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 Strumpets and Ninnycocks

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Tue 04 Oct 2016, 08:24

Ferval's mention of Marcia Williams reminded me of two other infamous women of our own times: Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies. I was only a child when the Profumo Affair was in the news in 1963, and of course had no idea what it was all about. I was however aware that it was all very dreadful. A BBC article describes the Profumo affair as "a sinister cocktail of high-society vice, drugs, race and espionage. It spilled onto the floor of the Commons and mortally wounded a Prime Minister". I suppose it's all tame stuff by today's standards, but at the time it was plastered all over the papers. Stephen Ward committed suicide; Profumo's career - and life - was wrecked; and the Conservatives lost the next election. The two women involved, described in the press as "call-girls" (I remember asking at the time what a "call-girl" was and getting a very vague reply), went on to publish autobiographies and to have a film and a musical made about their exploits. Rice-Davies actually appeared in an episode of "Absolutely Fabulous", playing herself.

Rice-Davies' throwaway line from the witness box has ended up in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: her casual, cynical words - when she contemptuously dismissed Lord Astor's denial of having had sex with her - put in a nutshell what the post-war generation thought of the "Establishment" and its attitude to truth:


When told he had denied the affair, she famously retorted: "Well he would, wouldn't he?"

This woman died recently (2014): Lord Lloyd Webber, the man who came up with a short-lived musical(!) about the whole affair, said he was "deeply sad" to hear of the news of her death.

"Mandy was enormously well-read and intelligent," he said. "I will always remember discussing with her over dinner subjects as varied as Thomas Cromwell's dissolution of the monasteries and the influence of the artist Stanley Spencer on Lucian Freud.

"With a different throw of the dice, Mandy might have been head of the Royal Academy or even running the country ( Shocked ). She became a dear friend and I will miss her."











This Guardian blog by Derek Brown gives an excellent overview of 1963: I've copied out the rather large chunk relating to the Profumo affair, including Brown's comment that the whole sordid business did indeed contribute to the fall of Harold Macmillan:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/apr/10/past.derekbrown

For months, rumours had circulated about the private life of John Dennis Profumo, secretary of state for war. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, he was a quintessential high Tory who had achieved cabinet rank after serving in a number of junior posts. He was married to the film star Valerie Hobson, and moved effortlessly in the highest of society.

In the deferential spirit of the 1950s, the rumours may have been restricted to salon gossip. Now, in the new age of iconoclasm, the whispers were amplified in the media. That Was The Week That Was scored a telling blow with a splendid parody of the old music hall number, She was Poor but she was Honest. The words of the new version went: "See him in the House of Commons / Making laws to put the blame / While the object of his passion / Walks the streets to hide her shame."

The "object of his passion" was a young woman whose name is now embedded in British political folklore: Christine Keeler.

Keeler, unlike Profumo, had had an extremely undistinguished life. Born in 1942, she left home at 16 after an unhappy childhood in the Thames Valley, and gravitated to London where she found work of a sort at Murray's cabaret club. There she met and befriended another showgirl, Marilyn "Mandy" Rice-Davies. Soon, both young women had drifted into the racy circle around Stephen Ward, a fashionable West End osteopath and socialite.

Keeler's relationship with Ward was both torrid and rocky. They broke up several times, but he seemed to exercise an almost centripetal force on her, and always she drifted back. Soon both young women were celebrated players, albeit with bit parts, in Ward's sexual circus.

Not all the action was centred on Ward's Wimpole Mews flat, equipped with two-way mirrors and other aids to lubricity. Soon, Keeler and Rice-Davies were circulating in more exalted milieux, including Lord Astor's country mansion of Cliveden. It was there that John Profumo first laid eyes on her. A brief but passionate affair ensued, and tongues began to wag.

