Fri, 02 Feb


University Centre Shrewsbury

The Trial of Lord Alfred Douglas

The first of Three talks organised by Back in Time/Shrewsbury LGBT History to mark LGBT History Month 2018. All Welcome

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The Trial of Lord Alfred Douglas

Time & Location

02 Feb 2018, 19:30

University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ, UK

About the Event


PETER SCOTT-PRESLAND, Counsel for the Prosecution: Lord Alfred Douglas was the single most disastrous thing to happen to LGBT+ Equality in the last 200 years - more destructive than Henry Labouchere, more sanctimonious than Mary Whitehouse, more vindictive than Section 28. By literally and metaphorically destroying both Oscar Wilde and that pioneer of gay liberation Robert Ross, Wilde’s first real boyfriend, he set us all back by at least fifty years.

ANDREW LUMSDEN, Counsel for the Defence: In the 1890s Lord Alfred Douglas, not ‘Robbie' Ross, was the recognisable pioneer of gay liberation. With his 'Two Loves' he was the first male poet since Christopher Marlowe to make an unforgettable protest against the hetero-normative. Douglas then suffered a catastrophic post-activist burn-out. Wilde refused to run for it in 1895, resulting in his prison injuries and death, and Eire honours him for that brave defiance today.

Members of the Jury, what is your verdict? Guilty or Not Guilty?

PETER SCOTT-PRESLAND: Personal biography

“I’ve always been obsessed with LGBT History. The first song I wrote, ‘We Were In There’, was about the Wilde Trial, the 1920s Pansy Craze and the Stonewall Riots. I premiered it on May 23rd 1972 in a very ugly beige frock in front of 200 drunken rugby players. There has been no looking back’.

Peter has written/performed in many musicals and is the author of ‘Amiable Warriors: The History of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and its Times’

ANDREW LUMSDEN: Personal biography

Andrew Lumsden was a national newspaper journalist in the 1960s-1970s, working successively for the Daily Telegraph and The Times. Learning of the London-based (but country-wide) Gay Liberation Front (GLF) through a report in his own newspaper, Andrew became a participant. Later he was a co-founder of the seminal and hugely important fortnightly national newspaper/magazine, ‘Gay News’ (1972-1983). He is still a gay activist.

As a participant in GLF, Andrew recognises in Lord Alfred Douglas (1870-1945) the same fury that was in the activists of the Gay Liberation Front in in the 1970s.





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