Charles II of England, Countess of Derwentwater, Illegitimate, Lady Mary Tudor, Mary "Molls" Davis, Royal Warrant
Lady Mary Tudor, Countess of Derwentwater (October 16, 1673 – November 5, 1726) was an actress and natural daughter of King Charles II of England by his mistress, Mary “Moll” Davies, an actress and singer.
Early life and title
Mary grew up in a house on the south-west side of St James Square, close to St James’s Park and Whitehall palace, and from an early age she was surrounded by the high society of The Restoration.
Mary followed in her mother’s footsteps, and began acting at a young age. She was a part of the many performances put on at Charles II’s elaborate court. At age nine, she sang the part of the Roman god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, Cupid, alongside her mother, who was starring as Venus, in the play Venus and Adonis.
On December 10, 1680, seven-year-old Mary, was, in recognition of her paternity, granted by a Royal Warrant, by King Charles II of England the name Tudor (as a nod to their mutual collateral descent from the Tudor family) and the precedence of the daughter of an Earl.
In September 1683, she was issued an annuity of £1500 (roughly equivalent to £230,238 in 2020), and a year later, on February 21, 1684, her precedence was heightened to that of a daughter of a Duke.
Marriages and children
On August 18, 1687, Lady Mary married Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater (9 December 1655 – 29 April 1705) by whom she had four children:
James Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater (1689–1716)
Lady Mary Tudor Radclyffe
Charles Radclyffe (September 3, 1693 – December 8, 1746)
Hon. Francis Radclyffe
Mary separated from Lord Derwentwater in 1700, reportedly due to her unwillingness to convert to Roman Catholicism.
On May 23, 1705, shortly after Lord Derwentwater’s death, she married secondly, to Henry Graham. Graham died on January 7, 1707. A few months later, on 26 August 26, 1707 Lady Mary married Major James Rooke.
Lady Mary died in Paris on November 5, 1726, aged 53.