Even then, it might have been brushed under the carpet in the time honoured English way, but Profumo made a fundamental error: he lied to the House of Commons. In March 1963 he told the chamber that there was "no impropriety whatever" in his relationship with Keeler. Ten weeks later he appeared before MPs again to say "with deep remorse" that he had misled the House, and would resign.

What brought Profumo down even more than his deceit of the Commons, was the startling revelation that Keeler had also slept with Eugene Ivanov, the naval attache at the Soviet embassy. It was that detail which captured world attention, notably in the United States, where the FBI compiled a detailed report called  Operation Bowtie.

In Britain, Profumo's downfall naturally caused a huge sensation, inflated by the establishment's crude and cruel attempts to find scapegoats for its own embarrassment. As usual, official wrath was turned on those least able to defend themselves. Stephen Ward was prosecuted for living on immoral earnings. On the last day of his trial, he killed himself with an overdose of sleeping tablets.

Keeler was also tried and imprisoned on related charges. Rice-Davies, who escaped prosecution, earned a dubious immortality when, during the Ward trial, she was told that Lord Astor disputed her version of events and replied: "He would, wouldn't he?"

Less than two months after Ward's tragic and mysterious death, an official report was produced by Lord Denning, master of the rolls. It was a hot number: hundreds queued to buy a copy when it was released at midnight. But there were few juicy bits in Denning's findings. He criticised the government for failing to deal with the affair more quickly, but concluded that national security had not been compromised. And, to the dismay of the reading public, he failed to identify the man who, naked except for a mask, had served at Ward's dinner parties. There had been rumours that the "man in a mask" was a cabinet minister but Denning, who interviewed him, denied it.

There it ended, though it never really went away. The 1989 movie, Scandal reignited some of the controversy, and Christine Keeler raked over the embers in  her autobiography, The Truth At Last, published early in 2001. In it, she revived some of the more startling claims made at the time - though alas she was unable to offer convincing new evidence to back them up. She claims for example, that the then MI5 chief, Sir Roger Hollis, was a Soviet spy; and that Stephen Ward ran a spy ring which included Hollis and Sir Anthony Blunt, who was surveyor of the Queen's pictures. Blunt was indeed revealed as a long-time Soviet agent in the 1980s, around the same time that Hollis, the object of numerous rumours, was officially cleared.

Now 58, Keeler has consistently said that successive governments have hushed up the truth of the sordid, sensational Profumo affair. Her only new (and unverifiable) claim, is that the cabinet minister made her pregnant.

And Profumo himself? Remarkably, he is still with us at 86, though friends say he is very frail now. It's nearly four decades since his humiliating fall from grace; years which he has devoted largely to charity work in London's East End. He has also remained true to his tribal code of honour, having never uttered a public word on the events which shook the nation in 1963.

The Profumo affair was no passing sensation. It all but brought down the Macmillan government and it almost certainly finished Macmillan himself as prime minister. In October 1963, less than a month after publication of the Denning report, the prime minister resigned citing ill health. There were no party elections in those days, and the mantle passed to the most improbable of candidates, the 14th Earl of Home.


Private Eye, incidentally, brought out a special Profumo Affair edition - I bet a copy of that is a collector's item now.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Wed 05 Oct 2016, 22:44

Now stop trying to be nice to the unspeakable Nero. He appears to have been one of that terrible group who make the lives of ordinary people a misery. Of course, he didn't "fiddle while Rome burned" as popular legend would have it (the fiddle wasn't invented for the best part of a millennium after his death)
BUT he was,
it seems
on good authority,
a
BAGPIPER!
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 08:27

One can only have even higher respect again for poor Acte when one bears this in mind.

To be fair to Nero again however it should be noted that what Martial called the askaules (which does literally mean "Bag"-"Pipe") and attributed to Nero as his favourite instrument should more correctly have been identified as the tibia utricularis. This would have been more akin to the modern uileann pipe which, it must be said, has a rather less dying cat tenor to it.



