Howard, Harriet, Comtesse de Beauregard

BORN 13 Aug 1823, Brighton, East Sussex - DIED 9 Apr 1865, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, Yvelines: Château de Beauregard
BIRTH NAME Haryett, Elizabeth Ann
GRAVE LOCATION Le Chesnay, Yvelines: Cimetière, Rue Jean-Louis Forain

Harriet Howard was the daughter of the shoemaker Joseph Gowen Haryett (1804-1871) and his wife Elizabeth Alderton (d.1880). Her grandfather William Haryett (1778-1821) was the owner of the Castle Hotel in Brighton. When she was fifteen years old she eloped with the jockey Jem Mason after he had visited the family in Brighton.

In London she took the name of Harriet Howard because she wanted to enter the stage. In 1840 she appeared at the Haymarket Theatre as Constance in the comedy "The Love Chase" by James Sheridan Knowles. Her last appearance on the stage was a brief appearance at the Theatre Royal in "MacBeth", starting in March 1842. By that time she was pregnant by her new lover, the married Major Mountjoy Martyn. She gave birth to his son, Martin Constantin Haryett, on 16 August 1842.

After Louis Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from prison in France in 1846 he met her in England at a party given by Lady Blessington according to André Maurois, but their seems no evidence to support this claim. During their first meeting she would have told him that she had a bastard son. He told her that he had two illegitimate children, 'the fruits of imprisonment'. It was stated that he moved in with her and that she supported him but there is no evidence for this either.

When he became president of France in 1848 she settled in Paris as his mistress and she took care of his illegitimate children, Eugène and Louis. She lived at Rue du Cirque 14, close the Élysée. After he became emperor Napoleon III he married Eugenie de Montijo and Harriet was sent to Le Havre.

Napoleon III was forced paid her off and she assumed the title of Comtesse de Beauregard. She became the owner of the Château de Beauregard at Le Chesnay. She married the horse breeding Captain Clarence Trelawny (1826-1902) and Louis Napoleon's children were returned to their mother Éléonore Vergeot. Trelawny used her money for gambling as well as horse breeding and the marriage was difficult. On his 21th birthday her son asked her publicly if she would tell him now who his father was.

She divorced Trelawny in 1865 and died in the same year. She was buried near her Château at the cemetery of Le Chesnay. Her son was buried beside her after his death in 1907. The Château was bombed during the Second World War and the ruins were removed in 1956.

Her portrait was painted in 1850 by Henriette Cappelaere. It is now at the Musée du Second Empire, Château de Compiègne.

• Son: Haryett, Martin Constantin, comte de Béchevêt

Related persons
• was written about by Caillavet, Simone de
• was the lover of Napoleon III Bonaparte

22/1/1853Napoleon III officially announces his marriage. He presented it as a love match, but it is unlikely that Eugénie loved him. At this day his mistress Harriet Howard left for England. He had asked her to go to London to pay someone who blackmailed him. Because of a storm she couldn´t make the passage. In the morning she read in Le Moniteur about his engagement. She understood that she was meant to be in London at the time the engagement was made public. She returned to Paris to make a scene but Persigny managed to calm her down. [Napoleon III Bonaparte]


The grave of Harriet Howard, Comtesse de Beauregard at the cemetery in Le Chesnay.
Picture by Androom (19 Feb 2016)


The grave of Harriet Howard, Comtesse de Beauregard at the cemetery in Le Chesnay.
Picture by Androom (19 Feb 2016)


• Bierman, John, Napoleon III and his Carnival Empire, Sphere Books, London, 1990
• Thompson, J.M., Louis Napoleon and the Second Empire, Norton, New York, 1967
Harriet Howard - Wikipedia
Harriet Howard - Wikipedia

Howe, Elias

Published: 06 Mar 2016
Last update: 04 Mar 2023