Mistresses of King Charles II: Moll Davis

Charles Stuart loved women…even before he became King of England. We’re going to take a look at the women who Charles bedded, had children with but didn’t wed during his lifetime (that I’m aware of). This week we’re learning about Moll Davis.

726px-Mary_Davis_by_Sir_Peter_Lely (1)
Moll Davis

Mary “Moll” Davis: 1648 (England) – 1708 (England)

Famous diarist, Samuel Pepys said of Moll that she was “a bastard of Collonell Howard, my Lord Barkeshire.”

In the 1660’s Moll was an actress in the Duke’s Theatre Company as was called “the most impertinent slut in the world”by Samuel Pepys’ wife.

Moll had become a very well-known actress, singer and comedian. It seems Charles had a thing for funny women.

Moll Davis enjoyed the lavish gifts that Charles bestowed upon her and she wasn’t afraid to flaunt her fortunes.

She left the stage in 1668 and had a daughter by Charles in October 1673 – she was called Mary Tudor. Mary lived until 1726.

Charles dismissed Moll as his mistress not long after the birth of their daughter, Mary. It seems that Moll was cast aside after Charles because of Nell Gwyn. Nell felt Mary was devious and was only using Charles for her own advancements.

Hearing that Moll was going to sleep with the king, Nell invited her to eat some sweetmeats she had prepared. Unknown to Moll, her rival had spiked the food with the laxative jalap, with the foreseeable inconvenient effect. Nell Gwynne took Moll’s place, and she must have pleased His Majesty as this event led to Moll’s fall from favour. Eventually Moll was paid off with a pension of £1,000 a year and a house in Suffolk Street. – History and Women: Moll Davis – The Impertinent Mistress

After Charles, Moll married a French musician and composer James Paisible in 1686.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moll_Davis

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/10_october/23/charles_ii_mistresses.pdf

http://www.historyandwomen.com/2012/09/moll-davis-impertinent-mistress.html

http://www.britannia.com/history/charmist.html

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