Temp - if ever one needs analyse the root of the Brexiteer mentality one only has to check out each country's priority news stories from 1961. While the US inaugurated JFK and endured the Bay of Pigs fiasco which did much to polarise the Cold War main belligerents to a degree that would later bring the world to the brink of potential annihilation, while Europe and much of the rest of the world watched aghast as the East German soviet state began construction of the Berlin Wall, while the first great civil rights marches and disobedience campaigns amongst American blacks heralded what was hoped to be a new dawn for those racially discriminated against from Montgomery to Johannesberg, while Canon John Collins and company's rallies of mass attendance led to the foundation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, while the world watched a young Russian test pilot Yuri Gagarin become mankind's first representative to leave the atmosphere and gravity of a benighted earth and reach for the stars (and the American Ham the chimp did something similar for primates in general), while the audacious ambition to land a man on the moon was announced and gripped the imagination of a generation, while Adolf Eichmann's arrest by Israelis and his execution proved to all Nazis still in hiding that nowhere on the planet would be safe for them any longer, and while the number of "military advisors" from the US ominously overtook the number of local militia they were advising in Vietnam, Britain became obsessed with where a government minister's dick had been.

It must be said that of all the people embroiled in that scandal - and that goes for the judiciary and press as much as for the defendants and the establishment which embarked on a disastrous damage-limitation strategy, it was the two young girls at its centre who emerged as those with the most honesty and integrity of the lot of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 10:32

@ferval wrote:
the suggestion that Harold's Kitchen Cabinet had an annexe in the bedroom.

There was reputed to be a similar annexe back in World War One, when David Lloyd George was nicknamed "The Goat".
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Thu 06 Oct 2016, 11:32

@Triceratops wrote:
@ferval wrote:
 the suggestion that Harold's Kitchen Cabinet had an annexe in the bedroom.

There was reputed to be a similar annexe back in World War One, when David Lloyd George was nicknamed "The Goat".

Somewhere, when David Lloyd George had his scandal of honours for cash, I read of the OBE being in reality an 'Order of the Bad Egg', and of Bristol being nick-named as the 'City of dreadful Knights'.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 08:13

@nordmann wrote:


It must be said that of all the people embroiled in that scandal - and that goes for the judiciary and press as much as for the defendants and the establishment which embarked on a disastrous damage-limitation strategy, it was the two young girls at its centre who emerged as those with the most honesty and integrity of the lot of them.


That was very much the message of  "Scandal", the 1989 film which I watched last night. It was a horribly depressing piece, but very well done. John Hurt played Stephen Ward - not a particularly sympathetic character, but a vulnerable one, something that Hurt conveyed with his usual skill. That other great actor, Sir Ian McKellen, was also excellent as John Profumo. It's a film worth watching, but not an uplifting evening's "entertainment". Ward's desperate appeal to the judge during Keeler's interrogation - "This is not fair!" - actually summed up the whole sorry mess. Those two girls, who under oath (something that was still supposed to matter back then) repeatedly, firmly and truthfully answered "Yes" to every accusatory "Did you have sexual intercourse with...?", did indeed show a damn sight more integrity, honesty and ordinary decency than any of the patrician males involved. Keeler, Rice-Davies and Ward - unlike their "betters" in the Cliveden House set - also seem to have understood the meaning of being loyal to one's friends.






@nordmann wrote:
Temp - if ever one needs analyse the root of the Brexiteer mentality one only has to check out each country's priority news stories from 1961. While the US inaugurated JFK and endured the Bay of Pigs fiasco which did much to polarise the Cold War main belligerents to a degree that would later bring the world to the brink of potential annihilation, while Europe and much of the rest of the world watched aghast as the East German soviet state began construction of the Berlin Wall, while the first great civil rights marches and disobedience campaigns amongst American blacks heralded what was hoped to be a new dawn for those racially discriminated against from Montgomery to Johannesberg, while Canon John Collins and company's rallies of mass attendance led to the foundation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, while the world watched a young Russian test pilot Yuri Gagarin become mankind's first representative to leave the atmosphere and gravity of a benighted earth and reach for the stars (and the American Ham the chimp did something similar for primates in general), while the audacious ambition to land a man on the moon was announced and gripped the imagination of a generation, while Adolf Eichmann's arrest by Israelis and his execution proved to all Nazis still in hiding that nowhere on the planet would be safe for them any longer, and while the number of "military advisors" from the US ominously overtook the number of local militia they were advising in Vietnam, Britain became obsessed with where a government minister's dick had been.



