Nell Gwyn was born in Hereford in about 1650. Her family were poor and she sold oranges at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. She eventually became one of the country's leading comic actresses.
Nell Gwyn became the mistress of Lord Buckhurst. In 1669 she became involved with Charles II and gave birth to two children, Charles Beauclerk (later the Duke of St. Albans) and James Beauclerk.
Nell Gwyn died of an apoplectic fit in 1687.