The Story of Nell Gwyn/Chapter 7

CHAPTER VII.

Houses in which Nelly is said to have lived—Burford House, Windsor, one of the few genuine—Her losses at basset—Court paid to Nelly by the Duke of Monmouth, Lord Cavendish, &c.—Death of her mother—Printed elegy on her death—Nelly's household expenses—Bills for her chair and bed—Death of Mrs. Roberts—Foundation of Chelsea Hospital—Nelly connected with its origin—Books dedicated to Nelly—Death of her second son—The Earl Burford created Duke of St. Alban's—Nelly's only letter—Ken and Nelly at Winchester—Nelly at Avington—Death of the King—Was the King poisoned?—Nelly to have been created Countess of Greenwich if the King had lived.


There are more houses pointed out in which Nell Gwyn is said to have lived than sites of palaces belonging to King John, hunting-lodges believed to have sheltered Queen Elizabeth, or mansions and posting-houses in which Oliver Cromwell resided or put up. She is said by some to have been born at Hereford; by others at London; and Oxford it is found has a fair claim to be considered as her birthplace. But the houses in which she is said to have lived far exceed in number the cities contending for the honour of her birth. She is believed by some to have lived at Chelsea, by others at Bagnigge Wells; Highgate, and Walworth, and Filberts, near Windsor, are added to the list of reputed localities. A staring inscription in the Strand in London instructs the curious passenger that a house at the upper end of a narrow court was "formerly the dairy of Nell Gwyn." I have been willing to believe in one and all of these conjectural residences, but, after a long and careful inquiry, I am obliged to reject them all. Her early life was spent in Drury Lane and Lincoln's Inn Fields; her latter life in Pall Mall, and in Burford House in the town of Windsor.[1] The rate-books of the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields record her residence in Pall Mall from 1670 to her death, and the site of her house in Windsor may be established, were other evidence wanting, by the large engraving after Knyff.

We have seen from Cibber that Nelly was fond of having concerts at her house, and that she never failed in urging the claims of those who played and sung to the favourable consideration of the King and the Duke of York. She had her basset-table, too, and in one night is said to have lost to the once beautiful Duchess of Mazarine as much as 1400 guineas, or 5000l. at least of our present money.[2] Basset, long the fashionable game, was I believe introduced into this country from France. Etherege and Lady Mary Wortley have sung its attractions and its snares, and D'Urfey has condemned it in one of the best of his plays. Nor will Evelyn's description of the basset-table which he saw on a Sunday night at Whitehall, only a few hours before the King was seized with his last illness, be effaced from the memory of those to whom his work is known.

Nelly possessed great interest with the King, and her house at Windsor, with its staircases painted expressly for her by the fashionable pencil of Verrio,[3] was the rendezvous of all who wished to stand well at the Castle. The Duke of Monmouth,—the handsome Sydney of De Grammont's Memoirs, afterwards Earl of Romney,—and the patriot Lord Cavendish, afterwards Duke of Devonshire, were among Nelly's friends. Such constant court was paid to her for political purposes by the Duke of Monmouth and Lord Cavendish, that Lady Rachael Russell records the King's command that Nelly should refuse to see them.[4] Monmouth was endeavouring to regain his situations, of which he had been properly deprived by his father, and Cavendish was urging the claims of the Protestants on behalf of the famous Bill for excluding the Duke of York from the succession to the crown. Nelly, it will be remembered, had already identified herself with the Protestant interest, but the regard with which she was treated by King James is ample evidence that she had never abused her influence, in order to prejudice Charles II. against his brother. Indeed she would appear to have been among the first who foresaw the insane ambition of Monmouth. She is said to have called him "Prince Perkin" to his face, and when the Duke replied that she was "ill-bred,"—"Ill-bred," retorted Nelly, "was Mrs. Barlow better bred than I?"[5]

