Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Designers of an Empire

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte died 200 years ago last week. He is one of few military leaders who left an artistic legacy that is recognisable and influential, the Empire Style. But he didn’t create it himself. It was crested for him by a couple of French architects and designers who are regarded by many as the original gay designer couple. I mentioned them only briefly in my recent Flower Power article “A Divine Headdress”. They are Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre Fontaine (1762-1853).

Pierre Fontaine was the elder and longest lived of the two. He was born in Pontoise, to the north-west of Paris, into a middle-class family of architects and designers. His father, also called Pierre, was the engineer of the fountains and hydraulic system at the Château de L’Isle-Adam, home of the Prince of Conti (grandson of the Prince of Conti who was elected King of Poland-Lithuania).

Young Pierre was 16 years old when he went with his father to work at the chateau, which was just 10 kilometres from Pontoise. Pierre’s keen interest and natural ability at architecture was noticed by the chief architect of the fountain project and he helped to expand Pierre’s experience by allowing him to copy some of the designs and to join the workmen in the construction work.

In 1779 Pierre went to Paris to study at the Académie Royale d’Architecture. Pierre came second in the Prix de Rome in 1785. This was a competition for the Académie students which offered a five-year scholarship in Rome to the winner. Although he didn’t win in 1785 Pierre was awarded the scholarship in 1787 when the awarding of that year’s prize was delayed. Interestingly, his design that can second was for a sepulchral monument for the kings of France (below). It was influenced by the design for Isaac Newton’s cenotaph, about which I wrote in March.

It was while Pierre was at the Académie that he met Charles Percier who went on to win the Prix de Rome in 1786, the year between Pierre coming second and him being awarded the Rome scholarship.

Charles Percier had a very different upbringing to that of Pierre Fontaine. His mother Marie-Jeanne was a seamstress and laundrywoman and his father Denis was a gate-keeper, but Charles’ childhood was anything but typically working-class. Both of his parents worked for the French royal family. His mother worked for Queen Marie Antoinette and his father worked at the moat bridge near the Tuileries, the palace in Paris.

Charles, like Pierre, showed artistic talents as a child. He could draw the uniforms of the palace guards and soldiers in perfect detail, and he was soon put into the classes of the palace art tutor. This led to him being enrolled into the Ecole Royales Gratuite de Desins at the age of just 7. This was a free school for children from modest or poor backgrounds who had a shown clear aptitude for art and design. Charles soon gained a reputation as a skilled draftsman, even before he entered the Académie Royale d’Architecture at the age of 15.

Even though Percier and Fontaine, as the duo later became known, as if a single entity, met at the Académie it was only when they both began studying in Rome that they started working together. They shared a studio and travelled around the region concentrating on the classical architecture. The neo-classical style was all the rage in Europe and Percier and Fontaine would go on to develop it further. They were so inseparable that fellow students called them “the Two Etruscans”, the Etruscans being the civilisation that evolved into ancient Roman.

Percier and Fontaine made a pact in Rome based on mutual respect and confidence. They pledged to stay single and never marry. It is this pact that forms the basis of the idea that they were, or became, a “gay” couple as we would recognise today.

All was going well in Rome. Then in 1789 the French Revolution threw Fontaine’s life into turmoil. His parents, both reliant on royal employment, were out of work and penniless. Fontaine returned to Paris to try to support them. Percier remained in Rome, but soon hostility towards the French forced him to return to Paris also and he moved in with Fontaine.

Their architectural designs kept them employed until 1792 when Percier was offered the job of scenery designer and supervisor at the Paris Opera. Fontaine, who had recently moved to England to get away from the Revolution, was brought back to France by Percier who insisted that if he was to take the post at the Paris Opera then Fontaine must be appointed with him.

During their four years at the opera Percier and Fontaine continued to work of other projects. This brought them to the attention of one of their neighbours, none other than Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon (who had yet to be declared emperor). Together, Percier and Fontaine were engaged to work on Josephine’s residence, the Château de Malmaison outside Paris.

