Walters, Catherine 'Skittles'

BORN 13 Jun 1839, Liverpool: 1 Henderson Street, Toxteth - DIED 4 Aug 1920, London: 15 South Street, Mayfair
CAUSE OF DEATH cerebral hemorrhage
GRAVE LOCATION Crawley, West Sussex: Franciscan Monastery (Churchyard; grave is only marked with C.W.B. and her date of death)

Catherine Walters was the daughter of Edward Walters, a customs official. She grew up in Liverpool and moved to London before she was twenty years old. Her nickname skittles may have been derived from her work at a bowling center near Park Lane in London since the game of skittles developed into bowling over time.

She was known for her beauty and she was a fine horsewoman. When she rode on Rotton Row in Hide Park in the 1860s many people watched her. In 1861 the poet Alfred Austin referred to her in "The Season: a Satire".

She had many lovers, among them Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk with whom she spent several months in the USA in 1862. In New York the Marquess of Hartington (and future Duke of Devonshire) was her lover during the Civil War. After her affair with Hartington she moved to France, where she lived until the fall of the Second Empire and where Achille Fould and Napoleon III were further lovers. She was also the first love of the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

She was always discreet about her affairs and neither confirmed nor denied them. After her return to England in 1872 she moved to 15 South Street, Park Lane and there she lived for the rest of her life. By 1890 she retired from society as a wealthy woman. She died in London in 1920.

Related persons
• was the lover of Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen
• was the lover of Fould, Achille
• was the lover of Napoleon III Bonaparte


The grave of Catherine Walters at the Franciscan Monastery, Crawley.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2017)


Catherine Walters - Wikipedia

Wander, Fred

Published: 25 Dec 2019
Last update: 05 Nov 2022