The Story of Nell Gwyn/Chapter 6

CHAPTER VI.

Birth of the Duke of St. Alban's—Arrival of Mademoiselle de Quérouaille—Death of the Duchess of Orleans—Nelly's house in Pall Mall—Countess of Castlemaine created Duchess of Cleveland—Sir John Birkenhead, Sir John Coventry, and the Actresses at the two Houses—Insolence of Dramatists and Actors—Evelyn overhears a conversation between Nelly and the King—The Protestant and Popish Mistresses—Story of the Service of Plate—Printed Dialogues illustrative of the rivalry of Nelly and the Duchess of Portsmouth—Madame Sevigné's account of it—Story of the Smock—Nelly in mourning for the Cham of Tartary—Story of the two Fowls—Portsmouth's opinion of Nelly—Concert at Nell's house—The Queen and la Belle Stuart at a Fair disguised as Country Girls—Births, Marriages, and Creations—Nelly's disappointment—Her witty Remark to the King—Her son created Earl of Burford, and betrothed to the daughter and heiress of Vere, Earl of Oxford.


On the 8th of May, 1670, while the court was on its way to Dover to receive and entertain the Duchess of Orleans, Nell Gwyn was delivered of a son in her apartments in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The father was King Charles II. and the son was called Charles Beauclerk. The boy grew in strength and beauty, and became a favourite with his father. Where the child was christened, or by whom he was brought up, I have failed in discovering. There is reason to believe that Sir Fleetwood Sheppard, the friend of the witty Earl of Dorset, was his tutor, and that the poet Otway was in some way connected with his education.[1] To Sheppard one of the best of the minor poems of Prior is addressed.

In the suite of followers attending the beautiful Duchess of Orleans to Dover came Louise Renée de Penencourt de Quérouaille, a girl of nineteen, of a noble but impoverished family in Brittany. She was one of the maids of honour to the Duchess, and famous for her beauty, though of a childish, simple, and somewhat baby face.[2] Charles, whose heart was formed of tinder, grew at once enamoured of his sister's pretty maid of honour. But Louise was not to be caught without conditions affecting the interests of England. While the court stayed at Dover was signed that celebrated treaty by which England was secretly made subservient to a foreign power, and her King the pensioner of Louis XIV. When this was done, Clarendon was living in exile, and the virtuous Southampton, and the all-powerful Albemarle, were in their graves. I cannot conceal my opinion that Nokes was not making the French so ridiculous at Dover (the reader will remember the incident related in a former chapter,) as the French were making the English infamous, at the same time and in the same place, by this very treaty.

The Duchess remained here for a fortnight, and Waller sung her leave-taking in some of his courtly and felicitous couplets. It was indeed a last farewell. In another month the royal lady by whom the treaty was completed was no more. She died at St. Cloud on the 30th of June, in her twenty-sixth year, poisoned, it is supposed, by a dose of sublimate given in a glass of succory-water.[3]

Louise de Quérouaille abiding in England, became the mistress of the King, Duchess of Portsmouth, and the rival of Nell Gwyn. Her only child by the King was recognised by the royal name of Lennox, created Duke of Richmond, and was the lineal ancestor of the present noble family of that name and title.

On the return of the court to London, Nelly removed from Lincoln's Inn Fields to a house on the east end of the north side of Pall Mall, from whence in the following year she removed to a house on the south side, with a garden towards St. James's Park. Her neighbour on one side was Edward Griffin, Esq., Treasurer of the Chamber, and ancestor of the present Lord Braybrooke; and, on the other, the widow of Charles Weston, third Earl of Portland.[4] Nelly at first had only a lease of the house, which, as soon as she discovered, she returned the conveyance to the King, with a remark characteristic of her wit and of the monarch to whom it was addressed. The King enjoyed the joke, and perhaps admitted its truth, so the house in Pall Mall was conveyed free to Nell and her representatives forever. The truth of the story is confirmed by the fact that the house which occupies the site of the one in which Nelly lived, now No. 79, and tenanted by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, is the only freehold on the south or Park side of Pall Mall.[5]