I'm not too sure your comment about the "Brexiteer mentality" and the British obsession "with where a government minister's dick had been" is entirely fair to us Brits. It was all about something more than sex and scandal and bad girls: it was about the corruption of the great ones who were supposed to set the lower orders an example in matters of "morality". As you rightly point out, it was the working-class "working girls" who, in their own paradoxical way, did that. Perhaps it was the British people's despairing realisation that it was the donkeys leading lions thing all over again. The British lions were by now a pretty mangy lot, that must be admitted, but at least the doings of the donkey "dicks" could get the sad old beasts laughing. What else was there to do as the Empire and just about everything else ordinary people had believed in seemed to be crumbling? "You've never had it so good," they were told by Macmillan, but it all rang false perhaps to the generation that had lived through the war? Mandy Rice-Davies came across as a brazen hussy maybe (her laughing defiance reminded me of Nell Gynne's "Good people, I am the Protestant whore!"), but it seems she had the entire jury, courtroom (with the exception of the horrified legal toffs) and half the nation with her in her cynicism and her contempt for the upper-class élite. She was almost cheered as she emerged from the courtroom.

But it was a bad business - and Ward and Profumo were, in their own ways, tragic figures. Ward killed himself near the end of his trial, but Profumo, broken as he was, seems to have found a kind of redemption. He disappeared completely from public life and ended up doing volunteer work for an East End charity in a home which offered help to destitute and alcoholic men. This is not the place to discuss atonement, but he seems to have found a peace of sorts there, cleaning the toilets and performing other menial tasks for broken men from the lower classes. Perhaps he did more good with bleach and loo brush than ever he did serving as a Tory Secretary of State for War.

EDIT:

Anyone can stay at Cliveden House these days - if they have the money, that is: it's now a posh "county house" hotel. I wonder if the same swimming pool from the early 1960s is still there?


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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 08:15

On a lighter note, "ninnycock" was mentioned on Have I Got News For You last night!

You saw it first at Res His!


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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sat 08 Oct 2016, 23:11

Scandal (1989) is certainly a memory stirrer Temp. I don't think that I've seen it since it was first released. I seem to remember that it was pretty good for a British film and did reasonably well at the box office too. It's amazing to think that it was made 28 years after the events depicted and is now itself approaching its 28th anniversary.

On the topic of scandalous ladies, then Jane Digby, Lady Ellenborough springs to mind. I had thought that she was a character from the 18th Century and a contemporary of Georgiana Cavendish and Emma Hamilton. I discover, however, that she lived entirely during the 19th Century. Jane was the daughter of one of Nelson's commanders Henry Digby. During her life she had 4 husbands and numerous lovers. These included (but were not restricted to) the Governor-General of India, a Bavarian baron, a Athenian count, a Thessalian brigand and finally a Syrian sheikh. Intriguingly her 4th marriage to Sheikh Abdul Medjuel (20 years her junior) was also by far her longest and lasted 28 years until her death. She was buried in Damascus.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sun 09 Oct 2016, 09:33

Ms Digby features in this excellent little slideshow from the Daily Telegraph website listing several British women who, for various reasons, were considered scandalous in their day (though Wallace Simpson of course sneaks in too).

