Emma, Lady Hamilton (born 1761; baptised 12 May 1765 – 15 January 1815) is best remembered as the mistress of Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of a blacksmith, Henry Lyon, who died when she was two months old. She was brought up by her mother, formerly Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, with no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart.
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland (November 27 1640 – October 9, 1709) was an English courtesan and perhaps the most notorious of the many mistresses of Charles II of England. Her immediate contemporary was Madame de Montespan, mistress of Louis XIV.
Mary Robinson (née Darby) (27 November 1757 – 26 December 1800) was an English poet and novelist. During her lifetime she is known as 'the English Sappho'. She was also known for her role as Perdita in 1779 and as the first public mistress of George IV.
Grace Dalrymple Elliott (1754–1823) was a Scottish courtesan who was resident in France at the time of the French Revolution and an eyewitness to events. She was once mistress of the Duke of Orléans, who was cousin to King Louis XVI. She was arrested and held awaiting death by guillotine but was released after the death of Robespierre. She wrote an autobiographical account of her experiences entitled Ma Vie Sous La Révolution published posthumously in 1859.
Kitty Fisher (died 1767) was a prominent British courtesan whose celebrity was greatly boosted by the attention that Sir Joshua Reynolds and other artists paid her. By emphasizing Fisher's legendary beauty, audacity, and charm, these images promoted her reputation, and prompted spectators to view her with redoubted awe.
Alice Frederica Keppel, née Edmonstone (29 April 1868 – 11 September 1947) was a British socialite and the most famous mistress of Edward VII of the United Kingdom, the eldest son of Queen Victoria. Her full title after marriage was The Hon. Mrs George Keppel. Her daughter, Violet Trefusis, was the lover of poet Vita Sackville-West. She is the maternal great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Catherine "Skittles" Walters (13 June 1839 – 4 August 1920) was a fashion trendsetter and, along with Alice Keppel, was one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London. Walters was rumoured to have had leaders of political parties and a member of the British royal family amongst her benefactors. She was born the third of five children at 1 Henderson Street, Toxteth, Liverpool and moved to London before her twentieth birthday.
Agnes Keyser (1852 - 1941) was the wealthy daughter of a Stock Exchange member, a humanitarian, courtesan and longtime mistress to Edward VII of the United Kingdom. Of all of Edward VII's mistresses, with the exception of socialite Jennie Jerome, Keyser was the best accepted within royal circles, to include having the acceptance of Edward VII's wife, Alexandra of Denmark. She remained with Edward VII until his death in 1910.
Martha Ray (1742 – 7 April 1779) was a British singer of the Georgian era. Her father was a corsetmaker and her mother was a servant in a noble household. Good-looking, intelligent, and a talented singer, she came to the attention of many of her father's patrons. She is best known for her affair with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. She lived with him as his mistress from the age of seventeen, while his wife was suffering from mental illness.
Brooke Magnanti (born November 1975) is a research scientist, blogger and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was known by the pen name Belle de Jour. While completing her doctoral studies, between 2003 and 2004, Magnanti supported her income by working as a London call girl.
Elizabeth Armistead (11 July 1750 – 8 July 1842) was a courtesan and, later, the wife of statesman and politician Charles James Fox. Her career began in an exclusive, high-class brothel in St. James’s in London. Born Elizabeth Bridget Cane, Mrs. Armistead's legendary beauty and gentle nature made her sought after and ensured her the attentions of a string of rich notables including the Prince of Wales.
Harriet Mellon (11 November 1777 – 6 August 1837) was the daughter of strolling players and became an actress, eventually starring at Drury Lane. When she was younger and appearing at the Duke Street Theatre she attracted the attention of the elderly but very wealthy banker, Thomas Coutts of Coutts & Co, the royal bank. She became his mistress until his first wife died ten years later, after which she became his second wife.