William Harbord (politician)
William Harbord (25 April 1635 – 31 July 1692), of Grafton Park, was an English diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1661 and 1690.
Harbord was the second son of Sir Charles Harbord (1596–1679) of Charing Cross, who had been Surveyor General to Charles I. He entered Parliament in 1661 as member for Dartmouth, and subsequently also represented Thetford and Launceston.
In 1672, Harbord became secretary to the Earl of Essex. In the debates of 1676-8 Harbord spoke often against the alliance with France, and pressed for the removal of all papists from the king's person. He was a firm believer in the reality of the Popish Plot, and in concert with Ralph Montagu, whom he helped to get into parliament, took an important part in the attack on the Earl of Danby. In the parliament of 1679, in which he represented Thetford, he spoke against Danby's pardon, attacked Lauderdale, and was eager for the disbanding of the army.
Leaving England on the accession of James II, Harbord served as a volunteer in the Imperial Army at Siege of Buda in 1686. He accompanied William of Orange on his invasion of England in 1688, and the following year was made a Privy Counsellor and Paymaster of the Forces in Ireland.
Harbord was made Vice-Treasurer of Ireland in 1690. He was nominated by the King to Constantinople on 2 November 1691. He left England on 9 November, arriving in Vienna on 8 March 1692. As ambassador to mediate between Sultan Ahmed II and the Emperor Leopold I, but died in Belgrade before reaching his posting in Belgrade on 31 July 1692.
Harbord married twice. By his first wife, Mary Duck, daughter of Arthur Duck, whom he married in 1661, he had three daughters,
- Mary Harbord (d.1715), who married Sir Edward Ayscough (1650–1699),
- Margaret Harbord, who married Robert King, 2nd Baron Kingston,
- Grace Harbord, who married Thomas Hatcher;
and by his second, Catherine Russell (niece of the 1st Duke of Bedford), one daughter,
- Letitia Harbord (d. 1722), who married Sir Rowland Winn, 3rd Baronet, of Nostell.
- Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1930)