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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

D30500

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

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

D30502

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D1475

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D1476

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D1477

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D21962

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D18816

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D19129

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D19885

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D19886

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

D20042

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

D19438

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland

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

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