27 May 2015
Lady Katherine Savage was a daughter of John Savage (±1603-1654), 2nd Earl Rivers, and Catherine Parker, daughter of the 13th Baron Morley. Katherine married Sir Charles Sedley (1639-1701). Sedley was an English wit, dramatist and politician, but also a notorious rake and libertine, one of the “Merry Gang” of courtiers at the Court of King Charles II of Stuart. He inherited his families baronetcy after his elder brother’s death. The pair had a daughter, Catherine (1657-1717), later Countess of Dorchester and mistress of King James II & VII (1633-1701).
Katherine Savage became mentally ill, developing the delusion that she was a Queen, and demanding to be addressed as “Your Majesty”. As her illness progressed, she was send to live with an order of English Benedictine nuns at
. Sedley assured his wife’s acceptance
by the nuns by agreeing to give the convent £400 a year to help them clear
their debts. As a nun Katherine was tricked by a priest, acting on her
husband’s orders, to give up her wonderful jewellery. The discovery of the loss
of her jewels, emblems of her imagined royal status, distressed Katherine even
more. She died in 1670. Ghent
Sedley tried to obtain a divorce in vain. With Ann Ayscough he had 2 illegitimate sons, William and Charles Sedley. Upon Sedley’s death on August 20, 1701, the Sedley baronetcy became extinct.