Cleveland, Barbara Villiers, duchess of

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Barbara Villiers Cleveland, duchess of (vĬl´ərz, vĬl´yərz), 1641–1709, mistress of King Charles II of England. She became Charles's mistress at Breda in 1660 and returned with him to England at the Restoration. The king made her husband, Roger Palmer, earl of Castlemaine. As Lady Castlemaine, Barbara Villiers was the archenemy of the earl of Clarendon, the lord chancellor, and her glee at his downfall (1667) is recorded in Pepys' diary. She was made duchess in 1670, but by 1671 had been supplanted in Charles's affections by Louise de Kéroualle (the future duchess of Portsmouth). She bore the king several children.

See biography by A. Andrews (1970).