Sophia Bulkeley, neé Stewart, was the younger daughter of Walter Stewart (d. 1657), a physician and M.P. for Monmouth, and the third son of Walter Stuart or Stewart, first Lord Blantyre (d. 1617). Samuel Pepys remarked that she was 'very handsome' when seeing her walking with her sister, the celebrated beauty Frances Stewart (1647-1702), in St James's Park (Diary August 30th 1668). In 1671 she was appointed a maid of honour to Queen Catherine, and in 1673 she married Henry Bulkeley (c.1641-1698), master of the household to Charles II and James II, M.P. for Anglesey and Beaumaris, and brother of the royalist officer Richard Bulkeley (d. 1650).