Harlots Wiki

Catherine “Kate” Bottomley is a harlot played by Daisy Head who is introduced in Season 3. She later changes her surname to “Quigley”.

Kate is a teenage farm girl on the verge of being married. She has recently discovered the pleasure that sex can give, and has been sneaking out with a servant to have sex in the stables. Her family believes she has just grown extremely fond of horses – until she is caught in the act by a maid. The maid rushes to the house where she tattles to Kate’s step-father, who just so happens to be drawing up marriage plans with her soon to be husband. She screams in ecstasy as her step-father and fiancé find her in the hay. Furious with her indecency, her step-father commits her to Bedlam, a mental hospital that provides torture instead of treatment.

At Bedlam, Kate slowly becomes friendly with her roommate – though the rooms are more like prisons – Lydia Quigley. As Kate plummets into depression, Lydia is there to be surprisingly uplifting and hopeful, and tells Kate not to let them extinguish the fire inside her. Of course, Lydia also sees opportunity: Kate is an attractive girl, and believes she could take London by storm.

Kate is subjected to a new “treatment” some days later that involves Doctor Swinton shoving his fingers inside her while her pleasures himself. Kate is horrified, but Lydia tells her that they can use the doctor’s perversions against him. Later that night, Kate yells for the doctor, claiming that she is suddenly filled with such “uterine fury” that it must quickly be removed. The doctor is obviously excited, but frets that Doctor Furrow and several guests are soon to arrive. Lydia pipes up, and tells him that she will divert his guests to another room. Doctor Swinton happily agrees, and quickly moves to take Kate for her treatment. When Doctor Furrow arrives, Lydia directs them to where Kate was taken. Doctor Swinton is literally discovered with his pants down by a shocked group of visitors; his indiscretions were long enough to allow Kate to steal the keys. Lydia and Kate escape into the night; Lydia takes Kate to Mrs. May’s house – a former mistress of her father – after she finds Golden Square otherwise occupied. Mrs. May frequently mentions that their stay is not free, and tries to get Kate to pleasure some of her guests. Kate is still unsure about the idea, and so Lydia takes the culls for her.

With the help of Mrs. May, Kate is given a new wardrobe, fine shoes and plenty of makeup. Lydia takes her new protégée around town and introduces her as “Venus “ at The Cocoa Tree gentleman’s club. Kate learns a few lines to impress potential culls, but she is clearly nervous. Despite this, she does make a good impression, especially on Lydia’s former ally Harcourt Fitzwilliam. He hopes to buy her virginity, but is quickly shot down by Lydia, who tells all the men that they are not worthy.

However, Lydia does take Harcourt up on his offer to buy her time, and introduce her to Prince Henry, who wants a mistress. Harcourt is vying to become governor, and has since become close to the Prince and is attempting to gain favor by finding him the right girl. Unfortunately, Kate’s attempts to woo him are disastrous. She finds him rude and vulgar, and tells him so, before Harcourt quickly intervenes and removes her. Lydia is sympathetic, and Kate is upset that she may have missed her chance.

Lydia obviously realizes that Kate needs some help, and enlists Cherry Dorrington to instruct Kate in the art of profanity and pleasure. They have lessons at the Saracen’s Head, and we see that Kate is slowly becoming more sure of herself and even flirts with the new justice, Stuart Knox. Although Stuart refuses Kate’s offer to sleep together (after Cherry Dorrington insists that Kate needs some more ‘practice’), he is obviously intrigued.

Elsewhere, Harcourt asks Lydia for his money back, though Lydia convinces him to give Kate another try, showering praise on how she is “pure and passionate”. He agrees, but only after having Lydia remove Anne Pettifer, a former girl in her employ, from his house. Meanwhile, Margaret Wells has tracked down Lydia’s hiding place and comes seeking revenge, believing that she killed her daughter Charlotte. Lydia is out, and Kate asks what Margaret wants with her ‘mother’. Margaret warns Kate to be careful, and tells her that Lydia bought her at age ten and that she is a terrible person. Kate rebuffs Margaret’s words, and lets her know they were both there when Charlotte died and that Lydia was not the cause of it. Nonetheless, her words linger in the back of Kate’s mind.

Kate’s second attempt at wooing the prince works; they end up having sex on a couch at Harcourt’s mansion. Harcourt is not convinced that Kate will be able to keep Henry’s attention; however. Lydia instructs Harcourt to remove the other girls that are constantly around him, and also lets him know that not everyone is keen on seeing him take the position of governor. Kate and Henry sneak off and have sex in the woods. He remarks that she is like a “nymph” or an “angel” and always knows just how to please him. Ignoring the praise, Kate bluntly warns him that Harcourt wishes to take control, and that he’s surrounded by liars. Henry doesn’t doubt Kate, and sees that she and Harcourt are perhaps both ruled by ambition.