I have introduced the mother of Nelly by name to the reader, and I have now to record her death. "We hear," says the 'Domestic Intelligencer' of the 5th of August, 1679, "that Madam Ellen Gwyn's mother, sitting lately by the water-side at her house by the Neat-Houses, near Chelsea, fell accidentally into the water and was drowned." Oldys had seen a quarto pamphlet of the time giving an account of her death. This I have never met with, but among the Luttrell Collection of ballads and broadsides sold at the Stowe sale was an elegy "Upon that never-to-be-forgotten matron Old Madam Gwyn, who died in her own fishpond, 29 July, 1679." The verse is of the lowest possible character of Grub Street elegy, nor could I, after a careful perusal, glean from it any biographical matter other than that she was very fat and fond of brandy. She was buried in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and it is said with five gilded scutcheons to the hearse; but this could hardly be, if the ballad-monger's date of the 29th is correct, for the register of St. Martin's records her burial on the 30th, the very next day.[6] That the old lady resided at one time with her daughter and in her house in Pall Mall, may, I think, be inferred from some curious bills for debts incurred by Nelly, accidentally discovered among the mutilated Exchequer papers: an apothecary's bill containing charges for cordial juleps with pearls for "Master Charles," and "plasters," "glysters," "cordials" for "old Mrs. Gwyn."

From these bills, the originals of which have been kindly entrusted to me by Mr. Loddy and Mr. Robert Cole, some extracts may be made that will interest the reader. The bills are of a very miscellaneous nature—a chance saving from a bundle of household and other expenses of the years 1674, 1675, and 1676. They include charges for a French coach, and for a great cipher from the chariot painter; for a bedstead, with silver ornaments; for side-boxes at the Duke's Theatre, to which she never went alone, but often with as many as four people, Nell paying for all; for great looking-glasses; for cleansing and burnishing the warming-pan; for the hire of sedan-chairs; for dress, furniture, and table expenses; for white satin petticoats, and white and red satin nightgowns; for kilderkins of strong ale, ordinary ale, and "a barrel of eights;" for alms to poor men and women; for oats and beans, and "chaney" oranges at threepence each; "for a fine landskip fan;" for scarlet satin shoes covered with silver lace, and a pair of satin shoes laced over with gold for "Master Charles." One or two of these documents have escaped entire. A bill for her sedan-chair runs as follows:—

June 17, 1675. £ s. d.
The body of the chaire 3 10 0
the best neats leather to cover the outside 3 10 0
600 inside nailes, coulered and burnishd 0 11 0
600 guilt with water gold at 5s. per cent 1 10 0
1200 outside nailes, the same gold, at 8s. per cent 4 16 0
300 studds, the same gold 1 16 0
2000 halfe roofe nailes, the same gold 1 14 0
200 toppit nailes, same gold 3 14 0
5 sprigs for the top, rich guilt 4 0 0
a haspe for the doore, rich guilt 1 10 0
ffor change of 4 glasses 2 0 0
2 pound 5s. for one new glasse, to be abated out of that ffor a broken glasse 15s. 1 10 0
ffor guilding windows and irons 1 5 0
Serge ffor the bottom 0 2 0
canuisse to put vnder the leather 0 8 0
all sorts of iron nailes 0 5 0
workmanshipe, the chaire inside and outside 2 10 0

Reict. dated 13 July, 1675, for "30£ in full discharge." 34 11 0

That she did not always employ her own sedan is evident from the following bill:—

For careing you to Mrs. Knights and to Madam Younges, and to Madam Churchfillds, and wating four oures 0 5 0
For careing you the next day, and waiting seven oures 0 7 6
For careing you to Mrs. Knights, and to Mrs. Cassells, and to Mrs. Churchills, and to Mrs. Knights 0 4 0
For careing one Lady Sanes to ye play at White Halle, and wayting 0 3 6
For careing you yesterday, and wayting eleven oures 0 11 6

Ye some is 1 11 6
13 October, 75.
Recd. them of Tho. Groundes in full of these Bills
£2.—.—
and all other demands from Madam Gwin,
by me William Calow.
Chairman Callow, with singular discreetness, omits, it will be seen, to name the places at which he waited longest. Eleven shillings and sixpence seems very little for carrying and waiting eleven hours. But the most curious bill, and it is one with which I have been only recently supplied, is a silversmith's—in which the principal sum is a charge for making a bedstead for Nelly, with ornaments of silver, such as the King's head, slaves, eagles, crowns, and Cupids, and Jacob Hall dancing upon a rope of wire-work. The document must be given entire: —

Work done for ye righte Honble. Madame Guinne.
John Cooqūs, siluersmyth his bill.

