The Death of Nell Gwynne

The preeminent Restoration actress and infamous Royal mistress died in 1687 at the age of 37. Jane Hoare describes how Charles II had left her well provided.

Nell Gwynn, by Peter Lely c. 1675

The story of the most notorious of English royal mistresses is largely composed of gossip and legend. Some records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, recently unearthed in the Public Record Office, lend substance to the shadow. The contents of the will and two codicils (as proved) have long been public knowledge, but the papers relating to the law suit conducted over her estate by her sister have been hidden away for three hundred years.

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