Blackwood, Hariot Georgina (Rowan-Hamilton) (1843–1936), marchioness of Dufferin and Ava , philanthropist and author, was born 5 February 1843, eldest of seven children of Archibald Rowan and Catherine Rowan-Hamilton (née Caldwell) of Killyleagh Castle, Co. Down. She married (23 October 1862) Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (qv), 5th Baron Dufferin and Clandeboye, later 1st marquis of Dufferin and Ava, eighteen years her senior, who before the marriage added her surname to his, in recognition of the historical links between the two Co. Down families. Though young and inexperienced, she joined her husband in London society, where he pursued a parliamentary career till his appointment (1872) as governor general of Canada, and later she accompanied him in his postings as ambassador to Russia and Turkey. My Canadian journal (1891) and My Russian and Turkish journals (1916) are her lively records of the impressions and events of 1872–83, and Our viceregal life in India (1889) deals with their life there in 1884–8. Lady Dufferin achieved great popularity in India, not least because of her role in providing modern health care for the first time to millions of Indian women. She founded in 1885 the National Association for Supplying Female Medical Aid to the Women of India, also known as the Dufferin Fund, which trained women doctors and founded female hospitals all over India.
Lady Dufferin received many awards in recognition of her work: she was made DBE and was a member of the Order of the Crown of India and of the Order of Victoria and Albert; she was also honoured by Turkey, Persia, and native Indian rulers. She was later involved in Ulster public life and society, but the last years of her life were saddened by the death of her eldest son, killed in action in South Africa (1900), by her husband's financial difficulties and his death in 1902, and by the deaths of her other three sons, Terence J. T. Blackwood, Ian B. G. T. Blackwood (killed in the first world war), and Frederick T. Blackwood (killed in an aeroplane crash, 1930). Three daughters survived her at her death in Chelsea on 25 October 1936; she was buried on 28 October in Clandeboye, Co. Down.