1674. Deliuered the head of ye bedstead weighing 885 onces 12 lb. and I haue received 636 onces 15 dweight so that their is over and aboue of me owne siluer two hundred [and] forty eight onces 17 dweight at 7s 11d. par once (ye siluer being a d't worse par once according ye reste) wich comes to   £
98
s.
10
d.
2
For ye making of ye 636 onces 15 d't at 2s. 11d par once; comes to, 92 17 3
  onces. dweight.
Deliuered ye kings head weighing 197 5
one figure weighing 445 15
ye other figure with ye caracter weighing 428 5
ye slaues and ye reste belonging unto it 255  
ye two Eagles weighing 169 10
one of the crowne[s] weighing 94 5
ye second crown weighing 97 10
ye third crowne weighing 90 2
ye fowerd crowne weighing 82
one of ye Cupids weighing 121 8
ye second boye weighing 101 10
ye third boye weighing 93 15
ye fowered boye weighing 88 17
Altogether two thousand two hundred sexty fine onces 2d wight of sterling siluer at 85. par once, comes to 906 0 10
Paid for ye Essayes of ye figures and other things into ye Tower 0 5 0
Paid for iacob haalle [Jacob Hall] dansing upon ye robbe [rope] of Weyer Worck[7] . 1 10 0
For ye cleinsing and brunisching a sugar box, a pepper box, a mustard pott and two kruyzes 0 12 0
For mending ye greatte siluer andyrons 0 10 0
Paid to ye cabbenet maker for ye greatte bord for ye head of the bedstead and for ye other bord that comes under it and boorring the wholles into ye head 3 0 0
Paid to Mr. Consar for karuing ye said bord 1 0 0
For ye bettering ye sodure wich was in the old bedstead 5 3 7
Paid to ye smid for ye 2 yorne hoops and for ye 6 yorn baars krampes and nealles 1 5 0
Paid for ye woodden pied de staall for one of ye figures 0 4 6
Paid ye smith for a hoock to hang up a branche candlestick 0 2 0
Paid to ye smith for ye baars kramps and nealles to hold up ye slaues 0 5 0
Given to me Journeyman by order of Madame Guinne 1 0 0
Paid to ye smyth for ye yom worck to hold up ye Eagles and for ye two hoocks to hold the bedstead again the wall 0 3 0
Paid for ye pied de stalle of Ebony to hold up the 2 georses 1 10 0
For ye emending of ye gooldhowerglasse 0 2 6
Deliuered two siluer bottels weighing 37 onces 17 d't at Ss. par once, comes to 15 2 9
Paid for ye other foot to hold up ye other figure 0 4 6
For sodering ye wholles and for repairing mending and cleinsing the two figures of Mr. Traherne his making 3 0 0
For ye making of a crowne upon one of ye figures 1 0 0
Giuen to me iourney man by order of Madame Guinne 1 0 0
Deliuered a handel of a kneif weighing 11 dweight more then ye old one wich comes with ye making of it to 0 5 10
For ye cleinsing of eight pictures 0 10 0
In all comes to   £1135 3 1 [8]

And now, quitting Nelly's household and other expenses, it is time to turn to matters of more moment.

In the autumn of 1679 died Mrs. Roberts, the daughter of a clergyman, who had lived with the King, though she is not known to have had aay children by him.[9] She had sent for Burnet when dying, and expressed her sense of sorrow for her past life in so sincere a manner, that he desired her to describe her contrition in a letter to the King. At her request Burnet drew the draft of such a letter, but she never had strength enough to copy it out. Burnet on this wrote in his own name to the King, and sent a strong letter of remonstrance through Will Chiffinch, the keeper of the backstairs. Seldom, indeed, has a sovereign been addressed so boldly as by Burnet in this letter.[10] The King read it twice over, and then threw it in the fire; expressing himself not long after with great sharpness when Burnet's name was mentioned to him. But Charles had his own way, in this life at least, of atoning for his misdeeds, and to one of his best actions he is said to have been instigated by no less a person than Nell Gwyn.

