Sophia Bulkeley

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Sophia Bulkeley
Sophia Bulkeley.JPG
Sophia Bulkeley, portrait by Henri Gascar.
Sophia Stuart
Occupation Maid of honour, courtier
Political party Jacobite
Spouse Henry Bulkeley
Parent(s) Walter Stuart
Sophia Stuart
Relatives Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond (sister)

Sophia Bulkeley (née Stewart; fl. 1660–1718) was a Scottish Jacobite courtier.



She was a younger daughter of Walter Stewart (or Stuart), the third son of Walter Stewart, 1st Lord Blantyre, M.P. for Monmouth, her elder sister being the court beauty Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond. [1] The Stuarts were royalists, and were in exile in France under the Commonwealth. [2]

Sophia returned to England after the Restoration of 1660, and in 1671 became a maid of honour to Queen Catherine of Braganza. About three years later she married Henry Bulkeley: he was fourth son of Thomas Bulkeley, 1st Viscount Bulkeley of Baron Hill, near Beaumaris, and brother of the royalist general Richard Bulkeley. Henry was master of the household successively to Charles II and James II. This marriage therefore placed Sophia in the inner court circles, and due course in 1685 she became lady of the bedchamber to Queen Mary of Modena. [1] [2]

About 1680 it was rumoured that Sidney Godolphin was enamoured of her. [3] In October 1688 she was a witness with Queen Mary at the birth of her son, the young James, Prince of Wales. [1] The Glorious Revolution saw her move with the Queen and Stuart court to France in December 1688. [2]

Sophia Bulkeley remained a Jacobite loyalist, though she had personal reasons to return on occasion to England, something she managed in 1702. [2] She tried to return again to England in 1713, on financial affairs, but was refused papers. [4] She made a final attempt in 1718, which once more failed. [2]


Henry and Sophia Bulkeley had six children. James became a resident in France, and left a family there; [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Bulkeley, Sophia"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Wynne, S. M. "Bulkeley, Sophia". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3899.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. John Harold Wilson (1976). Court Satires of the Restoration . Ohio State University Press. p.  74 note 81. ISBN   978-0-8142-0249-4 . Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  4. Edward T. Corp (2004). A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689-1718. Cambridge University Press. p. 318. ISBN   978-0-521-58462-3 . Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  5. Edward T. Corp (2004). A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689-1718. Cambridge University Press. p. 100 note 48. ISBN   978-0-521-58462-3 . Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  6. Elliot-Wright, P. J. C. "O'Brien, Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20442.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Bulkeley, Sophia". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.