For some months preceding the retirement of Nelly from the stage, the palace of Whitehall had hardly been a place for either the wife or the mistress—the Queen or the Countess of Castlemaine. The King, in November, 1669, when his intimacy with "Madam Gwin," as she was now called, had begun to be talked about, had settled Somerset House, in the Strand, on his Queen for her life; and, in August, 1670, when his liking for Nelly was still on the increase, and his growing partiality for Louise de Quérouaille the theme of common conversation, the imperious Countess of Castlemaine was appeased, for a time, at least, by being created Duchess of Cleveland.

There were people, however, and those too not of the sourer kind, who were far from being pleased with the present state of the morality at court, and the nature and number of the King's amours. The theatres had become, it was said, nests of prostitution. In Parliament it was urged by the opponents of the court that a tax should be levied on the playhouses. This was of course opposed; and by one speaker on that side the bold argument was advanced, "that the players were the King's servants, and a part of his pleasure." The speaker was Sir John Birkenhead, a man of wit, though not over lucky on this occasion. He was followed by Sir John Coventry, who asked, with much gravity, "whether did the King's pleasure lie among the men that acted or the women?" The saying was carried to the King, and Sir John Coventry was waylaid on his road to his house in Suffolk Street, on a dark night in December, and his nose cut to the bone that he might remember the offence he had given to his sovereign. The allusion chiefly applied to Moll Davis and Nell Gwyn, and was made in the very year in which the latter gave birth to the Duke of St. Alban's; while the punishment was inflicted in the very street in which Moll Davis lived.[6]

The players and dramatic writers required looking after. Shadwell brought Sir Robert Howard on the stage in the character of Sir Positive Atall, and in so marked a manner that the caricature was at once apparent. Mrs. Corey, (of whom I have already given some account) imitated the oddities of Lady Harvey,[7] and was imprisoned for her skill and impertinence. Lacy, while playing the Country Gentleman in one of Ned Howard's unprinted plays, abused the court with so much wit and insolence for selling places, and doing every thing for money, that it was found proper to silence the play, and commit Lacy to the Porter's Lodge.[8] Kynaston mimicked Sir Charles Sedley, and was severely thrashed by Sedley for his pains.[9] The Duke of Buckingham, while busy with "The Rehearsal," threatened to bring Sir William Coventry (uncle of Sir John) into a play at the King's House, but Coventry's courage averted the attempt.[10] He challenged the Duke for the intended insult, and was committed to the Tower by the King for sending a challenge to a person of the Duke's distinction.

Charles's conduct was in no way changed by the personality of the abuse employed against him in the House of Commons. He still visited

His Clevelands, his Nells, and his Carwells.

Evelyn records a walk made on the 2nd March, 1671, in which he attended him through St. James's Park, where he both saw and heard "a familiar discourse between the King and Mrs. Nelly, as they called an impudent comedian, she looking out of her garden on a terrace at the top of the wall, and the King standing on the green walk under it." The garden was attached to her house in Pall Mall, and the ground on which Nelly stood was a Mount or raised terrace, of which a portion may still be seen under the park wall of Marlborough House. Of this scene, at which Evelyn tells us he was "heartily sorry," my friend Mr. Ward has painted a picture of surprising truthfulness and beauty.[11]

When this interview occurred the King was taking his usual quick exercise in the park, on his way to the Duchess of Cleveland, at Berkshire House—subsequently, and till within these few years, called Cleveland House—a detached mansion built by the Berkshire branch of the Howard family, on the site of the present Bridgewater House. Charles at this time divided his attentions between Nelly and the Duchess. Moll Davis had fallen out of favour, though not forsaken or unpensioned:—while many open and almost avowed infidelities on the part of the Duchess of Cleveland had lessened the kindly feelings of the King towards her; though he continued to supply ample means for the maintenance of the rank to which his partiality had raised her.[12] Poor Alinda, however, was no longer young, and the memory of old attractions could make but little way with Charles against the wit and beauty of Nell Gwyn, and the engaging youth and political influences of the new maid of honour, Louise de Quérouaille, or Mrs. Carwell as she was called by the common people, to whom the name offered many difficulties for its proper pronunciation.

