KITTY CLIVE  pp. 284-301

KITTY CLIVE

By E. Owens Blackburne

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Born, a.d. 1711. Died, a.d. 1785

IN the year 1690—when the ill-fated James II. was obliged to fly to France after the decisive battle of the Boyne—a young Irish gentleman from Kilkenny attached himself to the fortunes of the fallen king. He was a young lawyer named William Raftor, a descendant of an old and honourable Irish family, many members of which, during the disastrous period which preceded the Revolution and the accession of William III., had taken an active part in the political affairs of Ireland.

Upon the accession of the Prince of Orange the Raftor estates in the County of Kilkenny were confiscated to the Crown, thus leaving their rightful owner penniless. He entered the service of Louis XIV., where he showed such ability that he was soon promoted. After some time he obtained a pardon, and, returning to London, married a Mrs. Daniel, the daughter of a wealthy citizen living on Fish Street Hill. Such were the parents of “that bundle of combustibles,” bewitching Kitty Clive.

She was born in the year 1711, and her early youth was passed in the old city mansion on Fish Street Hill. Her father—a genial, dashing Irishman, capable of telling a good story, and able to give a good dinner—was a man of much cultivation, and affected the society of literary people. Amongst those who frequented his house was Theophilus Cibber–son of the laureate—who afterwards married Miss Johnson, the intimate friend of Kitty Raftor.

Illustrious Irishwomen Volume 2

E. Owens Blackburne

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Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511697814