This was the erection of a Royal Hospital at Chelsea for aged and disabled soldiers, the first stone of which was laid by the King himself in the spring of 1682. The idea, it is said, originated with Nelly, and I see no reason to doubt the tradition, supported as it is by the known benevolence of her character, her sympathy with the suffering, and the fact that sixty years ago at least Nelly's share in its foundation was recorded beneath her portrait serving as the sign of a public-house adjoining the Hospital.[11] The sign remains, but not the inscription. Yet the tradition is still rife in Chelsea, and is not soon likely to die out. Ormonds, and Granbys, and Admiral Vernons disappear, but Nelly remains, and long may she swing with her favourite lamb in the row or street commemorated for ever in the Chelsea Pensioners of Wilkie!

There were thousands alive when the Hospital was first thought of, who carried about them marks of service in the recent struggle which distracted the three kingdoms, in a way in which, let us hope, they will never again be made to suffer. There were old men who had fought at Edge Hill and Marston Moor, and younger ones who could show that they had bled at Naseby or at Worcester. The Restoration had witnessed the establishment of a standing army, and many of Cromwell's Ironsides filling the ranks of the Coldstream Guards and Oxford Blues were now unfit for active service, and younger men were required to fill their places. What was to become of the veterans when their pay was gone? Their trade had been war, and their pay never sufficient for more than their immediate wants. But for Chelsea Hospital they might have starved on the casual bounty of the people and the chance assistance of their younger comrades.

In an age when new books were numerous—and few appeared without a dedication—it is natural to infer that Nelly would not escape. Three dedications to her are known. One in 1674, by Duffet, before his play of "The Spanish Rogue;" a second in 1678, by Whitcombe, before a rare little volume called "Janua Divorum: or the Lives and Histories of the Heathen Gods;" and a third in 1679, by Mrs. Behn, before her play of "The Feigned Courtezans." All are adulatory. Duffet was unknown to her, and he was not certain, he tells us, that Nelly had ever seen his play. It was, however, necessary, he observes, to have a dedication to his book, and he selected "Madam Ellen Gwyn," deeming that "under the protection of the most perfect beauty and the greatest goodness in the world" his play would be safe. "Nature," says Duffet, "almost overcome by Art, has in yourself rallied all her scattered forces, and on your charming brow sits smiling at their slavish toils which yours and her envious foes endure; striving in vain with the fading weak supplies of Art to rival your beauties, which are ever the same and always incomparable." This is highflown enough; but all is not like this; and there is one passage which deserves to be remembered. Nelly, he says, was so readily and frequently doing good, "as if" he observes, "doing good were not her nature, but her business." The person who wrote thus happily had been a milliner in the New Exchange before he took to literature as a profession.

Whitcombe inscribes his book "To the illustrious Madam Ellen Gwyn;" but Aphra Behn, the Astrea of the stage, is still stronger; "Your permission has enlightened me, and I with shame look back on my past ignorance which suffered me not to pay an adoration long since where there was so very much due; yet even now, though secure in my opinion, I make this sacrifice with infinite fear and trembling, well knowing that so excellent and perfect a creature as yourself differs only from the divine powers in this—the offerings made to you ought to be worthy of you, whilst they accept the will alone." Well might Johnson observe, that in the meanness and servility of hyperbolical adulation, Dryden had never been equalled, except by Aphra Behn in an address to Eleanor Gwyn. But the arrow of adulation is not yet drawn to the head, and Mrs. Behn goes on to say, "Besides all the charms, and attractions, and powers of your sex, you have beauties peculiar to yourself—an eternal sweetness, youth, and air which never dwelt in any face but yours. You never appear but you glad the hearts of all that have the happy fortune to see you, as if you were made on purpose to put the whole world into good humour." This however is not all, for the strain turns to her children, and her own humility, and is therefore nearer the truth. "Heaven has bestowed on you," adds Aphra, "two noble branches, whom you have permitted to wear those glorious titles which you yourself generously neglected." Two noble branches indeed they were, if the graver of Blooteling, who wrought while Nelly was alive, has not done more than justice to their looks.

