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Frances Teresa Stuart Richmond and Lennox, duchess of

Richmond and Lennox, Frances Teresa Stuart or Stewart, duchess of, 1647–1702, mistress of Charles II of England. The daughter of an exiled Scottish physician, she was educated in France and returned to England as maid of honor to Charles's queen, Catherine of Braganza. Her beauty attracted the attention of Charles, and she became his mistress. In 1667 she declined Charles's offer to make her a duchess and eloped with and married Charles Stuart, duke of Richmond and Lennox, much to the king's displeasure. However, the duchess (known as La Belle Stuart) soon returned to court, and Charles renewed his attentions, dispatching her husband to Scotland (1670) and Denmark (1671), where he died.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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