Born Margaret Lucas in 1623, the sister of Sir Charles Lucas, Sir Thomas Lucas and Baron De Shenfield (John Lucas) of Colchester, Essex
Margaret secured a position in the Court of Charles I and was maid of Honour to the Queen. On the kings defeat during the Civil wars and his subsequent execution, she followed his son (the future King Charles II ) and the rest of the royal court into exile on the continent.
It was while in Europe she meet William, Lord Cavendish Earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. whom she married becoming his second wife. During this time Margaret continued to write, encouraged by William, himself a poet and writer. Having heard of her writing it is said that it was Charles II himself who coined the nickname ‘Mad Madge’. On the restoration of the monarchy they returned to England.
It was unusual for a woman to be acknowledged as a writer at this time, However many of her stories, poets and plays were published, receiving great acclaim. The Blazing World is considered by many as one of the first if not the first science fiction stories ever published. It is hard to belief the story was published almost 400 years ago.
In 1665 William became the First Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, making Margaret the Duchess.
They are both buried in Westminster Abbey. Charles II lead her funeral cortège.
In the knowledge we have of the Royal court at this time there is speculation as to the true relationship between Madge and Charles II.