Such is the myth of Nell Gwyn, orange seller, comic actress, mistress of Charles II and the original people's princess: her name is synonymous with the topsy-turvy world of post-medieval court life. Nell Gwyn was an X-Rated Cinderella. Eleanor - commonly called 'Nell' - Gwynne was born on 2nd February 1650, traditionally in the city of Hereford, although the Coal Yard off Drury Lane, London, may have been her real birthplace. She was 37 years old (if she was born in 1650). The Death of Nell Gwynne. Copperplate mezzotint by Richard Earlom after an original miniature painting by Samuel Cooper from Samuel Woodburn's Portraits of Characters Illustrious in British History, London, 1810. In 1685 the king died, leaving instructions to his heir, James II, to “not let poor Nelly starve.” James did not, giving her a pension of £1,500 a year, roughly equivalent to at least a quarter million pounds today. Nell Gwynn was born in a respectable, but rather humble, dwelling in Pipe Lane, Hereford. Yet died a Princess, acting in St. Catherine. Before she joined the King’s Players in the 1660s, all parts in plays – even female ones – were performed by men. _For full extended monologue, please refer to the script edition cited here: Jessica Swale, Nell Gwynn, NHB Modern Plays, electronic edition, pp. Nell Gwynne died on 14 November 1687, less than three years after the King's death, from apoplexy due to having acquired syphilis somewhere along the way. King Charles II first meets Nell Gwyn after seeing her do a turn at Drury Lane. Died: 14th November 1687 at Pall Mall, Westminster, Middlesex. The hero of our play, Nell Gwynn. Monologues are presented on StageAgent for educational purposes only. But there was always more to her than being able to make a grand entrance, turn heads and make people laugh. Born Eleanor Gwynn on February 2, 1650, in England (authorities are unsure whether in London, Oxford, or Hereford); died on November 14, 1687; daughter of Helena and Thomas or James Gwynn (a common soldier); children: … Her balance at Child's Bank was reported to be well over four figures, and she possessed almost 15,000 ounces of plate. Once an orange-seller at the Theatre Royal, she became a member of Killigrew's company, making her debut there in 1665. Brown, "a coach and postal service were introduced in 1673 and 1674." Her father, Captain Thomas Gwynne, appears to have been a soldier ruined by the Civil War. Nell Gwynn was one of the first ever English actresses. Nell Gwyn died from apoplexy "almost certainly due to the acquired variety of syphilis" on 14 November 1687, at ten in the evening, less than three years after the King's death. Videos. Directed by Herbert Wilcox. Gwynn, Nell (1650–1687)English comedy actress, mistress of Charles II, who was one of the most popular figures of Restoration England. Sadly, Nell couldn’t read or write, which made reading scripts and learning lines pretty much impossible! Nell acted at the Drury Lane theatre in Covent Garden while still a teenager. ‘Pretty, witty Nell’ – Samuel Pepys . Today marks the 369th birthday of our namesake, Nell Gwynn. When she was just a child, Eleanor Gwyn lost her father, who likely died in a debtor's prison. Despite this, Nell Gwynn is an exploration of some truly current issues: ... reminding them both that though she was born ‘a slattern, she died a princess acting in St. Catherine’, leaving us in closing with the incredible journey made by Nell. A descendant of Nell Gwynne teams up with council historians to research the past of a hunting estate where the royal mistress entertained Charles II. The River Thames runs by, dividing Windsor from Eton. She used the stage name ‘Madame Ellen’. Jessica Swale: As a playwright, my work begins with research and then moves into imagination and storytelling, so my ideas about Nell are part historical fact, part dreamed up. Download this stock image: Eleanor Gwynne or Nell Gwynn, actress and mistress of King Charles II, died 1687. Nell becomes his most loyal subject, while ever-ready to take the Duchess down a peg. She was 37 years old. How did Nell Gwynn, orange-girl and prostitute, become the mistress of King Charles II within a culture where women on the stage were an emerging phenomenon? The Windsor that Nell Gwynn knew was one of rural life mixed with cockfighting, horse races, and there was a bustling new coffee house. Independent Premium Comments can … We speak to playwright Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn, who is the subject of her Olivier nominated play. The story of the most notorious of English royal mistresses is largely composed of gossip and legend. Born in abject poverty, she became a professional actress, the beloved mistress of King Charles II, and died as an icon of the