Frances Apsley

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Frances Apsley (1653–7. June 1727),[1] later Lady Bathurst, was a maid of honour to Mary and Anne of York. Letters written to her by a sentimental adolescent Mary reveal that Mary idolised Apsley.[2] Whilst there are some historians who believe the writings to be proof of Mary's lesbianism,[3] most historians disagree for after Mary's marriage to William of Orange she fell deeply in love with her husband.[4][5] She did, however, maintain her platonic friendship with Frances, who married Lord Benjamin Bathurst, via ongoing correspondence.[6]


  1. ^ Anna Eunike Röhrig: Mätressen und Favoriten – Ein biographisches Handbuch, MatrixMedia, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-932313-40-0, p. 12
  2. ^ Waterson, Nellie M. (1928). Mary II, Queen of England 1689-1694, pp. 3-9, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 978-1-163-19268-9
  3. ^ Farquhar, Michael (2001). A Treasury of Royal Scandals, p. 20, New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-7394-2025-9
  4. ^ Compton, Louis (2003). "Sapphic Lovers". Homosexuality and Civilization. Harvard UP. p. 479. ISBN 9780674011977. 
  5. ^ Blackburn, Bonnie; Stras, Laurie (2015). Eroticism in Early Modern Music. Abingdon, England: Routledge. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4724-4333-5. …this relationship has most often been written off as juvenile role-play… 
  6. ^ Crawford, Patricia M.; Gowing, Laura, eds. (2000). Women's Worlds in Seventeenth-century England. London: Routledge. p. 244. ISBN 0-203-97854-4.