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The 13 Hottest Aristocrats Of The Restoration

This is for all those of you who keep saying there weren't any hot aristocrats during the Restoration. Boy, were you wrong! (Inspired by this post on the New Statesman.)

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13. Anne Spencer, Countess of Sunderland

Hotness: Just look at those eyes! Anne Churchill is a clear choice for one of the smokingest babes (with land and a title) of the late 17th century.

Style: A low-cut dress and a saucy hair do make her tough competition for any good-looking aristocrat hoping to compete.

X-Factor: Having Winston Churchill as a future descendent.

12. Princess Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans

Hotness: Remote and yet SO immediate, with that perfect Restoration-era mix of icy disdain and land-owning swagger.

Style: The gold bodice gives away just enough, don't you think?

X-Factor: Died at 26, possibly poisoned. Too good for this world!

11. Barbara Palmer (nee Villiers), First Duchess Of Cleveland

Hotness: First Duchess of Cleveland? More like first duchess of my heart.

Style: It's a bit daring to wear such a loose-fitting dress, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Barbara Palmer (née Villiers).

X-Factor: Into Madonna-and-Child cosplay.


10. Anne Hyde, Duchess of York

Hotness: "Hey," Anne seems to say, "hey, servant, I'm thirsty. Bring me a chalice of water." Are you going turn her down?

Style: Pearls? Check. Satin bodice? Check. Helmet in lap? Check, I think?

X-Factor: Her daughter, Lady Anne, became the first sovereign of Great Britain. Meow!

9. King Charles II

Hotness: Nine years of exile has a way of giving a man something of a smoldering expression.

Style: The man is king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. If he says it's stylish, it's stylish.

X-Factor: An extremely daring hairstyle.

8. Mary Of Modena, Queen Consort of England, Scotland, And Ireland

Hotness: There's no denying that come-hither look. Believe me, many tried!

Style: The casual drape of a cloak across Mary's lap says both "oh, this old thing?" and "modern heating hasn't been invented yet."

X-Factor: She married James, Duke of York, Anne Hyde's husband, after Anne died. Quelle scandal!

7. John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

Hotness: A rakish smile, a curly periwig, and an actual monkey sidekick make John Wilmot one of the true catches of Restoration England.

Style: One of the most stylish earls ever to put on a pair of breeches and stockings.

X-Factor: Who doesn't love a man with a pet monkey?


6. Louise De Keroualle, Duchess Of Portsmouth

Hotness: Sorry, what was that you were saying? I was distracted by the SEARING HOTNESS of Louise De Keroualle, surely among the very most attractive aristocrats of the Restoration or any other time period.

Style: The mix of I-just-tumbled-out-of-bed hair and barely-buttoned-bodice is potent.

X-Factor: She is an ancestor of both Diana, Princess of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

5. William Cavendish, First Duke Of Newcastle

Hotness: A noted equestrian, swordsman, and poet, Bill Cavendish's hotness stems as much from his accomplishments as from his manly pecs.

Style: Are those lace epaulettes? Yes please!

X-Factor: Once you pick up this Duke's saucy essay on Méthode et invention nouvelle de dresser les chevaux, you won't be able to put it down.

3. Sir Godfrey Kneller, Baronet

Hotness: Sporting a full head of his own hair, Sir Godfrey turns his delicate nose up at the very idea of a periwig. And let's be honest, nothing's hotter than a baronetcy.

Style: Understated and tasteful, Sir Godfrey's not a man to worry about the latest fashions - but who needs fashion when you're court painter to King Charles II?

X-Factor: Who else do you know who's painted Sir Isaac Newton?

2. James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch

Hotness: Fans of Robert Downey Jr. may detect a similarly smoky intelligence to the Duke of Monmouth's looks (but there's no proof the two are related).

Style: The lace-bordered linen collar says "aristocrat," while the armor says "bad boy."

X-Factor: Executed in 1685 by beheading. See! Original bad boy material!

1. Eleanor ('Nell') Gwyn

Hotness: Hottest babe of the 17th century, no question.

Style: Nell Gwyn's style is so out of control she makes a wardrobe malfunction look like a fashion statement.

X-Factor: Pretty, witty, and mistress to the king.