There is no reason to suspect that either Nelly or Louise was ever unfaithful to the light-hearted King, or that Charles did not appreciate the fidelity of his mistresses. The people (it was an age of confirmed immorality) rather rejoiced than otherwise at their sovereign's loose and disorderly life. Nelly became the idol of 'the town,' and was known far and near as the Protestant Mistress; while Mrs. Carwell, or the Duchess of Portsmouth as she had now become, was hated by the people, and was known, wherever Nelly was known, as the Popish Mistress. It is this contrast of position which has given to Nell Gwyn much of the odd and particular favour connected with her name. Nelly was an English girl—of humble origin—a favourite actress—a beauty, and a wit. The Duchess was a foreigner—of noble origin—with beauty certainly, but without wit; and, worse still, sufficiently suspected to be little better than a pensioner from France, sent to enslave the English King and the English nation. To such a height did this feeling run that Misson was assured hawkers had been heard to cry a printed sheet, advising the King to part with the Duchess of Portsmouth, or to expect most dreadful consequences.[13] While a still stronger illustration of what the people thought of the Duchess is contained in the reply of her brother-in-law, the Earl of Pembroke, of whom the Duchess had threatened to complain to the King. The Earl told her that if she did he would set her upon her head at Charing Cross, and show the nation its grievance.[14]

A feeling of antipathy between Protestants and Roman Catholics was at this time exciting the people to many ridiculous pageants and expressions of ill-will to those about the Court suspected of anti-Protestant principles. A True Blue Protestant poet was a name of honour, and a Protestant sock a favourite article of apparel.[15] When Nelly was insulted in her coach at Oxford by the mob, who mistook her for the Duchess of Portsmouth, she looked out of the window and said, with her usual good humour, "Pray, good people, be civil; I am the Protestant ———." This laconic speech drew upon her the favour of the populace, and she was suffered to proceed without further molestation.[16]

An eminent goldsmith of the early part of the last century was often heard to relate a striking instance which he himself remembered of Nelly's popularity. His master, when he was an apprentice, had made a most expensive service of plate as a present from the King to the Duchess of Portsmouth: great numbers of people crowded the shop to see what the plate was like; some indulged in curses against the Duchess, while all were unanimous in wishing the present had been for the use of Mrs. Gwyn.[17] With the London apprentices, long an influential body both east and west of Temple Bar, Nell was always a favourite.

She and the Duchess frequently met at Whitehall, often in good humour, but oftener not in the best temper one with the other, for Nelly was a wit and loved to laugh at her Grace. The nature of these bickerings between them has been well but coarsely described in a single half-sheet of contemporary verses printed in 1682—"A Dialogue between the Duchess of Portsmouth and Madam Gwyn at parting." The Duchess was on her way to France, I believe for the first time since she landed at Dover, and the language employed by the rival ladies is at least characteristic. Nelly vindicates her fidelity—

Let Fame, that never yet spoke well of woman,
Give out I was a strolling ——— and common;
Yet have I been to him, since the first hour,
As constant as the needle to the flower.

The Duchess threatens her with the people's "curse and hate," to which Nell replies:—

The people's hate, much less their curse, I fear
I do them justice with less sums a-year.
I neither run in court nor city's score,
I pay my debts, distribute to the poor.

Another single sheet in folio, dated a year earlier, records "A pleasant Battle between Tutty and Snapshort, the two Lap-Dogs of the Utopian Court." Tutty belonged to Nell Gwyn, and Snapshort to the Duchess, and the dialogue is supposed to allude to some real fray between the rival ladies. Tutty describes the mistress of Snapshort as one of Pharaoh's lean kine, and with a countenance so sharp as if she would devour him as she had devoured the nation, while Snapshort observes of Nelly that she hopes to see her once more upon a dunghill, or in her old calling of selling oranges and lemons.

