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as the “The Rhosmarket Siren” in “Rosemarket - A Village beyond Wales,”
a lecture by Geoffrey Nicholle who suggests that she was born at the Big House,
was "wife or mistress" to Charles II, mother of the Duke of Monmouth,
great granddaughter of Morris Walter and an ancestor of the late Princess of
Wales [Diana]. He says Richard Fenton and all other established sources of
Pembrokeshire history give Rosemarket as Lucy's birthplace. More recently Roch
Castle has been suggested, possibly because of its more romantic appeal to lady
novelists. The Walter family owned both properties, but the Roch claim does not
appear to be based upon any fresh evidence. He gives a typical Pembrokeshire
accepted view of Lucy Walter.
History of Haverfordwest - John Brown writes "It is an historical question
of unreal doubt" (I am quoting the words of a gentleman who devoted a
considerable amount of research to the matter) "whether Lucy Walters was
lawfully wedded to Charles II. There were some very singular circumstances
connected with Court intrigues which favour the supposition. That Charles, when
questioned on the subject, gravely denied it, is true; but His Majesty was not
distinguished by a very strict regard to truth. It is matter of fact that the
reigning house had lasting and grave doubts upon the subject. It is further
recorded that Katharine of Portugal, the wife of Charles, had a firm conviction
of the legitimacy of the unhappy Monmouth, and earnestly interceded with James
II. for his life. There is another very remarkable circumstance connected with
the affair. Some time antecedent to the middle of the 18th century, under high
warrant from the Home Office, the marriage register of the Parish of St Thomas,
Haverfordwest, where the family of the Walters resided for some time, was sent
for to headquarters. No reason was assigned for the requirement by those who
applied for these documents, but it was afterwards asserted, and with
considerable confidence, by some who were likely to be well informed on the
matter, that the register contained a record of a marriage which was solemnised
a century before, which, if it had been proved, would have been of some
consequence as regards the succession of the House of Brunswick. It is now, of
course, only a romance of history, but the register was never returned!"
book “South Pembrokeshire” - another local author Mary Mirehouse refers to Lucy Walters, daughter of Richard Walters of Treffgarn
and Roch, - no
mention of Rosemarket but says she became the mistress (some say the wife) of
Charles II. She was then eighteen.
There seems to be in my mind strong doubt as to where Lucy Walters was born but all agree she became the mistress or wife of the future Charles II. But how did a girl of respectable family in Pembrokeshire get to meet the future Charles II?
Mirehouse says “In 1645, John Barlow of Slebech was taken prisoner in Pill Fort, near
Milford Haven, by the Parliamentarians. Later, John Barlow accompanied the
Marquis of Worcester to the Court of the exiled Charles II in Paris, and with
him went his young kinswoman, Lucy Walters, daughter of Richard Walters of
Treffgarn and Roch, who assumed, on arrival in Paris, the name of Barlow”
That she did use the name Barlow is an established fact.
Nicholle suggests that, “Lucy's aunt, Margaret Gosfright, who after the
Restoration took possession of some of the Walter land at Rosemarket, took her
to Holland. Lucy's parents had separated and her aunt was married to a Dutchman.
Whether Lucy and Charles met first in Holland or before is uncertain”.
many conflicting stories........
to notes in The Diary of Samuel Pepys for October 1662.
that time there was speculation that young Croft is the lawful son of the King ,
the King being married to his mother , so even at that period of time there was
suspicions as to the legitimacy of the future Duke of Monmouth.
the son of Charles II. by Lucy Walter, daughter of William Walter, of Roch
Castle, was born April 9th, 1649, and landed in England with the Queen-Mother,
July 28th, 1662, when he bore the name of Crofts, after Lord Crofts, his
governor. He was created Duke of Monmouth, February 14th, 1663, and married Lady
Anne Scott, daughter and heiress of Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch, on April
20th following. In 1673 he took the name of Scott, and was created Duke of
there is a footnote saying that “There
has been much confusion as to the name and parentage of Charles's mistress. Lucy
Walter was the daughter of William Walter of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke,…..
Roch Castle was taken and burnt by the Parliamentary forces in 1644, and Lucy
was in London in 1648, where she, at the age of seventeen was the mistress of Algernon
Sidney, a Roundhead officer.
In September of that year [in the] Netherlands she met his younger
brother, a Royalist exile, Robert Sidney,
and this same year she was taken up by Charles, Prince of Wales.
A son was born in April 1649 called James whom Charles acknowledged as
his. Although as the relationship had been off and on during the period there
could have been some doubts. Certainly there was over the daughter Mary born in
1651 as she had relationships with two other members of the Court at that time. Charles terminated his
connection with her on October 30th, 1651. The Queen-Dowager taking charge of her two children.
1655 Lucy was pensioned off with an annuity of £400.
In 1656, the year her father, Richard Walters, was High Sheriff of
Pembrokeshire, Lucy came to London, where she was arrested as a spy and put in
the Tower. She was soon afterwards released, and eventually went entirely to
died in Paris 1658 as appears by a document (administration entry in the
Register of the Prerogative Court) aged about 28.
Erskine, who had served Charles as cupbearer in his wanderings, and was
appointed Master of the Charterhouse in December, 1677, had the care of Lucy
Walter, and buried her in Paris. He declared that the king never had any
intention of marrying her, and she did not deserve it. Thomas Ross, the tutor of
her son, put the idea of this claim into the son’s head, and asked Dr. Cosin
to certify to a marriage. In consequence of this he was removed from his office,
and Lord Crofts took his place. (Steinman's “Althorp Memoirs”).
Pepys said – “How true this is, God knows
- I certainly don’t as there are so many conflicting records”.
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