Barbara (Villiers) Palmer
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Barbara (Villiers) Palmer (bef. 1640 - 1709)

Her Grace Barbara "1st Duchess of Cleveland" Palmer formerly Villiers
Born before in Westminster, Middlesex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 14 Apr 1659 in London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 68 in Chiswick, Middlesex, Englandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 23 Nov 2008
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Preceded by
New creation
1st Duchess of Cleveland
1670 - 1709
Succeeded by
Charles Fitzroy her son
Preceded by
New creation
1st Baroness Nonesuch
1670 - 1709
Succeeded by
Charles Fitzroy her son
Preceded by
New creation
1st Countess of Southampton
1670 - 1709
Succeeded by
Charles Fitzroy her son


Barbara, daughter of William Villiers, 2nd Viscount Grandon, was baptised on 27 November 1640 in St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, England.[1][2]

Barbara married Roger Palmer on 14 April 1659 at Christ Church, Newgate Street, City of London, England.[3]

Barbara became King Charles' mistress in 1660, while still married to Palmer, and whilst Charles was still in exile at The Hague. The Palmers had joined the ambitious group of supplicants who sailed for Brussels at the end of 1659. As a reward for her services, the King created her husband Baron Limerick and Earl of Castlemaine in 1661. In many contemporary accounts, including Pepys's Diary, she is referred to as "Lady Castlemaine".[4] Barbara's first child was acknowledged by both her husband and her lover as their own. Five more children were acknowledged by King Charles as his children and bore the name Fitzroy.


  1. Baptism: "St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1934"
    The Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter in Westminster; London, England; Registers and Books of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster; Reference: MA/01/01/005
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry au Record 62467 #5155 (accessed 10 January 2023)
    Barbara Villiers baptism on 27 Nov 1640, daughter of Willm Viscount, in St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, England.
  2. England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 index, FamilySearch, Barbara Villiers, 27 Nov 1640; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 908,519.
  3. Marriage: "London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812"
    London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P69/Ctc/A/01/Ms3713/1
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry au Record 1624 #921545495 (accessed 10 January 2023)
    Barbarah Villiers marriage to Roger Palmer on 14 Apr 1659 at Christ Church, Newgate Street, City of London, England.
  4. The Diary of Samuel Pepys

See also:

Click Baptism Document to Enlarge

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Comments: 13

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This biography should specify which King Charles she was mistress to!
posted by Olivia Murray
As a history major I do know was Charles II after Cromwell's rule. Charles had many mistresses but it is said she was his favorite. Perhaps the number of children she bore him might account for that assertion. There is correspondence between courtiers that makes this assertion,too.
Hello Josephine, the England Project would like to co-manage this profile with you due to the historical importance of the Duchess of Cleveland. Please reply to this comment with your agreement or any questions you may have, and the England Project can do the rest of the set-up.

Best wishes, Jo , England Project Managed Profiles coordinator

posted by Jo Fitz-Henry
Villiers-1 and Villiers-76 appear to represent the same person because: they are the same person.

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