elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Jack Hewit (May 17, 1917 - December 30, 1997)

Jack Hewit was an English dancer, spy, and civil servant. Son of a metal worker, he won a scholarship to ballet school, but his father forbade him to accept it, so he ran away from home and began dancing in revues.

He met Guy Burgess while dancing in the chorus of No, No, Nanette and became Burgess's lover; Burgess involved him in counterespionage work for MI5. Through Burgess, Hewit also met Anthony Blunt, and became Blunt's lover as well. Burgess and Blunt ran Hewit's spy career for him, passing on his intelligence to the KGB as well as to MI5. Isherwood met Hewit towards the end of 1938 through Burgess and mentions him in his Diaries.

During the war, Hewit joined the Royal Artillery, but was transferred back to MI5; afterwards, he joined UNESCO.

He lived with Burgess at different periods, including the three years leading up to Burgess's defection to the Soviet Union in May 1951.

That morning of 1951, Burgess had been brought a cup of tea by his flatmate, and erstwhile lover, Jack Hewit known to his friends as ‘Jacky’. He had once been a ballet and chorus dancer but now was a slightly over-weight office clerk but Hewit was a close and faithful friend to Burgess and they had been sharing various flats in and around Mayfair for fourteen years. Hewit later wrote of that morning:

“Guy lay back, reading a book and smoking, and he seemed normal and unworried. When I left the flat to go to my office, Guy said ‘See you later, Mop’ – that was his pet name for me. We intended to have a drink together that evening.”


Guy Burgess by Ramsey & Muspratt, National Portrait Gallery, bromide print, 1930s, 8 1/4 in. x 6 in. (210 mm x 151 mm), Given by Jane Burch, 1988, Primary Collection, NPG P363(5)


Donald Maclean by Ramsey & Muspratt, National Portrait Gallery, bromide print, 1930s?, 8 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (211 mm x 150 mm), Given by Jane Burch, 1988, Primary Collection, NPG P363(16)

That night Burgess met Hewit who had returned from his office. According to Hewit the phone rang and Burgess answered soon making it clear to his flatmate that he was talking to Maclean. Burgess was visibly upset and left the flat almost immediately. He was never to see Hewit again. Before he left he grabbed £300 in cash some saving certificates and quickly thew some clothes and his treasured copy of Jane Austen’s collected novels. He also asked to borrow Hewit’s overcoat.

The connections with Burgess and Blunt bedeviled Hewit in later life, though he was able to join the Civil Service as a clerk in 1956 and left as a Higher Executive Officer in 1977.

He published one short story, "Tales of Cedric" (1991)

Further Readings:

Guy Burgess: Revolutionary in an Old School Tie by Michael H. Holzman
Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 147518610X
ISBN-13: 978-1475186109
Amazon: Guy Burgess: Revolutionary in an Old School Tie

Guy Burgess: Revolutionary in an Old School Tie is based on extensive research in archives, including those of the BBC, Eton, King’s College (Cambridge), Christ Church (Oxford), the National Archives (Kew) and many others. It is the first book to take Burgess seriously as a political figure, interpreting his espionage activities in the context of the Depression, the Second World War and the first years of the Cold War. Guy Burgess: Revolutionary in an Old School Tie shows how Burgess used his flamboyant personality to conceal his extraordinary activities as the center of the Cambridge Five spy ring and how, after his departure for Moscow, that personality and his well-known homosexuality, were used by the British Establishment as part of its effort to minimize knowledge of his effectiveness as an agent.

More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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Tags: eccentric: jack hewit, gay classics
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