Troubles were now surrounding Nelly. At Paris, in September, 1680, died James Lord Beauclerk, her second and youngest son. In the summer of the succeeding year, Lacy, the actor was buried in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, whither she herself was soon to follow. In 1683 died Charles Hart, her old admirer; and in the following year died Major Mohun. A garter and other honours awaited the son of her old rival, the Duchess of Portsmouth. Yet she was still cheerful, and sought even more assiduously for other honours for her only child. Nor was the King unwilling to hearken to the entreaties of Nelly in her boy's behalf. On the 10th of January, 1683-4, eight days after the death of old Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Alban's, the boy Earl of Burford was created Duke of St. Alban's and appointed to the then lucrative offices of Registrar of the High Court of Chancery and Master Falconer of England. The latter office is still enjoyed by the present Duke of St. Albans.

The only letter of Nelly's composition known to exist relates to this period of her life. It is written on a sheet of very thin gilt-edged paper, in a neat, Italian hand, not her own, and is thus addressed:—

"These for Madam Jennings over against the Tub
Tavern in Jermyn Street, London.

"Windsor, Burford Souse,
April 14, 1684.

"Madam.—I have received ye Letter, and I desire yr would speake to my Ladie Williams to send me the Gold Stuffe, & a Note with it, because I must sign it, then she shall have her money ye next Day of Mr. Trant; pray tell her Ladieship, that I will send her a Note of what Quantity of Things He have bought, if her Ladieship will put herselfe to ye Trouble to buy them; when they are bought I will sign a Note for her to be payd. Pray Madam, let ye Man goe on with my Sedan, and send Potvin and Mr. Coker down to me, for I want them both. The Bill is very dear to boyle the Plate, but necessity hath noe Law. I am afraid Mm. you have forgott my Mantle, which you were to line with Musk Colour Sattin, and all my other Things, for you send me noe Patterns nor Answer. Monsieur Lainey is going away. Pray send me word about your son Griffin, for his Majestie is mighty well pleased that he will goe along with my Lord Duke. I am afraid you are so much taken up with your owne House, that you forget my Business. My service to dear Lord Kildare, and tell him I love him with all my heart. Pray Mm. see that Potvin brings now all my Things with him: My Lord Duke's bed, &c. if he hath not made them all up, he may doe that here, for if I doe not get my Things out of his Hands now, I shall not have them until this time twelvemonth. The Duke brought me down with him my Crochet of Diamonds; and I love it the better because he brought it. Mr. Lumley and everie body else will tell you that it is the finest Thing that ever was seen. Good Mm. speake to Mr. Beaver to come down too, that I may bespeake a Ring for the Duke of Grafton before he goes into France.

"I have continued extreme ill ever since you left me, and I am soe still. I have sent to London for a Dr. I believe I shall die. My service to the Duchess of Norfolk and tell her, I am as sick as her Grace, but do not know what I ayle, although shee does. . . .
"Pray tell my Ladie Williams that the King's Mistresses are accounted ill paymasters, but shee shall have her Money the next Day after I have the stuffe.

"Here is a sad slaughter at Windsor, the young mens taking ye Leaves and going to France, and, although they are none of my Lovers, yet I am loath to part with the men. Mrs. Jennings I love you with all my Heart and soe good bye.

"E. G."

"Let me have an Answer to this Letter."

This highly characteristic letter was found by Cole, and transmitted to Walpole, who has expressed the delight he felt at its perusal. Who Madam Jennings was I am not aware; nor have I succeeded in discovering anything of moment about Lady Williams. Potvin was an upholsterer.[12] The Duchess of Norfolk was the daughter and sole heir of Henry Mordaunt Earl of Peterborough, and Nelly would appear to have been on intimate terms with her. When, on account of her Grace's illicit intimacy with Sir John Germain, her divorce from the Duke was before a court of law, Nelly's evidence, imperfectly as it has reached us, was very characteristic of her mode of reply even to an ordinary question. Germain had sought, it appears, to seduce her from the King, and Nell is said to have replied, "she was no such sportsman as to lay the dog where the deer should lie." Sir John Germain, afterwards married to the Duchess, was a Dutch adventurer, of mean extraction, grown rich by gambling. The father of Secretary Craggs was footman to the gallant Duchess.