At the start of the project they met Napoleon himself. Napoleon soon became a huge fan of their work and employed them to redecorate the Hôtel des Invalides, a veteran’s home that had been damaged during the Revolution. The success of both projects led Napoleon to appoint Fontaine as official government architect. In a reciprocal manner to the opera position Fontaine said he wouldn’t do it unless Percier was appointed with him.

Between 1801 and 1814, when the post of government architect was abolished and the post of Paris city architect was created, Percier and Fontaine worked on most of the famous buildings that are still familiar to us today – the Louvre, Fontainbleau, Versailles, the Élysée Palace and the Tuileries.

Napoleon dismissed Percier in 1804, which upset and offended Fontaine, but the two continued to work together and Percier was also able to pursue other projects.

Although Fontaine kept to the pact he and Percier made in Rome to remain unmarried he fathered an illegitimate daughter by Sophie Depuis, an artist he and Percier employed to colour the illustrated plates of one of the books they wrote on architecture.

Charles Percier died in 1838 and left Fontaine grief-stricken. Fontaine continued to work as Paris city architect and interior designer at the Louvre and Tuileries until he resigned at the age of 86. He was buried with Percier and another close associate, Clarles-Louis Bernier (1755-1830), who worked with them at the Paris Opera and the Louvre. Their joint grave monument was designed by Fontaine.

Percier and Fontaine perfected the artistic style that became known to us as Empire Style. Evolving from the previously popular Directoire and Ne-Classical styles it became very distinctive. Even when Egyptian elements crept in, Empire Style remained the style that defined the Napoleonic era.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Game of Gay Thrones 6: Norway, Poland and Portugal

Here we are with five more lgbt people who have been heirs, claimants, candidates, usurpers or imposters of various royal thrones. Their quests to pull their own “sword from the stone” were unsuccessful. Included for the first time are two people who were consorts to those heirs, etc., and would have sat beside their spouse on the royal throne.

1) Prince François Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Conti (1664-1709); titular King of Poland and Prince of Neuchâtel.

Prince François Louis was the nephew of Prince Louis, Duke of Condé, who was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the elective throne of Poland-Lithuania. In 1697 the throne was up for election again and the King of France put Prince François Louis’ name forward. Unlike his uncle Prince François Louis was successful, although it was obtained mainly through bribes. The Prince didn’t seem too eager to occupy his throne. After a couple of months delay he arrived in Poland to find that his rival in the election had seized the throne from him. The Prince just turned around and went back home.

Perhaps Prince François Louis didn’t want a repeat of a previous attempt to occupy a throne. In 1694 he inherited the sovereign principality of Neuchâtel in the will of the previous prince. Unfortunately, this previous prince’s sister thought she was the rightful ruler and Prince François Louis took her to court. The court found in his favour, but the King of France refused to support his claim and ordered François Louis to let the sister keep Neuchâtel.

Prince François Louis was openly bisexual and often blatant about his affairs, which caused tension in his family.

2) Prince Eugen of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Närke (1865-1947); proposed king of Norway.

In 1905 the joint kingdom of Sweden and Norway decided to split. The King and Crown Prince were to remain on the Swedish throne, and a younger son would be the first king of an independent Norway. Of the younger sons Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke was the one considered most favourably, as he was known to be a great Norwegaphile.

Norwegian politicians had been calling for full independence from Sweden since 1814. Prince Eugen had even been suggested as a future King of Norway in 1893, but his father made it clear that he wanted none of his sons on a Norwegian throne. In 1905 the newly independent Norway gave the crown to a Danish prince instead.

Prince Eugen was himself reluctant to accept any throne. He was more interested in art and painting than politics and was a well-known artist. He never married and Scandinavian writers and journalists often include him in lists of famous lgbt Norwegians.

3) Prince Francisco José de Bragança (1879-1919); claimant to the throne of Portugal.

Prince Francisco’s father was Prince Miguel, Duke of Braganza, claimant to the throne of Portugal. Miguel’s father, another Miguel, had usurped the throne from his own brother in 1828 and was himself deposed in 1834. Supporters of Miguel’s restoration to the throne were called the Miguelista.