But a still livelier description has been left us by one of the most charming of lady letter-writers:—"Mademoiselle amasses treasure," says Madame Sevigné, "and makes herself feared and respected by as many as she can; but she did not foresee that she should find a young actress in her way, whom the King dotes on, and she has it not in her power to withdraw him from her. He divides his care, his time, and his wealth between these two. The actress is as haughty as Mademoiselle; she insults her, she makes grimaces at her, she attacks her, she frequently steals the King from her, and boasts whenever he gives her the preference. She is young, indiscreet, confident, wild, and of an agreeable humour. She sings, she dances, acts her part with a good grace; has a son by the King, and hopes to have him acknowledged. As to Mademoiselle she reasons thus: 'This lady,' says she, 'pretends to be a person of quality; she says she is related to the best families in France: whenever any person of distinction dies she puts herself into mourning. If she be a lady of such quality, why does she demean herself to be a courtezan? She ought to die with shame. As for me it is my profession. I do not pretend to be anything better. He has a son by me; I contend that he ought to acknowledge him, and I am assured he will; for he loves me as well as Mademoiselle.'"

The good sense of this is obvious enough; but the satire which it contains will be found to merit illustration.

There is a very rare print of the Duchess of Portsmouth reclining on a mossy bank, with very little covering over her other than a laced chemise. There is also an equally rare print of Nelly in nearly the same posture, and equally unclad. The story runs that Nell had contrived to filch the chemise from the Duchess, and by wearing it herself at a time when the Duchess should have worn it, to have attracted the King, and tricked her rival.[18]

There is yet another story illustrative of Madame Sevigné's letter. The news of the Cham of Tartary's death reached England at the same time with the news of the death of a prince of the blood in France. The Duchess appeared at Court in mourning—so did Nelly. The latter was asked in the hearing of the Duchess, for whom she appeared in mourning. "Oh!" said Nell, "have you not heard of my loss in the death of the Cham of Tartary." "And what relation," replied her friend, "was the Cham of Tartary to you?" "Oh," answered Nelly, "exactly the same relation that the Prince of —— was to M'lle. Quérouaille." This was a saying after the King's own heart.

Another of her retorts on the Duchess has been preserved in a small chap-book called "Jokes upon Jokes," printed in London about the year 1721. Its doggrel hobbles thus:—

The Duchess of Portsmouth one time supped with the King's Majesty;
Two chickens were at table, when the Duchess would make 'em three.
Nell Gwyn, being by, denied the same; the Duchess speedily
Reply'd here's one, another two, and two and one makes three.

'Tis well said, lady, answered Nell: O King, here's one for thee,
Another for myself, sweet Charles, 'cause you and I agree;
The third she may take to herself, because she found the same:
The King himself laughed heartily, whilst Portsmouth blush'd for shame.

It was on a somewhat similar occasion that Nell called Charles the Second her Charles the third—meaning that her first lover was Charles Hart, her second Charles Sackville, and her third Charles Stuart. The King may have enjoyed the joke, for he loved a laugh, as I have before observed, even at his own expense.

What the Duchess thought of such jokes, was no secret to De Foe. "I remember," (he says,) "that the late Duchess of Portsmouth in the time of Charles II. gave a severe retort to one who was praising Nell Gwyn, whom she hated. They were talking of her wit and beauty, and how she always diverted the King with her extraordinary repartees, how she had a fine mien and appeared as much the lady of quality as anybody. "Yes, madam," said the Duchess, "but anybody may know she has been an orange-wench by her swearing."[19]

Of her manner in diverting the King, Cibber has preserved a story from the relation of Bowman the actor, who lived to a green old age, and from whom Oldys picked up some characteristic anecdotes. Bowman, then a youth, and famed for his voice, was appointed to take part in a concert at the private lodgings of Mrs. Gwyn; at which were present the King, the Duke of York, and one or two more usually admitted to those detached parties of pleasure. When the music was over, the King gave it extraordinary commendations. "Then, sir," said the lady, "to show that you do not speak like a courtier, I hope you will make the performers a handsome present." The King said he had no money about him, and asked the Duke if he had any. "I believe, sir," (answered the Duke,) "not above a guinea or two." Merry Mrs. Nell, turning to the people about her, and making bold with the King's common expression, cried "Odds fish! what company am I got into?"[20]