When the Rye House Plot had given to Charles a great distaste for Newmarket and Audley End, he determined on building a palace at Winchester, and Wren was required to design a structure worthy of the site and the monarch. The works were commenced in earnest, and Charles was often at Winchester watching the progress of the building, and enjoying the sports of the chase in the New Forest, or his favourite relaxation of fishing in the waters of the Itchin. Nelly accompanied him to Winchester, and on one occasion the pious and learned Ken, then a chaplain to the King, and a prebendary of Winchester, was required to surrender his prebendal house as a lodging for Nelly.[13] Ken properly remonstrated, and, if it be indeed true that she had taken possession of the assigned lodging, she speedily removed from it.[14] Nor was the King displeased with the firmness displayed by this exemplary man. He knew that Ken was right; appreciated his motives; and one of his last acts was to make the very person by whom he was thus so properly admonished Bishop of Bath and Wells, the see of which he chose to be conscientiously deprived, as Bancroft from Canterbury, rather than forget the oath he had taken of fealty to a former sovereign.

Unable to obtain or retain the use of the canonical apartments of the pious Ken, Nelly found quarters in a small attached room of brick at the end of the large drawing-room in the Deanery, still from tradition called "Nell Gwyn"[15] and afterwards at Avington, the seat of the Countess of Shrewsbury, notorious for the part she took in the duel in which her husband was slain by the Duke of Buckingham. Avington lies about three miles to the north-east of Winchester, and before the death of the last Duke of Chandos Nelly's dressing-room was still shown.[16] Another attraction of the same house was a fine characteristic portrait, by Lely, of the Countess of Shrewsbury as Minerva, recently sold at the sale at Stowe, whither it had been removed from Avington with the rest of the Chandos property.

Ken's refusal occurred probably during the last visit which Nelly was to make to Winchester. The following winter was spent by the court at Whitehall, amid gaieties common to that festive season; and what these gaieties were like we may learn from the picture of a Sunday preserved by Evelyn. "I can never forget," says the high-minded author of Sylva, "the inexpressible luxury and profaneness, gaming, and all dissoluteness, and, as it were, a total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening), which this day se'nnight I was witness of; the King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleveland, Mazarine, &c., a French boy singing love songs in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were at basset round a large table, a bank of at least £2,000 in gold before them; upon which two gentlemen who were with me made strange reflections. Six days after all was in the dust."[17] The fatal termination of this Sunday scene was even more sudden than Evelyn has described. The revels extended over Sunday night until the next morning. At eight of that same morning the King swooned away in his chair, and lay for nearly two hours in a state of apoplexy, all his physicians despairing of his recovery. He rallied for a time, regained possession of his intellects, and died, on the following Friday, sensible of his sins, and seeking forgiveness from his Maker. His end was that of a man, never repining that it was so sudden; and his good-nature was exhibited on his death-bed in a thousand particulars. He sought pardon from his queen, forgiveness from his brother, and the excuses of those who stood watching about his bed. What his last words were, is I believe unknown; but his dying requests made to his brother and successor, concluded with "Let not poor Nelly starve;"[18] a recommendation, says Fox, in his famous introductory chapter, that is much to his honour.

That Charles II. was poisoned was the belief of many at the time. It was the fashion in that as in the preceding age, to attribute the sudden death of any great person to poison, and the rumour on this occasion should, we suppose, form no exception to the rule of vulgar delusions. Yet in Charles's case the suspicions are not without support from apparently rather weighty authorities. "I am obliged to observe," says Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, "that the most knowing and the most deserving of all his physicians did not only believe him poisoned, but thought himself so too, not long after, for having declared his opinion a little too boldly."[19] Bishop Patrick strengthens the supposition, from the testimony of Sir Thomas Mellington, who sat with the King for three days, and never went to bed for three nights.[20] The Chesterfield, who lived among many who were likely to be well informed, and was himself the grandson of the Earl of Chesterfield who was with Charles at his death, states positively that the King was poisoned.[21] The Duchess of Portsmouth, when in England, in 1699, is said to have told Lord Chancellor Cowper that Charles II. was poisoned at her house by one of her footmen in a dish of chocolate,[22] and Fox had heard a somewhat similar report from the family of his mother, who was great-grand-daughter to the Duchess.[23] The supposed parallel cases of the deaths of Henry Prince of Wales and King James I. are supported by no testimony so strong as that advanced in the case of Charles II.