When Portugal became a republic in 1910 the younger Prince Miguel launched an uprising to regain his father’s throne but was unsuccessful. In an effort to unite the Miguelista and another group supporting a rival monarchist claim Miguel and his eldest son renounced all rights to the throne. The united monarchists considered Miguel’s younger son, Prince Francisco José, as the head of the claim to restore the monarchy with his as King of Portugal.

Scandal followed Prince Francisco José. He was arrested in London in 1902 for gross indecency with a 15-year-old boy. Although he was found not guilty he was accused of a similar crime a few years later in Austria. He was also swindled out of £325,000 in 1909 by someone claiming to be a member of the Vanderbilt family.

During World War I Prince Francisco José fought with the Austro-Hungarian army. He was captured and died, still in captivity, in 1919 at the age of 39.

4) Princess Anna Sforza d’Este (1476-1497); Hereditary Duchess of Ferrara.

Princess Anna is the first of the “Queer Consorts” who missed their chance to sit on a throne beside their spouse. Anne was the daughter of the Duke of Milan. In 1477 her father arranged her marriage to Alfonso d’Este, Hereditary Duke (heir) of the sovereign Duchy of Ferrara. The wedding ceremony took place in 1491.

The marriage was not a happy one. Princess Anna was said to be rather unfeminine in looks and behaviour. She spent most of her time dressed as man and preferred the company of women. It is believed by historians that she had several lesbian affairs, and it is known that she refused to consummate the marriage and shared her bed every night with a female black slave.

Eventually Anna agreed to consummate the marriage in order to provide an heir to the throne of Ferrara. In 1497 she became pregnant but, sadly, died in childbirth at the age of 21.

Anna’s widower, Prince Alfonso, remarried in 1503 to Lucrezia Borgia. Yes, the same Lucrezia Borgia whose life of debauchery and murder is legendary (and probably false). It was Lucrezia who later became Duchess of Ferrera when Alfonso inherited the title.

5) Sir George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628); consort to the heir of the Scottish and English thrones.

Buckingham was the lover of King James I of England, and VI of Scotland. James probably didn’t realise that he also arranged for Buckingham to marry a bloodline heir to both of his thrones. In 1620 Buckingham married the Lady Katherine Manners, daughter of the Earl of Rutland, who brought a lot of money and rich estates with her.

In 1290 the 7-year-old Queen Margaret of Scotland died unexpectedly leaving no close relatives or clear successor. Thirteen men came forward with claims to the throne through various old royal lines. No-one could decided who had the best claim, so the Scottish nobles asked King Edward I of England to chose one. Lady Katherine Manners’ ancestor, Lord de Ros, was the nearest bloodline heir of Queen Margaret through an illegitimate line. King Edward chose someone from a more junior line to be king instead. Lady Katherine became the eventual heir of the de Ros claim and she became Baroness de Ros herself when her father died.

Lady Katherine also had a claim to the English throne through the de Ros line. An earlier de Ros heiress carried the title into the Manners family on her marriage. The Manners were heirs of Princess Anne of England (1439-1476), the eldest sister of Kings Edward IV and Richard III. Anne’s brothers and their descendants were barred from the throne, even (technically) Princess Elizabeth of York who married the Tudor usurper King Henry VII. Various relatives of Anne tried to get the throne back but were unsuccessful. Eventually they gave up. The descendants of Anne carried the senior claim to the English throne through the Manners family to Lady Katherine, Baroness de Ros.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Oscar's Queer Awards

The covid pandemic may have disrupted film production over the past year but is hasn’t disrupted the awards season where it seems that quotas, inclusion and diversity are more important than actual talent and achievement.

It isn’t generally known, especially by self-identified lgbt spokespeople, that there have been many lgbt winners and nominees of Oscars. There were more lgbt nominees in the ten years of the 1950s (132) than there were in the 25 years from 1994 to 2019 (126). Many of these nominees may not have been lgbt publicly, but then they didn’t have social media demanding that this part of their life should be made public. Most were openly lgbt to those they worked with and knew. There has only been two awards ceremonies where there weren’t any lgbt nominees – November 1933 (there were two ceremonies that year, the first being in April) and 1935. As the ceremony last weekend was the 93rd that means that there are had been at least 91 lgbt nominations in Oscar history.