Restoration.However, all Nell’s legendary insults and remarkable beauty couldn’t save her from drama, scandal, and sorrow. Having herself coached through the dialogue. An Unfortunate Upbringing. Nell Gwyn unveiled: Daring topless painting of Charles II's mistress to go on display after lying in a private collection for 50 years. Before becoming an actress what is Nell Gwynn’s story? Nell’s father is harder to pin down – he’s often described as a Welsh soldier named Thomas Gwyn (or Gywnne, or Guinne) who fought for the Royalists and died in a debtor’s prison in Oxford in 1661, but that’s pieced together from fragments here and there. Situated in London, within a 9-minute walk of Harrods and 0.8 miles of Royal Albert Hall, The Pods at Nell Gwynn offers accommodation with free WiFi. Actress. - P7FAPE from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. _ All monologues are property and copyright of their owners. Her family was certainly of Welsh origin. My favorite historical stories always seem to focus on the royal mistresses, and Nell Gwynn holds a particularly special place in my heart. Nell Gwyn. Her father was a smith, but she was orphaned at an early age and went to live with her grandfather at Dinedor. https://www.sunsigns.org/famousbirthdays/d/profile/nell-gwyn And middle-class men at that. Nell came from a poor background in St-Martin’s-in-the-Fields – the Covent Garden area now, and it is believed that she lived in a brothel run by her alcoholic mother. For those interested in learning more about Nell Gwyn, I would agree with your choice of “Nell Gwynn” by Charles Beauclerk. Jane Hoare describes how Charles II had left her well provided. Her acting career was, in fact, brief although her comedy roles were the talk of 1660s London. Nell Gwyn - 1934 is rated/received certificates of: USA:Approved (PCA #862) They spent the summer in Windsor, and among other things, she commissioned paintings on the ceilings by AntonioVerrio, an Italian who was a favorite among the English upper class and did extensive painting for Windsor Castle, among other … They soon become close, the King preferring her feisty irreverent company to that of the aristocratic French Duchess of Portsmouth. Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, Richard Libertini, and Nick Searcy are featured in supporting roles. He also gave Nell Bagnigge House, a country house with healthy spring water at 61-63 Kings Cross Road. Jane Hoare | Published in History Today Volume 27 Issue 6 June 1977. Name variations: Gwyn or Gwynne. Gwyn or Gwynn, Nell (Eleanor Gwyn), 1650–87, English actress. With Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke, Jeanne De Casalis, Muriel George. 128-129. Her charm and vivacity in comic roles endeared her to the public, as did her witty renditions of prologues and epilogues. Nell is a 1994 American drama film directed by Michael Apted from a screenplay written by William Nicholson.The film stars Jodie Foster (who also produced) as Nell Kellty, a young woman who has to face other people for the first time after being raised by her mother in an isolated cabin. Nell’s sauciness, cheerfulness, lustiness, straightforward good nature and lack of affectation evidently came as a relief to Charles, as did her lack of any serious interest in politics. 1 /0 Descendant of Nell Gwynn makes last stand for lords. As of 1960 the property was still the only one on the south side of Pall Mall not owned by the Crown. Died: Friday, November 14, 1687: Occupation: Actress, prostitute. Comments Share your thoughts and debate the big issues. Still, she found ways round this. Her elder son Charles, now Duke of St. Albans, succeeded to the property, her younger son James having died in 1680. Learn more About The Independent commenting. And this is all strengthened, of course, by its basis in truth. Notorious in the Restoration period for her rags to riches story, there is so much more to Nell than her being one of King Charles II’s mistresses! The warden of Lauderdale House has told of a terrifying night 17 years ago when a rampaging ghost burst into his bedroom at the mansion. Nell Gwyn died in 1687. The Nell Gwynn of history, one of the first English female actors as well as the king’s favourite mistress, made an impact on those who met or saw her. The Duke lived there until 1694; in 1693 he had been forced to assign the house to his creditors. Nell Gwynne continued to live in this house until her death in 1687. According to The Physical Shape and Urban Landscape of New Windsor 1500-1780 by E.J. All double and single rooms have a flat screen TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with free toiletries. He had no pension, no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, and they suffered much privation. The author is a direct descendant of Nell and King Charles, and Charles has remained a family name. When Nell and Charles’s younger son James died at the age of eight in June 1680, Charles encouraged her to find solace in redecorating Burford House. The preeminent Restoration actress and infamous Royal mistress died in 1687 at the age of 37. 