Barbara was born at Cleveland House in London on 16 July 1672, at around the time Barbara Villiers was losing her position as the king's chief mistress to Louise de Kérouaille.
Her mother insisted she was the king's daughter, Charles publicly acknowledged the child, while disputing being her father in private. Barbara was suspected to have been the child of either John Churchill, or Lord Chesterfield. Barbara Villier's long suffering husband, Roger Palmer, Earl of Castlemaine, left his estate to the younger Barbara.
In March 1691, the eighteen-year-old Barbara gave birth to an illegitimate son of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, who was named Charles Hamilton. The child was raised by Barbara Villiers, who was said to have disowned her daughter.
Barbara became a nun in the English Priory of St. Nicholas, at Pontoise in Normandy, taking the name Sister Benedicta, where she eventually became prioress. She later became Prioress of the Convent of the Hotel Dieu at Pontoise, as Sister Benedicte, and died there on May 6, 1737.
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