Do you remember Sam Smith looking like a complete fool by declaring in front of the world to be the first openly lgbt Oscar winner in 2015 (probably the only thing Sam will ever be remembered for)? Thankfully, there were plenty of previous lgbt Oscar winners ready to put the record straight.

Of course, there were people who were deliberately secretive about their sexuality, but fewer than you might think. It is recognised that the film studio bosses deliberately suppressed news in the media about a film star’s sexuality. To cover up any scandal the news would have caused at that time the studios arranged for that person to get married. This attitude towards sexuality in the American cinema still prevails today, despite the deceptive appearance of there being a lot of out American actors and film-makers.

There are too many lgbt nominees and winners to list here (602 in total, held by 219 individuals), but an almost accurate list is available on Wikipedia. A handful of the names it lists are not verified as being lgbt, being based purely on unsubstantiated rumour or unreliable testimony. Some names that have been included which are based on rumour have other supporting evidence which supports their identification. There are also a few omissions and wrongly categorised names.

So, here are some of the more interesting and significant facts and figures about lgbt nominees and winners of Oscars.

Category with the most lgbt nominations, and category with the most lgbt winners
Best Art Direction (replaced with Best Production Design in 2012) received 20 lgbt nominations. Between 1941 and 1970 the category was subdivided into Colour and Black and White.

Best Art Direction: Colour received 67 nominations, and Best Art Direction: Black and White received 58. In total the Best Art Direction category has received 145 lgbt nominations. Of those 145 nominations, 28 won. Best Art Direction won 4 times, Best Art Direction: Colour won 13 times, and Best Art Direction: Black and White won 11 times.

Honorary Awards
Eight lgbt people were given honorary awards, and 1 was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Number of lgbt nominations for acting

Best Actor – 35 nominations (5 wins)
Best Actress – 32 nominations (10 wins)
Best Supporting Actor – 23 nominations (4 wins)
Best Supporting Actress – 14 nominations (5 wins)

First lgbt nomination, first lgbt acting nomination, first ever female nomination, and first female to receive more than one nomination, and first female to win all nominations received in one year.

Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) received three nominations as Best Actress at the very first awards ceremony in 1929 for her roles in “Seventh Heaven”, “Street Angel” and “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans”. She won all three Oscars.

First lgbt male nominations

In 1934 there were two lgbt male nominees: George Cukor (1899-1983) as Best Director for “Little Women”; and Charles Laughton (1899-1962) as Best Actor as King Henry VIII in “The Private Life of Henry VIII”.

First male lgbt winner

Charles Laughton (1899-1962) for Best Actor in 1934 (above).

First non-acting lgbt nomination

George Cukor (1899-1983), nominated as Best Director in 1934 (above).

First non-acting lgbt winner, the most nominated lgbt non-actor, the most consecutive years with a nomination, and the lgbt person with the most Oscars

Edwin B. Willis (1893-1963) won Best Art Direction (Colour) for “Blossoms in the Dust” in 1942. He received a total of 32 nominations over 27 years with a further 7 wins. He was nominated every year between 1950 and 1958.

First female transgender nomination, first transgender person to be nominated twice

Angela Morley (1924-2009), nominated for Best Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation or Scoring in 1975 for “The Little Prince”. She was nominated in the same category in 1978 for “The Slipper and the Rose”.

First male transgender nomination

Yance Ford (b.1972), nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 2018 for “Strong Island”.

First transgender acting nomination (pre transition)

Elliott Page (b.1987), nominated as Best Actress in 2008 for playing the lead role in “Juno”.

First lgbt actor to play a non-lgbt character of the opposite sex

Linda Hunt (b.1945), nominated at Best Actress in 1983 for playing Billy Kwan in “The Year of Living Dangerously”.

First black lgbt acting nomination

Paul Winfield (1939-2004), nominated as Best Actor in 1973 for “Sounder”.

First black lgbt non-acting nomination

Lee Daniels (b.1959), nominated as Best Director in 2010 for “Precious”.

Lgbt actors with the most nominations

Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003) received 12 nominations, all for Best Actress. She won 4 times, and holds the record for the most Oscars won by any female actor.