I am glad to see Barbara Villiers amongst them, who wasn't only scandalous but who also comes very close to fulfilling the other ingredient mentioned by Temp at the outset - exercising inordinate power from behind the scenes with historical consequences. I have yet to read one contemporary assessment of Villiers made by a man that was in any way complimentary (though I assume Charles II would have disagreed, and Pepys mentioned her in tones of toady awe in his diary) and their approbation nearly always stemmed from Barbara's frequent trespass into what these men would have considered their exclusive fields of power. But it could equally be assumed that all affiliated with her several "royal" progeny, as well as her many male lovers, and not to mention her numerous in-laws and erstwhile friends while she was Charles' most high-profile mistress, would at least have to acknowledge a debt to Villiers for bringing them into the vortex of royal favour and patronage which her activities undoubtedly did.

Things didn't work out too well for Barbara in the end. After Charles' demise she ended up married to an unscrupulous fortune hunter who cleaned her out, and it was notable how few of the many hundreds of nobility who owed their status and fortune in no small manner to her influence over the years offered to help her out when she fell on hard times.

Her historical legacy is almost impossible to quantify if one tries to imagine what we would not have today had Villiers kept her libido in check - an extremely long list that includes such diverse manifestations of one life's relict as the Epsom Derby, Rupert Everett, Dublin's Phoenix Park and Grafton Street, the Mitford sisters, an independent Duchy of Luxembourg (and therefore Radio Luxembourg by extension), and of course that whole sorry, stupid, silly and sad Princess Diana saga of recent times.


Barbara and Charles, bastard son of Charles II, pose as Madonna and Baby Jeeby.
National Portrait Gallery (always worth a visit)
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sun 09 Oct 2016, 14:07

Oi, nordmann, I posted about Barbara Villiers on page one of this thread - and I quoted the relevant bit from Pepys, and I sent the picture of Barbara Palmer as the Holy Virgin, with little Charlie as Baby Jesus.

Makes you wonder if anyone reads stuff here anymore.   Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sun 09 Oct 2016, 14:55

No wonder it all sounded so familiar, even as I wrote it.  Smile

Many apologies - it appears your post coincided with my summer sojourns and I hadn't scrolled up to read it on my return.

Mind you, Villiers was so the epitome of the ilk that she fully deserves being mentioned twice. In fact so consummate an illicit consummatress was she and so long a sybaritic umber did she cast that one these days is inclined to ignore the shade of her younger cousin Elizabeth Villiers who, like her more infamous relative, also put quite a lot of Irish noses out of joint the more royally rewarded her lascivious libido became.

For Elizabeth the royal in question was William (who we assume dropped the "and Mary" bit while indulging his mistress) and who, just as Charles II had gifted his paramour extensive chunks of Irish real estate which he didn't actually own, decided Elizabeth might like several estates in Ireland that he reckoned he had "confiscated" from James II after seeing Jimmy off a few years before. The only problem with this was that James had never owned the properties in question, that many of them not only never had been confiscated but were still owned and maintained by eminently Williamite pre-Jacobite titled families, and that in any case the "Glorious Revolution" had quite sensibly resulted in a parliamentary clause - which William had agreed to - in which no estate confiscated as crown property anyway should revert to actual ownership by anyone wearing the crown. William had broken about a dozen of his own laws in executing his little gesture of benevolence.

Lizzie tried to brazen it out but both the parliament in Dublin and London shot her down (William even paid a fine levied on her to cover the expense of convening parliament just to prize the deeds out of her greedy paws). When Queen Mary died Lizzie must have salivated at the prospect of filling the vacancy, but it wasn't to be. William (no doubt advised by his accountant) decided to cut his losses and ditch the lassie, who was already moonlighting as a freelance femme-fatale (fatal in any case for the rather dim Edward "Beau" Wilson, and almost for his murderer, the future renowned economist John Law). Though not officially involved in the arrangement William must surely have had a role in the scheme whereby she was quickly married off to the 3rd Duke of Hamilton, and the aforementioned unfortunate George Hamilton was almost immediately appointed Earl of Orkney (with instructions that he and his wife move there pronto).