Had the King lived, Nelly was to have had a peerage for herself, and the title chosen was that of Countess of Greenwich.[24] This of course she was not now likely to obtain—if indeed she would have cared so to do. Her own end was near.


ReferencesEdit

  1. "The Prince of Wales is lodged [at Windsor] in the Princess of Denmark's house, which was Mrs. Ellen Gwyn's." Letter, Aug. 14, 1688, Ellis Corresp. ii. 118.
  2. Lucas's Lives of Gamesters, 12mo. 1714. Lord Cavendish lost a thousand pounds in two nights, at Madame Mazarine's. Countess Dowager of Sunderland, to the Earl of Halifax, Aug. 5, 1680:—(Miss Berry's Lady Rachael Russell, p. 373.)
  3. Accounts of the Paymaster of His Majesty's Works and Buildings, preserved in the Audit Office.
  4. Lady Sunderland to Henry Sydney, 16 Dec. 1679. (Romney's Diary, &c. i. 207.) Lady Rachael Russell to her husband, 3 April, 1680. (Miss Berry's Lady Rachael, pp. 210, 215, 367.)
  5. Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1851, p. 471.
  6. 1679, 30 July. Mrs. Ellinor Gwin, w. Burial Register of St. Martin's-in-the Fields. See also Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1851, p. 470.
  7. In another bill I observe a charge "for ye cleensing of Jacobs halle of weyer worck."
  8. In the Works' Accounts of the Crown at Whitehall, in 1662-3, is a payment (£53 12s. 2d.) to Paul Audley "for silvering a rayle to goe about the Duchess of York's bed, with seven pedestals and 60 Ballisters." The bed, as was long the custom, stood in an alcove off and yet in the bed-chamber.
  9. Unless, indeed, the "Carola Roberts," of the Secret Service Expenses of Charles II. is the daughter of this Mrs. Roberts by the King.
  10. Burnet, i. 457, ii. 287, and vi. 257, Ed. 1823; also Calamy's Life, ii. 83.
  11. Lysons' Environs of London, vol. ii. p. 155.
  12. Privy Purse Expenses of the Reigns of Charles II. and James II. printed by the Camden Society, p. 186. "Tho. Otway" and "Jhon Poietevin" are witnesses to a power of attorney of Nelly's, now in Mr. Robert Cole's possession.
  13. Hawkins's Life of Ken.
  14. The tradition at Winchester was, that Nell refused to move, and did not move till part of the roof was taken off. (Bowles's Life of Ken, vol. ii. p. 7.)
  15. Bowles's Life of Ken, vol. ii. p. 56.
  16. Forster’s Stowe Catalogue 179.
  17. Evelyn, 4 Feb. 1684-6.
  18. Burnet, ii. 460, ed. 1823. Evelyn, 4 Feb. 1684-5.
  19. Buckingham's Works, ii. 82. 8vo. 1729.
  20. Bishop Patrick's Autobiography, p. 101.
  21. Letters to his Son.
  22. Dean Cowper in Spence's Anecdotes, ed. Singer, p. 367.
  23. Fox, p. 67.
  24. This I give on the authority of the curious passage in a MS. book by Van Bossen, kindly placed at my disposal by Mr. David Laing. The whole passage is as follows:—
    "Charles the 2d. naturall sone of King Charles the 2d. borne of Hellenor or Nelguine, dawghter to Thomas Guine, a capitane of ane antient family in Wales, who showld bein advanced to be Countes of Greeniez, but hindered by the king's death, and she lived not long after his Matie. Item, he was advanced to the title of Duke Stablane and Earle of Berward. He is not married." ("The Royall Cedar," by Frederick Van Bossen, MS. folio, 1688. p. 129.)
    One of the last acts of the antiquarian life of that curious inquirer, Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, was to note down some valuable memoranda for this story of Nell Gwyn. Among other things, Mr. Sharpe directed Mr, Laing's attention to the curious entry in the volume by Van Bossen, still in Mr. Laing's possession.