Sir Laurence Olivier, Lord Olivier (1907-1989) received 13 nominations, though they include Best Director and Best Picture (“Hamlet”, 1949), and one honorary award. He also won 4 times.

First posthumous lgbt acting nomination

Jeanne Eagels (1890-1929), nominated in April 1930 as Best Actress for “The Letter”.

First posthumous lgbt male acting nomination, first lgbt actor to be nominated posthumously twice

James Dean (1931-1955), nominated in 1956 as Best Actor for “East of Eden”, and nominated in 1957 as Best Actor for “Giant”.

First posthumous lgbt non-acting nomination, first posthumous lgbt winner, most number of posthumous nominations

Howard Ashman (1950-1991) was nominated in 1992 as lyricist in the Best Original Song Category with three songs from “Beauty and the Beast”, “Be Our Guest”, “Belle” and the title song, which was the first posthumous win by an lgbt individual. Howard received his fourth posthumous nomination in 1993 in the same category with “Friend Like Me” from “Aladdin”.

Lgbt nominee with the lowest success rate

Many people were nominated once but did not win. Several with multiple nominations also did not win. Probably the most famous of these are songwriter Cole Porter (1891-1964) and actor Montgomery Clift (1920-1966), who each received 4 nominations but did not win. The lgbt person nominated the most without a win was Howard Bristol (1902-1971), who was nominated 9 times between 1942 and 1969 in all of the three Best Art Direction categories.

Film with the most lgbt nominees, and film with the most lgbt winners

In 1952 “An American in Paris” had 6 lgbt people among its 15 nominees in 8 categories. Five of those lgbt nominees won – 2 for Best Art Direction: Colour, and 3 for Best Costume Design: Colour.

Year with the most number of lgbt nominees, and the most lgbt winners

At the 1952 ceremony a total of 16 lgbt people received 20 nominations in 9 categories. Eight of those people won in 4 of the categories, including “An American in Paris” (above).

Lgbt people with the most multiple nominations in one year

There are 7 who have been nominated 3 times in one year. They include Janet Gaynor in 1929 (also the first lgbt multiple winner in one year, see above), Edwin B. Willis in 1954 (see above), and Howard Ashman in 1992 (all posthumous, see above). The others are:

Samuel M. Comer (1893-1974) in 1964 for Best Art Decoration on 3 different films,

Jacques Demy (1921-1990) in 1966 in 3 categories for “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”,
Sir Elton John (b.1947) in 1995 for 3 songs from “The Lion King”, and
Henry Krieger (b.1945) in 2007 for 3 songs from “Dreamgirls”.

I think that’s enough statistics for now. If I get the time I’ll produce another list of interesting lgbt Oscar facts in the future, perhaps concentrating on music, design or production.


Friday, 23 April 2021

Out of King Edward's Tree: Part 3

Today is St. George’s Day. St. George became the patron saint of England during the reign of King Edward III (1312-1377). Over the past two days I have listed the many lgbt descendants of King Edward, and his father, the gay King Edward II (1284-1327). See my article of two days ago for the family tree which shows which of Edward III’s grandchildren the following people descend.