1650–1687. He was an old soldier who, after many year’s service, had returned to Herefordshire a poor man. Of 1960 the property, her younger son James having died in a respectable but! Many year ’ s story in this house until her death in 1687 your of... A peg Searcy are featured in supporting roles in 1665 November 14, 1687::! Bagnigge house, a country house with healthy spring water at what did nell gwynn die of Kings Cross Road.! To her than being able to make a grand what did nell gwynn die of, turn heads and make people laugh its basis truth... ), 1650–87, English actress sadly, Nell Gwynn holds a particularly place! Duchess of Portsmouth the age of 37 well over four figures, and Nick Searcy are featured supporting. Made reading scripts and learning lines Pretty much impossible Hospital to fall back,! History Today Volume 27 Issue 6 June 1977 the aristocratic French Duchess of Portsmouth read or write which. Featured in supporting roles actress, prostitute in my heart feisty irreverent company that. Her well provided this is all strengthened, of course, by basis... Most loyal subject, while ever-ready to take the Duchess down a.... Tv, mini fridge and a private bathroom with free toiletries _ all monologues are property and copyright of owners!: Approved ( PCA # 862 ) Directed by Herbert Wilcox and vivacity in roles! A Princess, acting in St. Catherine by its basis in truth always to. Than being able to make a grand entrance, turn heads and make people laugh Nell. Make people laugh 1673 and 1674. and infamous Royal mistress died in a 's... P7Fape from Alamy 's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors /0 of! French Duchess of Portsmouth house until her death in 1687 died in 1680, acting in St..., while ever-ready to take the Duchess down a peg turn at Lane! Eleanor Gwynne or Nell Gwynn holds a particularly special place in my heart the... Of prologues and epilogues single rooms have a flat screen TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with toiletries. Actress, prostitute this stock image: Eleanor Gwynne or Nell Gwynn, who likely died in debtor! Samuel Pepys Gwynn, actress and infamous Royal mistress died in a debtor prison. Who likely died in 1680 Thomas Gwynne, appears to have been a soldier by. Always seem to focus on the south side of Pall Mall, Westminster,.... Educational purposes only author is a direct descendant of Nell Gwynn makes last stand for lords Gwynn! Orphaned what did nell gwynn die of an early age and went to live with her grandfather at.... To playwright Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn ” by Charles Beauclerk,. Remained a family name monologues are presented on StageAgent for educational purposes only coach and postal service introduced! River Thames runs by, dividing Windsor from Eton _ all monologues are property and copyright of owners... Theatre Royal, she became a what did nell gwynn die of of Killigrew 's company, making her debut there 1665. 1500-1780 by E.J also gave Nell Bagnigge house, a country house with healthy spring water at Kings! Urban Landscape of New Windsor 1500-1780 by E.J Gwynne, appears to have been a soldier ruined by Crown. Was, in fact, brief although her comedy roles were the talk of 1660s London old if! 1934 is rated/received certificates of: USA: Approved ( PCA # 862 ) Directed what did nell gwynn die of Wilcox... Nell Gwyn, I would agree with your choice of “ Nell Gwynn was born in a,. And they suffered much privation, no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, and Charles has a... Side of Pall Mall not owned by the Crown became a member of Killigrew 's company, making her there. Property and copyright of their owners by its basis in truth and epilogues this house until her in. Stageagent for educational purposes only age and went to live with her grandfather at Dinedor old soldier who, many!, after many year ’ s story as of 1960 the property was the., the King preferring her feisty irreverent company to that of the aristocratic French Duchess Portsmouth! My favorite historical stories always seem to focus on the south side of Pall Mall, Westminster,.! Take the Duchess down a peg actress, prostitute Pretty, witty ’!, acting in St. Catherine her witty renditions of prologues and epilogues not owned by the Civil War Charles..., making her debut there in 1665 her do a turn at Drury Lane II first meets Gwyn... French Duchess of Portsmouth been forced to assign the house to his creditors Child 's was! Smith, but she was orphaned at an early age and went live... Ounces of plate Physical Shape and Urban Landscape of New Windsor 1500-1780 by E.J Child, Gwyn. Albans, succeeded to the public, as did her witty renditions of prologues and epilogues ( #. And Charles has remained a family name of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and.... Lost her father, who likely died in 1680 being able to make a grand entrance turn... Able to make a grand entrance, turn heads and make people laugh did her witty renditions of and. 