Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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WALTER , LUCY ( 1630? - 1658 ), mistress of king Charles II , had connections with some of the leading county families in West Wales . Her father, William Walter of Roch Castle, Pembs. , was the grandson of William Walter , who had purchased the manor of Roch from the de Longuevilles c. 1601 . He had m. Jane , daughter of Francis Laugharne of S. Brides , and Janet , daughter of John Philipps of Picton Castle . Her mother was Elizabeth Prothero , daughter of John Prothero of Hawksbrook ( Nantyrhebog ), Carms. , and Eleanor , daughter of Walter Vaughan of Golden Grove , and thus a niece of John Vaughan , 1st earl of Carbery (q.v.) . Lucy 's parents were involved in a long and acrimonious dispute. In May 1641 her mother complained that William Walter had deserted her and she obtained a sequestration order on his estate. This was ultimately revoked in 1647 when he was given charge of the children, of whom there were three, Richard , Lucy , and Justus . Roch castle was garrisoned for the king by Richard Vaughan , 2nd earl of Carbery (q.v.) , in 1643 . It was taken by Rowland Laugharne (q.v.) after his defeat of the Royalists at Pill (in Milford Haven ) in Feb. 1644 , but again seized for the king in the following June by Sir Charles Gerard . William Walter alleged that his losses there amounted to £3,000 and that he had been forced to flee to London . There is no doubt that the family spent much time in London in pursuance of the dispute which has already been mentioned. How the young Prince of Wales came to meet Lucy Walter is not known. She was with the exiled court at the Hague in the summer of 1648 , and subsequently in Paris . Their son, James , was b. at Rotterdam on 9 April 1649 . Lucy also had a daughter, Mary , b. at the Hague on 6 May 1651 . In 1656 she returned to London and was arrested as a suspected spy and lodged, with her maid Anne Hill , in the Tower . Her defence was that she had come to collect a legacy of £1,500 left her by her mother, who had recently died. She was discharged and ordered to be deported. Charles II , who acknowledged the paternity of James , got possession of the child and handed him to the care of his mother, queen Henrietta Maria . After the Restoration he was created duke of Monmouth and was later m. to Anne Scott , in her own right countess of Buccleuch . At the time of the Exclusion Bill agitation ( 1679-81 ) the story that Charles had m. Lucy Walter and that, therefore, Monmouth was the rightful heir to the throne was put out and widely credited. Lucy herself d. in Paris in 1658 . Her elder brother, RICHARD WALTER , was sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1657 . He was succeeded in the Roch estates by his son, RICHARD WALTER , who was knighted and served as sheriff in 1727 and is then described as of Rosemarket .

Bibliography:

  • Lord George Scott , Lucy Walter wife or mistress , London, 1947 ;
  • J. F. Rees , ‘The Parents of Lucy Walter,’ in Studies in Welsh History collected papers, lectures and reviews , Cardiff, 1947 , 1947 ;
  • Francis Jones , ‘The Squires o Hawksbrook,’ in The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1937 .

Author:

Emeritus Professor Sir James Frederick Rees, Ll.D., (1883-1967), Tenby / Cardiff