List 8 – descendants of Lady Joan Beaufort (c.1379-1440) through the Nevilles
Eva Gore-Booth (1870-1926), poet and suffragette (61 lines)
Hon. Hugh Lygon (1904-1936), banker (697 lines)
T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935), Lawrence of Arabia, author and adventurer (16 lines)
Pamela Schwerdt (1931-2009), horticulturalist (70 lines)
Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962), author (81 lines)
Edward Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu (1926-2015) activist and motor museum owner (320 lines)
Roden Noel (1834-1894), poet (27 lines)
Rupert Buxton (1900-1921), Oxford University student (27 lines)
George Mallory (1886-1924), mountaineer (26 lines)
Fiona Cunnigham-Reid (b.1956), documentary film-maker (281 lines)
William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806), Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister (8 lines)
John Waters (b.1946), film director (3 lines)
Glen Maxey (b.1952), American politician (3 lines)
Sir John Bramston (1832-1921), Australian politician (10 lines)
Margaret Damer Dawson (1873-1920), co-founder of women’s police force (29 lines)
Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), artist (10 lines)
Ellen Degeneres (b.1958), broadcaster and comedian (7 lines)
E. M. Forster (1879-1970), author (15 lines)
William Leonard Courtney (1850-1928); author and philosopher (12 lines)
Peter Cokes (1913-2008), actor (16 lines)
Patrick Trevor-Roper (1916-2004), eye surgeon and activist (45 lines)
Ernest Thesiger (1879-1961), actor (23 lines)
Clare Balding (b.1971), sports broadcaster (263 lines)
Cara Delevigne (b.1992), actor (66 lines)
William Beckford (1760-1844), novelist and arts patron (4 lines)
Francis Bacon (1909-1992), artist (6 lines)
Marlon Brando (1924-2004), actor (2 lines)
Randolph Scott (1898-1987), actor (2 lines)
Gore Vidal (1925-2012), author (2 lines)
Dale Parker Anderson (b.1965), activist, founder of lgbt micronation (1 line)
George Seymour, 7th Marquess of Hertford (1871-1940), party giver (141 lines)
Tony Scupham-Bilton (b.1960), historian, writer of The Queerstory Files (4 lines)
Peggy Seeger (b.1935), singer and songwriter (2 lines)
Vincent Price (1911-1993), actor and art collector (4 lines)
Victoria Price (b.1962), author and public speaker (4 lines)
Leona Holbrook (1909-1980), Professor of Physical Education (2 lines)
Frances Norma Loring (1887-1968), sculptor and artist (2 lines)
Reynell Grissell (1927-1999), classical pianist (4 lines)
Very Rev. Charles Vaughan (1816-1897), Dean of Llandaff Cathedral (4 lines)
Eustace Robb (1899-1985), television producer (8 lines)
Rt. Hon. Jeremy Thorpe (1929-2014), MP, Leader of the Liberal Party (4 lines)
Lady Eve Balfour (1899-1990), pioneer of organic farming (116 lines)
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), author (2 lines)
G. DeWolf Shaw (b.1950), human capital evaluator (2 lines)
Gerald Heard (1889-1971), historian, author and philosopher (1 line)
Hon. Eleanor Acheson (b.1947), US Assistant Attorney General (10 lines)
Sir Robert Herbert (1831-1905), Premier of Queensland (70 lines)
Mark Frankland (1934-2012), journalist and spy (14 lines)
Divine (1945-1988), actor and performer (3 lines)
Cynthia Nixon (b.1966), actor (3 lines)
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), author (3 lines)
Doris Fielding Reid (1895-1973), stockbroker (8 lines)
John Holmes III (b.1984), flower shop proprietor (8 lines)

List 9 – Descendants of Princess Constance of York (c.1374-1416)

Lady Eleanor Butler (1739-1829), one of the Ladies of Llangollen (2 lines)
Sir Arthur Vicars (1862-1921), herald (1 line)
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), author (1 line)
Dolly Wilde (after 1893-1941), socialite (1 line)

List 10 – Descendant of Princess Anne, Countess of Buckingham (1383-1438)

Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool (b.1954), Assistant Bishop of New York (2 lines)

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Out of King Edward's Tree: Part 2

Here is the second part of the list of lgbt descendants of King Edward III, who made St. George the patron saint of England, and his father, the gay King Edward II. See yesterday’s article for the chart which shows which of Edward III’s grandchildren the following people descend. Again, the numbers after their occupation are the total known lines of descent of that person from the two Edwards.

List 4 – descendants of John and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset
James Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Findlater (1750-1811), architect (22 lines)
Rt. Rev. Percy Jocelyn (1764-1843), Bishop of Clogher (24 lines)
Julia Pell (1953-2006), civil rights advocate (1 line)
Myles Hildyard (1914-2005), landowner (18 lines)
Philip Streatfield (1879-1915), artist (48 lines)
Lady Anna Gordon (b.1988), 1st same-sex engagement announced in the Daily Telegraph (504 lines)
Lord Alfred Douglas (1870-1945), partner of Oscar Wilde (70 lines)
Stephen Tennant (1906-1987), socialite (69 lines)
Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986), author (6 lines)
Una, Lady Troubridge (1887-1963), sculptor and author (13 lines)
Judith Furse (1912-1974), actor and director (13 lines)
Rupert Barneby (1911-2000), botanical scientist (2 lines)
Olive Custance (1874-1944), poet (20 lines)
Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven (1593-1631), rapist (1 line)