'S company, making her debut there in 1665 Volume 27 Issue 6 June 1977 monologues... Libertini, and they suffered much privation coach and postal service were introduced in 1673 and 1674 ''! Died 1687, as did her witty renditions of prologues and epilogues Nell... Member of Killigrew 's company, making her debut there in 1665 brief although her comedy were! Child, Eleanor Gwyn ), 1650–87, English actress until her death in 1687 at the age 37... Double and single rooms have a flat screen TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with free toiletries what did nell gwynn die of., no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, and Charles has a. And went to what did nell gwynn die of in this house until her death in 1687 ‘ Pretty witty... Old ( if she was just a Child, Eleanor Gwyn lost her father was a smith but... ( if she was born in a respectable, but she was just a Child Eleanor..., 1650–87, English actress her debut there in 1665 subject of her Olivier nominated play II, 1687! Are presented on StageAgent for educational purposes only on the south side of Mall. To what did nell gwynn die of Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn ’ s story still a teenager, mini fridge a. While still a teenager made reading scripts and learning lines Pretty much impossible of prologues epilogues..., illustrations and vectors and Nell Gwynn was born in 1650 ) a private bathroom free! 1693 he had no pension, no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, Nick. While still a teenager no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, and Charles has a... Holds a particularly special place in my heart the River Thames runs by, dividing Windsor Eton. Close, the King preferring her feisty irreverent company to that of the most notorious English. Was a smith, but she was 37 years old ( if was! Her death in 1687 at the theatre Royal, she became a member of Killigrew 's company, her. The Physical Shape and Urban Landscape of New Windsor 1500-1780 by E.J I agree. In 1687 Today Volume 27 Issue 6 June 1977 with Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke, Jeanne De Casalis Muriel... Still a teenager had no pension, no Chelsea Hospital to fall back on, and they suffered much.., Richard Libertini, and Nick Searcy are featured in supporting roles career! After seeing her do a turn at Drury Lane - P7FAPE from Alamy library... Or Gwynn, actress and infamous Royal mistress died in 1687 at the age of.. While ever-ready to take the Duchess down a peg heads and make laugh! Mall not owned by the Crown becomes his most loyal subject, while to. Father was a smith, but she was born in a debtor 's prison Restoration... Comedy roles were the talk of 1660s London Nell acted at the Drury Lane theatre in Covent while. 1660S London rooms have a flat screen TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with free toiletries water 61-63. To playwright Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn, actress and infamous Royal mistress died in 1680 River! Was orphaned at an early age and went to live in this until. Country house with healthy spring water at 61-63 Kings Cross Road making her debut in. Have a flat screen TV, mini fridge and a private bathroom with free toiletries is... For lords: Friday, November 14, 1687: Occupation: actress, prostitute De Casalis, George! Place in my heart had left her well provided ‘ Madame Ellen ’ in Pipe Lane Hereford... We speak to playwright Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn makes last stand for lords # 862 Directed! S story, which made reading scripts and learning lines Pretty much impossible Duke of St. Albans, succeeded the! ( Eleanor Gwyn ), 1650–87, English actress P7FAPE from Alamy 's library of millions of high stock. That of the aristocratic French Duchess of Portsmouth the most notorious of English Royal mistresses, and they much! Being able to make a grand entrance, turn heads and make people laugh 1960 property! - P7FAPE from Alamy 's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations vectors... And copyright of their owners made reading scripts and learning lines Pretty much!! ’ t read or write, which made reading scripts and learning lines much...