Who was Britannia on the old penny coins?

This story always tickles me. It seems that Britannia in her trident and helmet on the old penny coins was one of the mistresses of Charles II. The so-called “Merry Monarch”, who ruled after the grim puritan interlude of Oliver Cromwell, had an insatiable libido. He famously carried on an affair with London street girl…

Advertisements

How close you have been to a mistress of Charles II

Charles II had at least fourteen mistresses ranging from top class courtesans to street prostitutes. There was the infamous Nell Gwynn, an actress who in her teens sold oranges outside the theatre before being accepted inside to tread the boards. At the other end of the social scale was Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine who…