lucy walter

7

Women in History | The Remarkable Mistresses of Charles II

Certainly, the Restoration period was optimistic, vigorous, exciting. But apart from lovely dresses, did things get better for women? Of course, history doesn’t work in straight lines, and the answer is yes… and no. The potential rewards for being one of Charles II’s “harlots” were considerable. You could win enormous political influence, a dukedom for your children, financial security. You might even, like Barbara Villiers, end up with Hampton Court Palace as a retirement home. She was powerful enough to depose a government minister like the Earl of Clarendon, and self-confident enough to be unfaithful even to the king. It’s fun to imagine the tables being turned on Charles II, so well known for cutting a swath through the beauties of his court and consuming women like a combine harvester. And yet, he deserves some feminist credit. This king who loved women also respected them. For the first time, we find his female favourites becoming companions and advisers as well as playmates. (x)

Lucy Walter: c.1630-1658

A Welsh gentlewoman, she was the first real love of Charles II when he was still Prince of Wales. She bore Charles’ eldest son James, who would later become Duke of Monmouth. While Charles was in exile on the continent, Lucy acted as a spy on behalf of the Royalists during the English Civil War. She died in Paris in 1658, months after her son James had been taken from her. 

There were rumors that Lucy and Charles were secretly married, which would have given legitimacy to the Duke of Monmouth’s claim to the throne. Charles, however, denied this and was succeeded by his brother James II. Monmouth later led a rebellion against his uncle James and was executed in 1685.

10

fancast: comics [1/?]

      “Arcadia is only strong as long as we are united, and A-Force is her defender. It’s our honor and duty to protect our island and her people.”

lucy liu as jennifer walters/she-hulk, aiysha hart as loki, nicole beharie as carol danvers/captain marvel, minka kelly as jessica drew/spider-woman, jessica chastain as medusalith amaquelin/medusa, rachel hurd-wood as crystalia amaquelin/crystal, brittany o'grady as america chavez/miss america, victoria moroles as kate bishop/hawkeye, gatlin green as cassie lang/stature, mia wasikowska as gwen stacy/spider-woman, gugu mbatha-raw as monica rambeau/spectrum, rachel mcadams as felicia hardy/black cat, ellen page as kitty pride/shadowcat, dianna agron as alison blaire/dazzler, lupita nyong'o as ororo munroe/storm, rinko kikuchi as hisako ichiki/armor, hettienne park as betsy braddock/psylocke, troian bellisario as laura kinney/x-23. A-Force. 
                                                                                        for @radcherishiseve

Lucy Walter (1630-1658) was the Welsh mistress of King Charles II of England and the mother of his eldest and most famous illegitimate child, James, Duke of Monmouth. She was born into a family of Welsh gentry at Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales. She escaped to The Hague in the Netherlands after parliamentary forces destroyed Roch Castle during the English Civil War. It was here, in 1648, that she met Charles II, who was then Prince of Wales. She became his mistress and their son, James, was born in 1649. Charles ended the relationship in 1651, after which she unsuccessfully attempted to win back his favour. She attempted to use her son to influence Charles but it did not work. In the end, she agreed to hand over her son to a royal tutor in 1658. She died in Paris that very same year, of venereal disease. John Evelyn described her as a “brown, bold, beautiful but insipid creature” and also as a “ beautiful strumpet, whom I had often seen at Paris, and died miserably, without anything to bury her.” There were rumours that Charles had secretly married Lucy, thus making James, Duke of Monmouth, his legitimate heir. This gossip was used by the Whigs during the Exclusion Crisis in an attempt to bar Charles’ Roman Catholic brother, James, from the throne. Charles was adamant that he and Lucy had never been married. Her doomed son, Monmouth, was utterly convinced that the pair were indeed married and that he was the rightful heir and this presumably led to his downfall.