What the songs at Nell's concert were like we may gather from Tom D'Urfey, a favourite author for finding words to popular pieces of music. His "Joy to great Cæsar" was much in vogue:—

Joy to great Cæsar,
Long life, love, and pleasure;
'Tis a health that divine is,
Fill the bowl high as mine is,
Let none fear a fever,
But take it off thus, boys;
Let the King live for ever,
'Tis no matter for us, boys—[21]

No less was the chorus of a song in his "Virtuous Wife."

Let Cæsar live long, let Cæsar live long,
For ever be happy, and ever be young;
And he that dares hope to change a King for a Pope,
Let him die, let him die, while Cæsar lives long.

If these were sung, as I suspect they were, at Nelly's house, it was somewhat hard that the King had nothing to give, by way of reward, beyond empty praise for so much loyalty in what was at least meant for verse.

There were occurring in England at this time certain events of moment to find places either in the page of history or biography; but in many of which "the chargeable ladies about the Court," as Shaftesbury designated the King's mistresses, would probably take very little interest. The deaths of Fairfax or St. John, of Clarendon or Milton, of the mother of Oliver Cromwell or of the loyal Marquess of Winchester (all of which happened during the time referred to in the present chapter), would hardly create a moment's concern at Whitehall. The news of a second Dutch war might excite more, as it involved an expense likely to divert the King's money from his mistresses. Greater interest, we may be sure, was felt in the death of the Duchess of York and the speculations on the subject of her successor, in Blood's stealing the Crown, in the opening of a new theatre in Dorset Gardens, in the representation of "The Rehearsal," in the destruction by fire of the first Drury Lane, and in the marriage of the King's eldest child by the Duchess of Cleveland, to Thomas Lord Dacre afterwards Earl of Sussex.

While "The Rehearsal" was drawing crowded houses,—indeed in the same month in which it first appeared,—Nell Gwyn was delivered (25 Dec. 1671) of a second child by the King, called James, in compliment to the Duke of York. The boy thrived,

and as he grew in strength became, as his brother still continued, a favourite with his father. The Queen, long used to the profligate courses of her husband, had abandoned all hope of his reformation, so that a fresh addition to the list of his natural children caused no particular emotion. Her Majesty moreover enjoyed herself after an innocent fashion of her own, and at times in a way to occasion some merriment in the court. One of her adventures in the company of La Belle Stuart and the Duchess of Buckingham (the daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax) deserves to be related. The court was at Audley End in the autumn of 1670, and the temptation of a fair in the neighbourhood induced the Queen and several of her attendants to visit it in disguise. They therefore dressed themselves like country girls, in red petticoats and waistcoats. Sir Bernard Gascoign rode on a cart-jade before the Queen, another gentleman in like fashion before the Duchess of Richmond, and a Mr. Roper before the Duchess of Buckingham. Their dresses, however, were, it is said, so much overdone, that they looked more like mountebanks than country clowns, and they were consequently followed as soon as they arrived at the fair by a crowd of curious people. The Queen, stepping into a booth to buy a pair of yellow stockings for her sweetheart, and Sir Bernard asking for a pair of gloves, striped with blue, for his sweetheart, they were at once detected by their false dialect and gibberish. A girl in the crowd remembered to have seen the Queen at dinner, and at once made known her discovery. The whole concourse of people were soon collected in one spot to see the Queen. It was high time therefore to get their horses and return to Audley End. They were soon remounted and out of the fair, but not out of their trouble, for as many country-people as had horses followed with their wives, children, sweethearts, or neighbours behind them, and attended the Queen to the court gate. "And thus," says the writer to whom we are indebted for the relation of the adventure, "was a merry frolic turned into a penance."[22] The readers of Pepys and De Grammont will remember that La Belle Jennings had a somewhat similar mishap when, dressed as an orange girl and accompanied by Miss Price, she endeavoured to visit the German fortune-teller.