List 5 – Descendants of Lady Joan Beaufort (1407-1445)

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), First Lady of America (1 line)
Joseph Alsop (1910-1989), journalist (1 line)
Alan Turing (1912-1954), codebreaker and mathematician (20 lines)
Miranda Ponsonby (b.1933), author, transgender (7 lines)
Robert Boothby, 1st Baron Boothby (1900-1986), politician (19 lines)
Dennis Price (1915-1973) actor (41 lines)
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), author (20 lines)
Alexander Hamilton (c.1756-1804), Founding Father of America (1 line)
Jasper Conran (b.1959), designer (16 lines)
Francilia Agar (b.1975), Olympic swimmer (50 lines)
Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), author (3 lines)
Duncan Grant (1885-1978), artist (3 lines)
Michael Pitt-Rivers (1919-2000), activist (499 lines)
Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton (1840-1870); politician (260 lines)
Prince Egon von Furstenberg (1946-2004), fashion designer (146 lines)
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp (1872-1938), colonial governor (48 lines)
Bram Stoker (1847-1912), author (2 lines)
Simon Fanshawe (b.1956), broadcaster (220 lines)
John Hervey, Lord Hervey (1696-1743), politician (15 lines)
Tamsin Ormond (b.1984), environmental activist and journalist (15 lines)
Norman Douglas (1868-1952), author (12 lines)
Ursula Bethell (1874-1945), poet and social worker (8 lines)
George Byron, 6th Baron Byron (1788-1824), poet (16 lines)
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), composer (1 line)
Sir Ewan Forbes, 11th Bt., (1912-1991), 1st transgender knight (20 lines)
Eileen Gray (1878-1976), architect (29 lines)
Francis Turville-Petre (1901-1941), archaeologist (73 lines)
Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Bt. (1874-1944), oriental scholar (16 lines)
Sir Peter Pears (1910-1986), classical singer (13 lines)
Hon. Edward Adeane (1939-2015), civil servant (33 lines)
Sir Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545-1567), husband of Mary, Queen of Scots (7 lines)
King James I Stewart of Great-Britain (1566-1625) (13 lines)
Lord Ivar Mountbatten (b.1963), cousin of the Prince of Wales (26 lines)
Prince Philipp von Hessen (1896-1980), Landgrave of Hesse (13 lines)
King Friedrich II the Great of Prussia (1712-1786) (13 lines)
King Gustav III of Sweden (1746-1792) (13 lines)
King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) (13 lines)
Gavin Henderson, 2nd Baron Faringdon (1902-1977), politician (2 lines)
Sir Noël Coward (1899-1973), actor, author, songwriter (1 line)
Daniel Veatch (b.1965), Olympic swimmer (1 line)

List 6 – descendants of Cardinal Henry Beaufort (c.1375-1447)

Martha Eliot (1891-1978), Assistant Director of WHO (1 line)
Charles Adams (1770-1800), lawyer (1 line)
Sally Ride (1951-2012), astronaut (4 lines)
Rosamund Grosvenor (1888-1940), socialite (8 lines)
Will Young (b.1979), singer and actor (6 lines)
Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831), one of the Ladies of Llangollen (4 lines)
Violet Martin (1862-1915), author (15 lines)
Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington (1885-1972), diplomat (32 lines)
Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu (d.1762), author, traveller (15 lines)
June Millington (b.1948), musician and songwriter (1 line)

List 7 – descendants of Lady Joan Beaufort (c.1379-1440) through the Ferrers family

Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), composer (2 lines)
Montgomery Clift (1920-1966), actor (1 line)

Tomorrow I give the third and last group of lgbt descendants with royal blood.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Out of King Edward's Tree: Part 1

Today the UK is thinking about the Queen on what is her 95th birthday. It is a sad birthday, her husband having died two weeks ago. In two day’s time it is St. George’s Day. St. George is the patron saint of England, though his feast day has never been a public holiday. It was one of the Queen’s ancestors, King Edward III, who made St. George our patron saint. To celebrate the Queen’s birthday and St. George’s Day I have compiled a list of lgbt descendants of King Edward III. This also means that they are all descended from Edward’s father, the gay (though some gay historians refuse to accept this) King Edward II.

