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Davis [Davies; married name Paisible], Mary [Moll] (c. 1651–1708), actress and royal mistress, was said to be 'a bastard of Collonell Howard, my Lord Barkeshire' (Pepys, 9.24), a phrase which is more likely to refer to Thomas Howard (...


Maker: Gerard Valck

Eleanor Gwyn (1651?–1687) by Gerard Valck, c. 1673 (after Sir Peter Lely, c. 1670) © National Portrait Gallery, London


Gwyn, Eleanor [Nell] (1651?–1687), actress and royal mistress, was born, according to a contemporary horoscope, on 2 February 1651. Her parentage remains obscure, as does her place of birth. Nell had a sister named Rose and her mother was Helena (d...


Hughes, Margaret [Peg] (d. 1719), actress and royal mistress, is of unknown origins, but as her brother had the same surname it is unlikely that she ever married. It is possible that Margaret Hughes was among the first group of actresses to join the ...