Search the Collection

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

(1640-1709), Mistress of Charles II

Sitter in 33 portraits
The favourite mistress of Charles II during the 1660s, Barbara Villiers was a dominant presence both at court and in the public's imagination. She married Roger Palmer, later the Earl of Castlemaine, in 1659, and met Charles soon after. Appointed Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen in spite of the latter's protests, she bore the King at least five children. She became a Catholic in 1663, dabbled in politics, and was implicated in the fall of Clarendon. She was made a Duchess in her own right in 1670, when her influence with the King was beginning to wane.

List Thumbnail

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Thomas Watson, after  Sir Peter Lely - NPG D30500

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Thomas Watson, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, published 1779
NPG D30500

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Ignatius Joseph van den Berghe, published by  E. & S. Harding, after  Silvester Harding - NPG D30503

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Ignatius Joseph van den Berghe, published by E. & S. Harding, after Silvester Harding
stipple engraving, published 1793
NPG D30503

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Edward Scriven, after  Sir Peter Lely - NPG D30502

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Edward Scriven, after Sir Peter Lely
stipple engraving, published 1810
NPG D30502

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Robert Dunkarton, after  Sir Peter Lely - NPG D1475

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Robert Dunkarton, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, published 1814
NPG D1475

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Robert Dunkarton, after  Sir Peter Lely - NPG D1476

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Robert Dunkarton, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, published 1814
NPG D1476

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Richard Earlom, after  William Faithorne - NPG D1477

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Richard Earlom, after William Faithorne
mezzotint, published 1815
NPG D1477

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland, by Richard James Lane, after  Sir Peter Lely - NPG D21962

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Richard James Lane, after Sir Peter Lely
lithograph, 10 July 1826
NPG D21962

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Robert Williams, published by Edward Cooper, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, circa 1680-1700
NPG D18816

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by and published by Pieter Schenck, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, circa 1680-1710
NPG D19129

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Robert Williams, published by Edward Cooper, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, circa 1680-1700
NPG D19885

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

published by Alexander Browne, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, circa 1680-1684
NPG D19886

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Isaac Beckett, published by John Smith, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, circa 1681-1688
NPG D20042

Web image not currently available

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

by Gerard Valck, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, circa 1700-1725
NPG D19438

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.