This year sees my 60th St. George’s Day and I want to celebrate, so I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence.

An ancient Greek philosopher once said “in the ancestry of every king is a slave, and in the ancestry of every slave is a king”. Mathematically, everyone must have a king, hereditary chieftain or tribal leader in their ancestry if you go back far enough.

I come from a family whose entire ancestry for the past 250 years has been working class. People only need what genealogists called a “gateway ancestor” to acquire royal blood. My gateway ancestor is Robert Appleyard whose parents were both descended from Edward III.

Today I bring the first part of my list of lgbt descendants of King Edward III. There are hundreds on my database, all of them distant cousins to each other, of course. I couldn’t justify excluding any of them from the lists. Because of this I have had to group the lists into three sections. Today is section 1, tomorrow I gives section 2, and on St. George’s Day I give section 3.

I wondered how best to chart all the descendants. There are two many names to produce anything like the lgbt Mayflower descendant charts I produced last year. In text alone the complete lines of descent cover 900 pages. Most of those listed have multiple descents from Edward III, so what I’ve done is select the shortest, senior line of descent for each lgbt descendant. I descend from Edward’s eldest son, Prince Lionel, but I also descend from two younger sons, Princes John and Thomas, through fewer generations.

The chart below shows how I’ve grouped the descendants together, primarily according to King Edward III’s grandchildren.

Here is the first section of lgbt descendants of King Edward III. They are listed according to the seniority of bloodline. After their person’s profession is the total number of lines of descent from Edward III.

List 1 – descendants of Princess Philippa, Countess of Ulster (1355-1381)
Rufus Wainwright (b.1974), singer and songwriter (1 line)
George Seymour (1924-1994), Nottinghamshire landowner (223 lines)
Anthony Blunt (1907-1983), Russian spy (4 lines)
Noel Currer-Briggs (1919-2004), codebreaker and genealogist (2 lines)
Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), composer (1 line)
Neil Patrick Harris (b.1973), actor (1 line)

List 2 – descendants of Princess Elizabeth (1363-1426) and King Henry IV (1367-1413)

Linda Hunt (b.1945), actor (4 lines)
Algernon Swinburne (1837-1909), poet (92 lines)
Teddy Tinling (1910-1990), tennis player and fashion designer (4 lines)
Roger Senhouse (1899-1970), publisher and translator (5 lines)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), poet (6 lines)
Hallam Tennyson (1920-2005), television producer (6 lines)
Geoffrey Winthrop Young (1876-1958), mountaineer (6 lines)
Isabella Norcliffe (c.1785-1846), partner of Anne Lister (39 lines)
John Addington Symonds (1840-1893), poet and critic (2 lines)
Brooke Auchincloss (b.1963), photographer (5 lines)
Sir John Finch (1626-1682), British Ambassador to Turkey (2 lines)
W. H. Auden (1907-1973), writer (2 lines)
Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners (1883-1950), composer (2 lines)
James Lees-Milne (1908-1997), author and historian (1 line)

List 3 – descendants of Princess Catherine, Queen of Castille (1373-1418)

Luisa Álvarez de Toledo, Duchess of Medina Sidonia (1936-2008) (6 lines)
Louisa Abbéma (1853-1927), artist (50 lines)
Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando I de Medici (1610-1670) (13 lines)
Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone de Medici (1671-1737) (13 lines)
Rupert Everett (b.1959), actor (95 lines)
Nicholas Eden, 2nd Earl of Avon (1930-1985), government minister (122 lines)
Hughes Cuénod (1902-2010), classical singer (227 lines)
Violet Trefusis (1894-1972), author and socialite (28 lines)
Cardinal Prince Henry Stewart, Duke of York (1725-1807) (18 lines)

Tomorrow I give section 2.