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Eleanor (Smith) Gwyn (1630 - 1679)

Eleanor "Ellen" Gwyn formerly Smith
Born [location unknown]
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Mother of and
Died at about age 49 [location unknown]
Profile manager: Sam Bradley private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 23 Nov 2008
This page has been accessed 2,070 times.



Eleanor Smith, also called Ellen and other variations[1]

Origin and Marriage

Very little of Eleanor's origins are known. She was not of the same social class as her husband, Captain Thomas Gwyn.[2] Maybe they married for love. When Thomas was imprisoned as a royalist during the English Civil War, Eleanor took the two young girls to London instead of staying with family.[2] Maybe his family withheld their approval of the marriage, but to leave the girls to the streets of London, the notorious Drury no less, seems especially cruel. Eleanor ended up an alcoholic prostitute, and her girls raised money as they could.[2]


Eleanor and Thomas had two daughters:

  1. Rose Gwyn b c. 1648
  2. Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn b c. 1650

Daughter, Nell, was the famous and popular actress and mistress to King Charles II Stuart.[2]

Death and Legacy

Eleanor died when she fell drunk in a ditch and drowned (no date given).[3] Eleanor's daughter, Nell, had one surviving son of King Charles II. This grandson of Eleanor, Charles Beauclerk, was conferred with titles and property, married to Lady Diana de Vere, and raised a large family at Burford House.


  1. Wikipedia "Nell Gwyn", accessed September 13, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brown, Lori, "Nell Gwyn", citing Sex with Kings, by Eleanor Herman and Cupid and the King by Princess Michael of Kent, January 22, 2008, Web accessed September 13, 2014
  3. Melville, Lewis, Nell Gwyn the Story of Her Life 2d ed., (Page 6) London: Hutchinson, 1900, Openlibrary accessed September 13, 2014

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