Catherine FitzCharles

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The entrance to Dunkirk Abbey

Catherine FitzCharles (born 1658) was the illegitimate daughter of Charles II of England and his mistress Catherine Pegge.[1] Her older brother by one year, Charles FitzCharles, was made the 1st Earl of Plymouth by his father.[2] Little is known about Catherine's life, but she is thought to have become a Benedictine nun at Dunkirk Abbey in Dunkirk, France, like many other highborn Englishwomen during the reign of Charles II.[3] She is believed to have resided there under the religious name, Sister Ophelia, until her death in 1759 at the impressive age of 101.[4][5] However, the shockingly small amount of information available about Catherine FitzCharles leads some to conclude that Catherine died in infancy or early childhood instead.[6]


  1. ^ Weir 1999, p. 256
  2. ^ Dugdale 1676, p. 487
  3. ^ Weldon 2015
  4. ^ Paul 1904, p. 30
  5. ^ Lundy 2015
  6. ^ Hutton 1989, p. 125


  • Weir, Alison (1999). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London, U.K.: The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0099539735.
  • Paul, James Balfour, Sir (1904). The Scots peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. Vol. 1. Edinburgh, Scotland: David Douglas. LCCN 05033339. OL 7020069M.
  • Lundy, Darryl (20 September 2015). "Person Page - 10503". The Peerage. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  • Hutton, Ronald (1989). Charles II: King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0198229117.
  • Dugdale, William, Sir (1676). The baronage of England, or, An historical account of the lives and most memorable actions of our English nobility in the Saxons time to the Norman conquest, and from thence, of those who had their rise before the end of King Henry the Third's reign deduced from publick records, antient historians, and other authorities. Vol. 3. London: Tho. Newcomb, for Abel Roper, John Martin, and Henry Herringman.
  • Weldon, Ralph (11 November 2015). "Benedictine Nuns at Dunkirk". Chronological Notes Containing the Rise, Growth and Present State of the English Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.