Nell Gwyn is reported in a manuscript of 1688 to have been a daughter of "Tho s [Thomas] Guine a Cap t [captain] of ane antient fammilie in Wales", although the reliability of the statement is doubtful as its author does not seem to have hesitated to create or alter details where the facts were unknown or perhaps unremarkable.
Nell Gwyn (o Gwynn o Gwynne), nacida Eleanor, (2 de febrero de 1650-14 de noviembre de 1687), fue una de las primeras actrices inglesas que obtuvo reconocimiento público, y fue amante durante muchos años del rey Carlos II. Samuel Pepys la llamó pretty, witty Nell («bella e ingeniosa Nell»).
22/01/2022 · Nell Gwyn (Gwynne) “Pray good people be civil, I am the Protestant whore” was Nell Gwyn’s cheeky retort to the masses pushing around her coach in the mistaken belief that it was that of the Duchess of Portsmouth, the Catholic Louise de Keroualle. ‘Pretty, witty Nell’ was perhaps the best known and remembered mistress of King Charles II.
Nell Gwyn, original name Eleanor Gwyn, (born Feb. 2, 1650, London, Eng.—died Nov. 14, 1687, London), English actress and mistress of Charles II, whose frank recklessness, generosity, invariable good temper, ready wit, infectious high spirits, and amazing indiscretions appealed irresistibly to a generation that welcomed in her the living antithesis of Puritanism.
25/02/2021 · Nell Gwyn’s house, re-identified in 1904 by historians. In March of 1687 Nell suffered a stroke – possibly as a result of syphilis, though there’s no direct evidence of this. She was left paralysed down one side, and remained ill until her death in November.
- Ciaran Conliffe
While Nell went un-titled, Louise was ennobled as the Duchess of Portsmouth just three years after she became Charles’ mistress. When Louise slyly remarked that Nell looked fine enough in her dress to be a Queen, Nell retorted with, “You are entirely right, Madam, and I am whore enough to be a duchess!”.
Born 1650 – died 1687Rose from the slums to become a famous actressMistress to King Charles II for 17 yearsEstablished a line of peers, through her son by the king
- Key Facts
- A Short Biography
- Her Legacy
- Sites to Visit
- Further Research
It is a measure of how obscure the origins of one of the best-known women in English history were when it is not at all clear exactly who her mother or father were. We don’t even know for certain if she was born in the Covent Garden district of London, but that is the most likely possibility. Even her birthdate is uncertain since the one usually given – the 2ndof February, 1650 – is derived from a horoscope done later in her life. 1642 has been suggested as a perhaps more plausible year. It does seem she grew up in Covent Garden, probably on Coal Yard Alley, a slum area near Drury Lane. It seems that her father was not part of her life, perhaps having died in Oxford when she was very young. We do know that the young Nell, whose baptismal name was Eleanor, worked in Old Ma Gwyn’s ‘bawdy house,’ that is to say a brothel, from an early age. It is pure conjecture whether she worked solely as a serving girl, bringing drinks to the guests, or whether she was a child prostitute, but in eit...
Although Nell openly and regularly referred to herself as a whore, it would seem from her pleading with the king to legitimize their son, that she did not truly enjoy her situation. Her image as the archetypal women who sells her body to improve her situation underestimates the privations of life for the poor of the time, and how eagerly almost anyone would grasp at a chance to survive. She was undoubtedly a lot smarter than she might appear, given her ability to stay in the King’s favor for 17 years, acquire several properties and establish her son as a man of privilege. There is today still an Earl of Burford, Charles Francis Topham de Vere Beauclerk, a member of the House of Lords and famous for defending the rights of hereditary peers. He has some of his ancestor’s genes, having married a pop star.
Nell Gwyn’s graveis St Martin-in-the-Fields Churchyard, Westminster. There are blue plaquesat 79 Pall Mall, the house Charles II gave Nell to live in, and at the site of Bagnigge House, 61-63 Kings Cross Road. In the 18th century, the house became a popular spa, before giving way to development.
Nell’s lifehas been fictionalized in numerous plays, films, and historic novels since 1799. Notable examples include: Plays: 1. In Good King Charles’s Golden Days, by Bernard Shaw (1939) 2. Our Nell, a musical, by Harold Fraser-Simson and Ivor Novello (1924) 3. Nell Gwynn, by Jessica Swale (2015) Films: 1. Mistress Nell, starring Mary Pickford (1915) 2. Love, Life and Laughter, starring Gracie Fields (1934) 3. Stage Beauty, starring Zoe Tapper (2004) Novels: 1. The King’s Favorite, by Susan Holloway Scott (2008) 2. Exit the Actress, by Priya Parmar (2011) [uses contemporary documents to show the larger political and social context] 3. The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles, by Gillian Bagwell (2011) Biographies of Nell Gwyn include: 1. Nell Gwynn, by Jessica Swale 2. Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King, by Charles Beauclerk 3. Nell Gwynn (Life of a Harlot), by Jenny Stone 4. House of Nell Gwynn: Fortunes of the Beauclerk Family, 167...