Mistresses of King Charles II: Lucy Walter

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 Lucy Walter. Please keep in mind, it was rumored that they wed but there is no evidence to support it.

lucy walter
Lucy Walter (c) Pembrokeshire County Council’s Museums Service

Lucy Walter: c. 1630 (Wales) – 1658

Diarist John Evelyn referred to Lucy as “brown, beautiful, bold but insipid creature.”

While Charles Stuart was in exile in France in 1648 after the execution of his father Charles I, he met a pretty girl by the name of Lucy Walter. She became his first mistress.

It wasn’t long after their first meeting that they became an item. In 1649, Lucy gave birth to Charles’ first child, a son named James who would later be named, Duke of Monmouth.

740px-James_Scott,_Duke_of_Monmouth_and_Buccleuch_by_William_Wissing
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth

Lucy and Charles were always together, that is until he left Paris in 1650 and returned to The Hague. When he returned Lucy had been entertaining another man. Charles immediately ended their affair. She had a daughter, Mary in 1651. It had been questioned who the father of Mary was, but it’s widely believed to be Colonel Henry Bennet or Theobald, 2nd Viscount Taaffe.

In 1658 Lucy became ill with what is believed to have been syphillis.

Lucy died in late 1658 in abject poverty according to John Evelyn, while others claim she became a penitent of Dean Cosin, later Bishop of Durham, who, while pretending to be converted from her loose manner in life, Lucy continued her vicious ways. James II unkindly said that she died of a “disease incident to her profession.” – History’s Mysteries: They Mystery of the ‘Black Box’

References:

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Lucy-Walter
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/10_october/23/charles_ii_mistresses.pdf
http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com/2012/01/mystery-of-black-box.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Walter#Children

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