Forti Nihil Difficile (Nothing is Difficult for the Strong)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hughenden Manor". National Trust. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 


Honorary titles
Preceded by
Emma Smith-Stanley, Countess of Derby
Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1868
Succeeded by
Catherine Gladstone
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Viscountess Beaconsfield
1868–1872
Succeeded by
Extinct