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Dorothy, Lady Temple (1627-1695), Letter writer; wife of Sir William Temple

Sitter in 1 portrait
The daughter of a Royalist soldier, Dorothy Osborne fell in love with the son of a Roundhead during the Civil War. During her long courtship with Sir William Temple, she wrote a series of letters (published 1888) which provide an invaluable record of aristocratic country life during the Commonwealth. At the end of the War, the lovers' families were still against the match, but when Temple's devotion remained constant after Dorothy was seriously disfigured by smallpox, they were finally married in 1655.

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Dorothy, Lady Temple

by Gaspar Netscher
oil on canvas, 1671
NPG 3813