Lizzie and Georgie actually had by all accounts a good marriage, his well attested effeminacy notwithstanding even producing three daughters in the process. One daughter, Anne, rather ironically was to end up married to Richard Boyle, the Earl of Cork, and by doing so ended up lording over many of the very estates which had been illegally gifted to her mammy all those years before.

Lizzie didn't fade away up in Orkney. Once the Georgians took over the monarchy business she was back in town socialiting and pulling strings to her heart's content and though not a mistress of George I was considered by many to have a little too much say over the Hanoverian's policies. Jonathan Swift bumped into her during this period and when asked his impression replied simply "She squints like a dragon". Nuff said.


Lizzie as King Billy would have known her (though with less clobber probably)
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Tue 11 Oct 2016, 23:06

@nordmann wrote:
exercising inordinate power from behind the scenes with historical consequences

The story of Jane Digby is certainly tantalising in this respect. Were she an employee of a 19th century precursor of MI6 then alarm bells would well be sounding. Her relationships with the kings of Bavaria and Greece (father and son respectively) might raise eyebrows for more than one reason. But perhaps more significant was her previous involvement with Felix of Schwarzenberg who was Metternich's military attache to the Habsburg embassy at the Court of St James's. Finding out what Vienna was thinking during the Greek War of Independence and the Russo-Turkish War would have been priceless information for Wellington's government and the British admiralty.

Someone who certainly did exercise political power (and not even in her native country) was Jane's great-great niece Pamela Digby better known as Pamela Churchill Harriman. The daughter-in-law of Winston Churchill, Pamela was involved in counter-espionage and disinformation during the Second World War. After divorcing Winston's son Randolph, she embarked on series of romantic adventures with a veritable who's who of 1940s and 1950s international playboys and tycoons. Pamela would later marry 2 Americans gaining US citizenship. One of her husbands described her as being "the greatest courtesan of the 20th century". The other husband was Democratic politician Averell Harriman who had had a long on-off affair with Pamela over decades prior to their marriage. Among other posts, he had also been Roosevelt's ambassador to Stalin.

As Harriman's wife, Pamela threw herself fully into Democratic Party fundraising and her involvement with the party continued even after Averell's death. In the 1990s she was rewarded by being appointed US ambassador to France, thus the girl from Dorset followed in the footsteps of the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. She died in office in Paris in 1997.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Wed 12 Oct 2016, 09:43

The woman on the right has already caused a fair few ructions. Apparently there'll be another almighty row when Her Majesty Elizabeth II dies.


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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Wed 12 Oct 2016, 16:16

Not sure of that - I wouldn't be surprised if HRH Wingnuts were to predecease his mother.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sun 18 Dec 2016, 23:05

Piers Gaveston was the lover of King Edward II of England. Was not homosexuality a capital offence in England at this time? Edward II was Roman Catholic. In the Roman Catholic Church, homosexuality is a mortal sin. Could not the Catholic bishops have persuaded King Edward to part from Gaveston?
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Sun 18 Dec 2016, 23:22

You're labouring under at least two misapprehensions there, FL. First of all, until the reign of James I, not only was homosexuality not a capital offence but it wasn't even prosecutable as an offence at all. It was a serious charge when levelled publicly, but against a man's public dignity rather than his legal standing, as can be evidenced from - for example - how judiciously the charge had to be phrased by Thomas Cromwell when attempting to disgrace monastery leaders and compiling lists of indictments against them. Secondly, and for much the same reasons, medieval church leaders would have had to be very circumspect indeed should they assume their monarch to be homosexual (a term that itself only came into existence in modern times). They would, if interested in tackling his sexual orientation, have had to first cite instances of anal intercourse or similar - which were indictable offences - as both the language of the church and the language of the law were concerned only with the physical acts which might indicate homosexuality, not the person's sexual proclivities, and especially not the king's.

