Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Our final blog for LGBTQ+ History Month comes from Dr Caroline Derry, who has recently published a book on lesbianism and the criminal law. Here, Caroline will explore the significance of the report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution to the legal and parliamentary status of lesbian sexuality… In 1958, Harford Montgomery Hyde MP asked the House of Commons, ‘If homosexual conduct between … Continue reading Lesbians and the law: the Wolfenden Report and same-sex desire between women

Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

Continuing the theme of LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of the Lords 1558-1603 section, explores the problem of interpreting evidence from the early modern period… ‘I dreamed that K.B. sent to me in Westminster church, that he was now as desirous to see me, as I him, and that he was then entering into the church. I went with joy, but met … Continue reading Archbishop Laud’s secret ‘misfortunes’: decoding sexual identity in the seventeenth century

Disregarding the Past: The Problems of Pardoning Homosexual Offences

Ahead of this evening’s IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, the speaker from the previous session in collaboration with the History of Sexuality seminar, Dr Justin Bengry, Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London, summarises the issues raised in his paper about the pardoning of historical homosexual offences. In June 2015 I was approached by filmmaker Rosemarie Reed who was … Continue reading Disregarding the Past: The Problems of Pardoning Homosexual Offences

Sex in the Long Parliament

In our latest blog, Dr David Scott of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the extra-curricular activities of some Members of a supposedly puritan Parliament – at least according to newspaper reports… Sexual licence and parliamentary politics have always enjoyed an intimate relationship, and not even the great puritan preachers of the seventeenth century ( who regularly addressed assembled MPs in the adjacent … Continue reading Sex in the Long Parliament

Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

The final blog in our trio for LGBT+ History Month comes from our Public Engagement Officer, Sammy Sturgess. She considers how nineteenth century legal reform in the British Empire impacted the regulation of homosexuality and its Commonwealth legacy… 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth so it seems appropriate to consider the legacy of British colonial-era legislation on Commonwealth nations. Specifically, given that it’s … Continue reading Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

Today’s blog is the second of three posts to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. In this blog we hear from Dr Philip Salmon, Editor of the House of Commons 1832-1868 project, about William Bankes who fled the country to avoid prosecution for homosexual offences … William Bankes was one of the most famous explorers of Regency England. A swashbuckling early 19th-century ‘Indiana Jones’, his discovery of … Continue reading From celebrity to outcast: William Bankes MP (1786-1855)

James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal

Today is the first in a trio of blogs to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Paul M. Hunneyball, Associate Editor of the House of Lords 1604-1629 project, kicks off with a sequel to his blog from last LGBTHM, ‘James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean Court’. In this new blog he explores the evolution of the duke of Buckingham’s position at court … Continue reading James I and the duke of Buckingham: love, power and betrayal

James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court

As LGBT History Month draws to a close Dr Paul M. Hunneyball of the Lords 1604-1629 Section discusses the nature of relationships between James I and his favourite courtiers, his sexuality and how this affected his ability to maintain unquestionable dominance as the monarch… ‘James I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was thus a Bad King.’ This line from Sellar and Yeatman’s … Continue reading James I and his favourites: sex and power at the Jacobean court