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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Lucy Walter

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LUCY WALTER ( c. 1630-1658), mistress of the English king Charles II. and reputed mother of the duke of Monmouth, is believed to have been born in 1630, or a little later, at Roch Castle, near Haverfordwest. The Walters were a Welsh family of good standing, who declared for the king during the Civil War. Roch Castle having been captured and burned by the parliamentary forces in 1644, Lucy Walter found shelter first in London and then at the Hague. There, in 1648, she met the future king, possibly renewing an earlier acquaintance. There is little reason for believing the story that she was his first mistress; it is certain that he was not her first lover. The intimacy between him and this "brown, beautiful, bold but insipid creature," as John Evelyn calls her, who chose to be known as Mrs Barlow (Barlo) lasted with intervals till the autumn of 1651, and Charles claimed the paternity of a child born in 1649, whom he subsequently created duke of Monmouth. A daughter, Mary (b. 1651), of whom the reputed father was Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, married William Sarsfield, brother of Patrick Sarsfield, earl of Lucan. On the termination of her connexion with Charles II., Lucy Walter abandoned herself to a life of promiscuous immorality, which resulted in her premature death, at Paris, in 1658. Her name is often wrongly written Walters or Waters.

See Steinmann, Althorp Memoirs (1869), pp. 77 seq. and Addenda (1880); J. S. Clarke, Life of James II. (2 vols., 1816); Clarendon State Papers, vol. iii. (Oxford, 1869-1876); and John Evelyn, Diary, edited by W. Bray (1890).

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Lucy Walter'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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