Your question presupposes very modern manifestations of homophobic bigotry as being extant in medieval times. The truth is they wouldn't even had the language to voice such concerns had they felt them, and in truth they probably didn't feel such concerns at all.

Even if they did, just to attempt to voice such an opinion would be treasonable, though I know of absolutely no incident whatsoever of anyone being tried for treason for having pursued such a line of conjecture about any royal incumbent in English (or indeed any contemporaneous European) history.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Mon 19 Dec 2016, 08:02

Agree with all that - Cromwell's very useful Buggery Act of 1533 was quite vague in its actual definitions. "Buggery" covered all sorts of things and was associated with bestiality.  "Homosexuality" as a concept was a 19th century invention.

Lord Hungerford was executed on the same scaffold as Thomas Cromwell and he has gone down in history as the only man to be executed for the crime of “treason of buggery”  in the Tudor period, but the charges against him also included:

- treason for pretending to arrest Pilgrimage of Grace supporter William Bird, Vicar of Bradford-on-Avon, when he actually supported him by employing him as chaplain;

- using magic, along with Sir Hugh Wood and Dr Maudlin, to predict how long Henry VIII would live.

As for the “buggery” charge, Hungerford had allegedly “exercised and frequented, and used the abominable and detestable vice and sin of buggery "with William Master, Thomas Smith and others in his household”.

They threw in an incest charge for good measure.

Nicholas Udall, the cleric, playwright, and Headmaster of Eton College, who is credited with writing the first comedy to be written in English (Ralph Roister Doister), scored another first in that he was the first man to be charged with violation of the Act alone in 1541, for sexually abusing his pupils. In his case, the sentence was commuted to imprisonment and he was released in less than a year. He went on to become headmaster of Westminster School.

Henry was not too bothered about people's sexual inclinations, unless there was a profit - or other advantage - to be made from making a fuss about them.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Mon 19 Dec 2016, 11:38

There is also of course the fact that in the 13th century royal males were encouraged to develop non-procreative sexual relations. They could sow their wild oats as much and as often as they liked as long as it didn't lead to a potential challenge to their dynastic hold on the crown from an illegitimate child at some point in the future. For many this meant sexual relations with other men, being the most obvious way of fulfilling the requirement.

In England this probably applied more than anywhere else, all royals no doubt being taught at an early age to avoid the quandary that Henry I had found himself in early post-conquest days, when his bastard male offspring (estimated at 25 - no one counted the females apparently) led to all sorts of problems, not only in terms of power struggles after his death but also as a huge drain on the exchequer - at one point a fifth of the exchequer supported "royal estates" were in the hands of someone with the surname of Fitzroy.

By Edward II's time not only was a healthy homosexual relationship an approved option for a royal incumbent, it was probably the height of astute wisdom on his part to pursue one, though he was also dutiful enough to sire offspring through the usual channels too. As it turned out, with Isabella proving his nemesis, he probably died in the certain opinion that he should never have entertained bisexuality at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Wed 29 Mar 2017, 10:14

Born in County Sligo, Eliza Gilbert, eloped at the age of 16 with a Lieutenant James. Divorced after a 5 year marriage, she became a professional dancer under the stage name, and the name she is remembered by, as Lola Montez.
She had a number of affairs, Franz List being one of several lovers, eventually establishing herself as mistress of Ludwig I of Bavaria, with the besotted Ludwig elevating her to the tank of Countess of Landsfeld.
Her many adventures took her to Australia and finally America where she died in 1861.

Lola Montez

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PostSubject: Re: Strumpets and Ninnycocks   Wed 29 Mar 2017, 13:08

I met her in a club down in North Soho, if I remember correctly ...

Seriously - good one, Trike. Not only a notable Irish strumpet of the first order and Sligo's second most important export after Spike Milligan's dad but also - according to my sister who researches this stuff - a relative of mine!
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