Harriet Lennox is a character in Harlots played by Pippa Bennett-Warner.
Harriet lives as the ‘wife’ to her owner Nathaniel, who is also the father of her two children. She was his mistress before his first wife died, which earned her the hatred of Nathaniel's son, Benjamin. Her calm obedience hides a fiery nature and when circumstances leave her friendless on the streets, she determines to survive, how best she can. She resolutely sets about earning the money she needs to provide for her family.
Margaret Wells visits Nathaniel – a former lover – to borrow money for her new establishment and assumes the young black woman who answers the door is his servant – Harriet quickly puts Margaret in her place, and declares that she is Nathaniel’s wife.
Although Nathaniel does eventually consent to give Margaret the money she wants, he abruptly dies shortly afterwards, and Harriet discovers that he never completed the paperwork to make her a freed woman. Horrified, she realizes that she and her children are now the property of Nathaniel’s son, Benjamin Lennox, who hates Harriet with an intense passion.. Although he agrees to let her go, Benjamin refuses to free her children. With nowhere else to turn, she reaches out to Margaret, who agrees to let her work as a maid before realizing this work will not be enough to earn money to buy her children back – she turns to prostitution. However, she makes sure to choose when, where and how she has sex. Her choice is later taunted by Benjamin, but Harriet rebuffs that at least now she is being paid for her work.
Determined, and with the help of Margaret’s husband, William North, Harriet is able to outsmart Benjamin and get her children back. She and her children return to Margaret’s house but tensions begin to rise as Margaret begins to suspect William and Harriet are having an affair. Margaret’s jealously eventually gets the best of her, despite no indication that her husband was ever unfaithful, and she demands that Harriet (and her children) leave. Harriet happily agrees and later propositions Emily Lacey, who has decided to become a bawd. Though at first reluctant, Harriet insists she will make the house plenty of money, and Emily agrees to take her in. Thus she becomes the first girl in Emily’s “House of Exotics.”
The past year has been good to Harriet, who now runs her own business as a bawd and has her own girls, though she still takes culls as needed, as the extra income helps pay for her children's schooling.
Probably based on "Black Harriot", a slave who later married a British-born plantation owner. The couple then returned to England, where Harriot joined high society until her husband died. She then turned to prostitution to earn a living. She became the only black madam in London.