PORTSMOUTH, LOUISE DE KEROUALLE, DUCHESS OF (1649-1734), mistress of the English king Charles II., was placed early in life in the household of Henriette, duchess of Orleans, sister of Charles II. In 1670 she accompanied the duchess on a visit to Charles II. at Dover. The king placed her among the queen's ladies-in-waiting. Her intrigue with Charles was vigorously pushed by the French ambassador, Colbert de Croissy, aided by the secretary of state, Lord Arlington, and his wife. Louise, who concealed great cleverness and a strong will under an appearance of languor and a rather childish beauty (Evelyn the diarist speaks of her "baby face"), yielded only when she had already established a strong hold on the king's affections. Her son, ancestor of the dukes of Richmond, was horn in 1672.
The support she received from the French envoy was given on the understanding that she should serve the interests of her native sovereign. The bargain was confirmed by gifts and honours from
Louis XIV., and was loyally carried out by Louise. The hatred openly avowed for her in England was due as much to her own activity in the interest of France as to her notorious rapacity. The titles of Baroness Petersfield, countess of Fareham and duchess of Portsmouth were granted her for life in 1673. Her pensions and money allowances of various kinds were enormous. In 1677 alone she received £27,300. Soon of ter the king's death she retired to France, where, except for one short visit to Eng land during the reign of James II., she remained. Her emoluments were lost in her later years, which were spent at Aubigny, but she was protected from her creditors by Louis XIV. She died in Paris on Nov. 14, See H. Forneron, Louise de Keroualle (Paris, 1886).