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Nell Gwynne (1650–1687)

Photo credit: The Royal Hospital Chelsea

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Eleanor 'Nell' Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne) was a long-time mistress of Charles II of England. Called 'pretty, witty Nell' by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. She had two sons by King Charles who died in 1685. James II, obeying his brother's deathbed wish, 'Let not poor Nelly starve', eventually paid most of Gwyn's debts off and gave her a pension of 1,500 pounds a year.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea

London


Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 122 x W 96 cm

Accession number

384

Work type

Painting


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The Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Road, London, Greater London SW3 4SR England

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