Mistress Jane Needham

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Jane Hyde (Needham)

Immediate Family:

Wife of Charles Middleton
Partner of Laurence Hyde, KG, PC, 1st Earl of Rochester
Mother of Jane Middleton

Managed by: Carol Ann Selis
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mistress Jane Needham

Jane Needham1 F, #324394, b. 1646, d. 1692

Last Edited=12 Jan 2011

Mrs Jane Middleton by Sir Peter Lely, 1665 1

    Jane Needham was born in 1646.1 She was the daughter of Sir Robert Needham and Jane Cockayne.1 She married Charles Middleton on 18 June 1660.2 She died in 1692.1
    Jane Needham and Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester were associated.2 She and Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu were associated.2 From 18 June 1660, her married name became Middleton.2

Child of Jane Needham and Charles Middleton Jane Middleton2 b. 21 Dec 1661, d. 7 Jun 1740 Citations [S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family." [S3437] G. Steinman, A Memoir of Mrs. Middleton: great beauty of the time of Charles II (n.n.: n.n., 1864). Hereinafter cited as A Memoir of Mrs. Middleton.


Jane Needham, Mistress Middleton, court beauty

Jane Myddelton (Middleton) (1645-1692), was a Court beauty.

According to historicportraits.com: Jane Needham was the eldest daughter of Sir Robert Needham (d. 1661), and his second wife, Jane (1619–1666), daughter and heir of Sir William Cockayne of Clapham, and widow of John Worfield of Barking. The Needhams were Welsh gentry, Sir Roberts father being Thomas Needham, esquire of Clocaenog, Denbighshire, the brother of Robert Needham, first Viscount Kilmorey in the peerage of Ireland. Jane Myddelton was probably born in the Lambeth house of her paternal grandmother Eleanor, Lady Salisbery, and was brought up in Lambeth and Clapham, one of a numerous family. She was married at the age of fourteen, on 18 October 1660 at St Marys, Lambeth, as his second wife, to a man some ten years older than herself, Charles Myddelton (1635–1690/91), sixth son of Sir Thomas Myddleton of Chirk Castle and Cefn-y-wern, Ruabon, Denbighshire4.

At Court her striking beauty was the only necessary qualification for advancement, where she had numerous admirers. When only eighteen years old she had been chosen by the Duke of York for inclusion in Sir Peter Lely’s paintings of the Court beauties that hung in his apartments at Windsor. Two years later she was again painted by Lely for inclusion in the portraits of beauties commissioned by Robert Spencer 2nd Earl of Sunderland for Althorp. Portraits of her were clearly prized; one was owned by Cosimo III Grand Duke of Tuscany, as well as by Colonel William Russell and by a ‘Lord Astley’ identified by MacLeod5 with Jacob 3rd Lord Astley of Reading. Despite her marriage in 1660 to Charles Myddleton of Ruabon, her known lovers at Court included Ralph Montagu later created Duke of Montagu and Laurence Hyde later created Earl of Rochester. She never became the lover of the King, but in the summer of 1678 she made a concerted attempt to replace Louise de Kerouaille, the King’s unpopular French mistress, with her daughter Jenny (1661 – 1740). The plan failed, although the daughter’s beauty – preserved in a mezzotint by Gascars after his portrait of her – was scarcely less striking than the mother’s.

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Mistress Jane Needham's Timeline

December 21, 1661