Mistresses of King Charles II: Catherine Pegge and Elizabeth Killigrew

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 Catherine Pegge and Elizabeth Killigrew

Catherine (Katherine) Pegge

Possible image of Katherine Pegge

Catherine Pegge was the daughter of Thomas Pegge, of Yeldersley, near Ashborne in Derbyshire and born circa 1635. Her family had been settled in the area for several generations. Catherine was said to be very beautiful.

It was during his exile that the king first met Catherine. In 1657, she gave birth to Charles’ son, whom he called Charles FitzCharles. He did not call him FitzRoy.  They also had a daughter, Catherine FitzCharles, in 1658, who died in infancy.

 Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth
Charles FitzCharles

In 1675, Charles II created his son, Earl of Plymouth, Viscount Totness, and Baron Dartmouth.

He was bred to the sea, and having been educated abroad, — most probably in Spain, –was known by the name of Don Carlos. (Charles FitzCharles)

In 1678, Charles FitzCharles married Lady Bridget Osborne, they had no children and he died of a flux at the siege of Tangier in 1680.

After her liaison with Charles II, Catherine married Sir Edward Greene – they had no children together. There had been rumors that Katherine continued the affair with the king — it was said he had a mistress by the name Greene.

There are allegedly two portraits of Catherine Pegge by Sir Peter Lely, the whereabouts of which are unknown.

Elizabeth Killigrew

elizabeth killigrew
Elizabeth Killigrew

Elizabeth Killigrew was born in 1622 in London and was the daughter of Sir Robert Killigrew. She was also the sister to dramatist Thomas Killigrew.

She married Francis Boyle in 1639 and eventually joined the royalist court-in-exile of Queen Henrietta Maria as her maid-of-honour. While performing her duty there she became a mistress to the queen’s son, the future Charles II.

Around 1650 Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter that was fathered by Charles – Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria FitzRoy. In 1660, the same year Charles was restored to the throne, Elizabeth’s husband (Francis Boyle) was raised to the Irish peerage as Viscount Shannon.

Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria Fitzcharles
Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria FitzRoy

Charlotte died on 28 July 1684 in London. She was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Both Elizabeth and Katherine were minor mistresses in Charles’ life compared to the other ones we’ve covered in this series. They both bore children by Charles, but not much is known about their time with him.


English Monarchs: The House of Stuart – Illegitimate Children of Charles II

Notes and Queries: A Medium of Inter-Communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc. / Volume First/November 1849 – May 1850/page 91

Wikipedia: Elizabeth Killigrew, Viscountess Shannon

Wikipedia: Catherine Pegge

Memoirs of the court of England during the reign of the Stuarts …, Volume 3 By John Heneage Jesse; Pages 168-169

3 thoughts on “Mistresses of King Charles II: Catherine Pegge and Elizabeth Killigrew

  1. The painting you have posted as Elizabeth Killigrew is actually of Hortense MancinI, who did briefly have a dalliance of sorts with Charles II, but their aquaintence began at the French court, when Charles II was in exile, and where she and her sisters lived (they were neices of Cardinal Mazarin). She didn’t see much potential in an exiled Prince, although years later she did visit him in England. The Affair was brief, as Charles was invested with another French woman at the time. The Mancini Sisters wrre quite fascinating; Charles was particularly smitten with Hortense’s penchant for wearing men’s breeches and adventurous pursuits. There is at least one Lely portrait of Killigrew I know of; I believe she was part of the court beauties collection he did.


    1. The portrait referenced above by Sir Peter Lely from c1679 is of Elizabeth Jones, I believe – her history is: Lady Elizabeth Jones was born circa 1665.1 She was the daughter of Richard Jones, 1st and last Earl of Ranelagh and Hon. Elizabeth Willoughby.1 She married John FitzGerald, 18th Earl of Kildare, son of Wentworth FitzGerald, 17th Earl of Kildare and Lady Elizabeth Holles, on 12 June 1684.3 She died on 10 April 1758, without issue.1 As a result of her marriage, Lady Elizabeth Jones was styled as Countess of Kildare on 12 June 1684. From 12 June 1684, her married name became FitzGerald.
      I believe Elizabeth Killigrew is a different person who had an affair with Charles around 1650-51 and gave birth to his daughter, Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria Fitzroy Countess of Yarmouth 1651-84
      Killigrew would have been around 30 years older than Jones
      I hope this is correct


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