Countess of Ballintrae
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January Letter to Wm Chiffinch, Oxford

2016-02-08
By: Countess of Ballintrae
Posted in:

January 1666

Mr Dear Mr. Chiffinch,

As the Page of his Majesty's Bed-Chamber and Keeper of his Private Closet, I am compelled to write and inform you and Mrs. Chiffinch of current events in Whitehall until such time as you return here with the King. Please do let all know no new plague deaths have been reported in the City for two weeks now and we are so anxious for His Majestys return!

However, I believed it of interest to you that Lady Castlemaine arrived back in Whitehall early from Hampton Court with Queen Catherine. She is mightily playing in her role as the Queens Lady Of The Bedchamber, and she is taking great liberties in His Majestys absence. I have seen her whispering to the young Duke of Monmouth and watching him walking from her chambers like cock of the walk. The people do look askance at the Royal Whore and with Whitehall still so bare after the Plague, her antics are much discussed.

William, you and I share a few secrets ourselves, and I will always be grateful to your and Mrs. Chiffinchs discretion in those years regarding my own dalliances with the King during my years as an actress. I regard my own position as the Queens confidante with pride, and a result of not only the Kings but your trust too.

yours truly,

Margaret Phillips

Countess of Ballintrae