The Early Years – Introduction

At the time of the Enlightenment, science sought to explain and categorise things and so a medical discourse grew around a “normal” sexuality which was required for procreation. As a result. anything else came to be seen as abnormal or even deviant. These deviant acts were named and outlawed, as can be seen in the […]

Pride in Our Past Volunteer at PWDRO

Pride in Our Past Volunteer at PWDRO, a photo by Pride in Our Past on Flickr. Via Flickr: A volunteer for the Pride in Our Past project researching the old leather bound 1920’s court records that are providing us with windows into an evocative & tragic past. We uncover the tale of two men, Francis […]

Robert Gould Shaw III Nancy Astor’s Son

Charcoal drawing by John Singer Sargent - Robert Gould Shaw III

In the summer of 1931 Bobbie Shaw, the son of Lady Nancy Astor, ex Guardsman, champion steeplechaser and heavy drinker was arrested for ‘a homosexual act’. The arrest came just a week before Lady Nancy and Lord Waldorf Astor were due to take a diplomatic trip to Russia with George Bernard Shaw. It is reputed that the police told the Astors […]

Plymouth-Borough-Prison-Greenbank

Plymouth-Borough-Prison-Greenbank, a photo by Pride in Our Past on Flickr. Via Flickr: Many of the convictions for homosexual offences we have discovered led to a stint in the Plymouth Borough Prison at Greenbank. It was completed in April 1849 and designed in the style of the famous Pentonville Prison. It had 60 cells, with a […]

Cathrine St Plymouth

cathrine-st-plymouth, a photo by Pride in Our Past on Flickr. Via Flickr: 24 year old Henry who was brought to trial over Christmas 1925 for ‘importuning and soliciting men for immoral purposes’ and whose New Year brought with it six months hard labour! ‘Cruising’ streets, parks or urinals was criminalised as the offence of ‘importuning’ […]