While the court was alternately annoyed and amused with diversions of this description, and the death of the Earl of Sandwich and the war with the Dutch were still subjects of conversation, the Duchess of Cleveland on the 16th of July, 1672, was delivered of a daughter, and on the 29th of the same month and year the fair Quérouaille produced a son. The King disowned the girl but acknowledged the boy, and many idle conjectures were afloat both in court and city on the subject. The father of the Cleveland child was, it is said, Colonel Churchill, afterwards the great Duke of Marlborough, then a young and handsome adventurer about Whitehall. The girl was called Barbara, after her mother, and became a nun.

These events were varied in the following month by the marriage of the Duke of Grafton, the King's son by the Duchess of Cleveland, to the only child of the Earl and Countess of Arlington; by the birth of a first child to the Duke and Duchess of Monmouth; and by the widowhood in December of La Belle Stuart, the beautiful Duchess of Richmond. In the following year other occurrences took place in which Nelly was interested. On the 19th August, 1673, Mademoiselle de Quérouaille was created Duchess of Portsmouth, and in October following, Moll Davis, her former rival in the royal affections, was delivered of a daughter, called Mary Tudor, and acknowledged by the King. Following hard on these was the marriage of the Duke of York to his future queen; the introduction of the opera into England; the opening of the new theatre in Drury Lane; the marriage of the future Earl of Lichfield to Charlotta, another natural daughter of the King by the Duchess of Cleveland; the creation of Charles Fitzroy to be Duke of Southampton; the marriage of the Duchess of Portsmouth's sister to the Earl of Pembroke; Lord Buckhurst's elevation to the earldom of Middlesex; that of the King's son by Katharine Pegg to be Earl of Plymouth; and that of the Duchess of Portsmouth's son to be Duke of Richmond.

Some of these creations, both natal and heraldic, were little to the liking of Nelly, who took her own way of showing her dissatisfaction. "Come hither, you little bastard," she cried to her son Charles in the hearing of his father.[23] The King remonstrated, and Nelly, with a snappish and yet good-natured laugh, replied—"I have no better name to call him by." Never was a peerage sought in so witty and abrupt a manner, and never was a plea for one so immediately admitted, the King creating his eldest son by Nell Gwyn, on the 27th December, 1676, Baron of Headington and Earl of Burford. Nelly had now another name to give to her child. But this was not all that was done, and, as I see reason to believe, at this time. The heiress of the Veres, the daughter of the twentieth and last Earl of Oxford of that illustrious family, was betrothed by the King to the young Earl of Burford; and, though the lively orange-girl was not spared to witness the marriage, yet she lived to see the future wife of her son in the infancy of those charms which made her one of the most conspicuous of the Kneller Beauties, still so attractive in the collection at Hampton Court.[24]


ReferencesEdit

  1. Then for that cub her son and heir,
    Let him remain in Otway's care.
    Satire on Nelly. Harl. MS. 7319, fol. 135.
  2. Such is Evelyn's description, confirmed by the various portraits of her preserved at Hampton Court Palace, at Goodwood, the seat of the Duke of Richmond, &c.
  3. See Bossuet's account of her death in Gentleman's Magazine for August 1851.
  4. Cunningham's Handbook for London, article "Pall Mall."
  5. It is right to add, as Mr. Fearnside has kindly informed me, that no entry of the grant is to be found in the Land Revenue Record Office.
  6. Burnet, i. 468, ed. 1823. He was taken out of his coach (Reresby, p. 18, ed. 1735). The well known Coventry Act against cutting and maiming had its origin in this incident.
  7. Pepys, 15 Jan. 1668-9.
  8. Ibid. iv. 18, 19.
  9. Ibid. 1 Feb. 1668-9.
  10. Pepys, 4 March, 1688-9.
  11. See frontispiece to this book. In Ravenscroft's London Cuckolds (4to. 1683) is the following stage direction—"Dashwell and Jane upon a mount, looking over a wall that parts the two gardens," p. 73. Among Mr. Robert Cole's Nell Gwyn Papers (Bills sent to Nelly for payment) there is a charge for this very Mount.
  12. She had 6000l.. a year out of the excise, and 3000l. a year from the same quarter for each of her sons. (Harl. MS. 6013, temp. Chas. II.) Her pension from the Post Office, of 4700l. a year, was stopped for a time in William the Third's reign; but the amount then withheld was paid in George the First's reign to her son the Duke of Grafton, sole executor and residuary legatee. (Audit Office Enrolments.)
  13. Misson's Memoirs, 8vo. 1719, p. 204.
  14. Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum, p. 464.
  15. Shadwell was called the True Blue Protestant poet; for the Protestant sock, see Scott's Dryden.
  16. The great Lord Peterborough, when mistaken for the Duke of Marlborough, made a similar escape. "Gentlemen, I can convince you by two reasons that I am not the Duke. In the first place, I have only five guineas in my pocket; and in the second they are heartily at your service."
  17. The London Chronicle—Aug. 15, 18 1778.
  18. Morse's Catalogue of Prints, made by Dodd, the auctioneer, by whom they were sold in 1816.
  19. De Foe's Review, viii. 247-8, as quoted in Wilson's Life of De Foe, i. 38.
  20. Cibber's Apology, ed. 1740, p. 448. Bowman died 23 March, 1739, aged 88.
  21. D'Urfey's Pills, ii. 155.
  22. Mr. Henshaw to Sir Robert Paston, Oct. 13 1670. Ives's Select Papers, 4to. 1773, p. 39.
  23. Granger, iii. 211, ed. 1779.
  24. When Dugdale was busy with his "Baronage," he laid the following statement of difficulties before the King.
    "Whereas the second volume of an Historicall Worke, intituled the Baronage of England (being extracted from publiq records, and other authorities) is now in the presse; and extending from the end of K. Henry the Third's reigne containeth what is most memorable of the English Nobility throughout all times since; in wch the preambles of most Creation Patents have been usefull. Descending down to the reign of this king, the Author humbly concieveth, that there is some deficiency in that of the Duke of Monmouth's Creation; no mention at all being made that he is his Maties naturall son, though in some patents, and other instruments since, he hath been owned so to be. In that also of the Countesse of Castlemaine, whereby she hath the title of Countesse of Southampton and Dutchesse of Cleveland, conferred on her; her eldest son (on whom those honours are entailed) is denominated Charles Palmer, and George (her third son) to whom, in case Charles die wthout issue male, the remaynder is limitted, is sayd to be her second son, and likewise surnamed Palmer; but afterwards, upon his being created Earle of Northumberland, called Fitz-roy, and sayd to be her third son. Also in the Creation-Patent of the same Charles, to be Duke of Southampton, the name of Fitz-roy is attributed to him. These things considered, the Author most humbly craveth direction what to do herein; whether to decline the mention of all his Maties creations, rather than from the authoritie of these Patents to divulge such contradictions; though thereby he shall hazard the displeasure of some, whom his Matie hath deservedly raysed to such degrees of honour, since his happy restoration.
    "If it be resolved, that all of them shall be called Fitz-roys; Then forasmuch as the Duke of Southampton, and Earle of Northumberland, and likewise the Duke of Grafton, are sayd to be the King's naturall sons by the sayd Dutchesse of Cleveland; whether it will not be as proper to make mention on what particular woman his Matie begot the Dukes of Monmouth, Richmond, and E. of Plimouth?
    "This being shewed to K. Charles the Second, by the Earl of Anglesey, then Ld Privye Seale, the king directed that these his naturall children should be all of them called Fitz-Roys; but no mention to be made of the mothers of these three last-named; viz. Monmouth, Richmond, and Plymouth."

    Hamper’s Life of Dugdale, p. 494.