Salisbury Avenue, Coventry (CV3 5DA)
House: E.M. Forster died of a stroke on June 7, 1970 at the age of 91, at the Buckinghams’ home in Coventry.
Address: 11 Salisbury Ave, Coventry, West Midlands CV3 5DA, UK (52.38834, -1.50951)
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the centre of England. It was the capital of England more than once in the XV century when the seat of Government was held in Coventry. Coventry’s heritage includes the Roman Fort at Baginton, Lady Godiva, St Mary’s Guildhall (where kings and queens were entertained) and three cathedrals. Located in the county of West Midlands, historically part of Warwickshire, Coventry is the 10th largest city in England and the 13th largest UK city overall. It is also the second largest city in the West Midlands region, after Birmingham, with a population of 337,400 in 2014.
Who: Edward Morgan Forster OM CH (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970)
For 40 years, E.M. Forster and the policeman Bob Buckingham were in a loving relationship. Buckingham was 28, Forster 51, when the two met. They shared holidays, friends, interests, and – on many weekends – a domestic and sexual life in Forster’s Brunswick Square flat. Buckingham’s wife, May – also became E.M. Forster’s friend and nursemaid. Perhaps this is not so surprising for the writer who valued personal relationships above all else, and for whom the motto "only connect" applied as much to his private life as to his novels. Buckingham was a large, good-humoured man, with a nose flattened in the boxing ring, a wide smile and a deep, loud laugh. On the day they met, he impressed Forster with his knowledge of the Thames and told him he was reading Dostoevsky. Forster invited Buckingham to his flat, and soon the two became close, with Forster taking over Buckingham’s reading list, and Buckingham thrilled to become something of a highbrow. Soon Forster was in a position to write of Buckingham’s falling "violently in liking" with him. To his friend Sebastian Sprott, Forster wrote with rather old-maidish coyness that the "spiritual feeling" between him and Buckingham had now "extended to my physique.” During these early years of their relationship, Forster seems to have at last found happiness. In his Commonplace Book, he reported that "From 51 to 53 I have been happy, and would like to remind others that their turn can come too." This was in spite of Buckingham finding a girlfriend – May Hockey, a nurse – not long after he’d met Forster. In 1932 Buckingham announced that he was to marry May; the register-office wedding took place in August, with Forster as witness. Once Buckingham was married, Forster’s worst fears seemed to come true – Buckingham became rather unreliable about their meetings, and Forster panicked, calling his rival "domineering, sly and knowing" and wondering if he should break with his lover and go abroad to escape the situation. Buckingham, ever the voice of calm sense, wrote that the two of them simply had "to go without pleasure for a bit.” Following his final stroke in May 1970, Forster was fetched from his rooms at King’s College by the Buckinghams and put to bed at their Coventry house, where he died. For most of that morning, he held May’s hand. After his death, May wrote: "I now know that he was in love with Robert and therefore critical and jealous of me and our early years were very stormy, mostly because he had not the faintest idea of the pattern of our lives and was determined that Robert should not be engulfed in domesticity. Over the years he changed us both and he and I came to love one another, able to share the joys and sorrows that came." E.M. Forster’s ashes were mingled with those of his friend Robert Buckingham and scattered in the rose garden of Canley Garden crematorium, Canley, Coventry, West Midlands near Warwick University (Cannon Hill Rd, Coventry, West Midlands CV4 7DF).
Source: Connecting with E. M. Forster: A Memoir, By Tim Leggatt
House: Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) was born at 5 Hillmorton Rd, Rugby CV22 5DF, the second of the three sons of William Parker Brooke, a Rugby schoolmaster, and Ruth Mary Brooke, née Cotterill. At the end of Regent Street, there is a bronze statue of him. He was educated at two independent schools in Rugby: Hillbrow School and Rugby School.
School: Rugby School (Lawrence Sheriff St, Rugby CV22 5EH) is a day and boarding public school (private and co-educational) in Rugby, Warwickshire. It is one of the oldest private schools in Britain. Rugby School was founded in 1567 as a provision in the will of Lawrence Sheriff, who had made his fortune supplying groceries to Queen Elizabeth I of England. In many ways the stereotype of the English public school is a reworking of Thomas Arnold's Rugby. It is one of the original seven English public schools defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Rugby School was purportedly the birthplace of Rugby football. In 1845, three Rugby School pupils produced the first written rules of the "Rugby style of game". Notable queer alumni and faculty: Christopher Lloyd (1921–2006), Rupert Brooke (1887–1915).
House: Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family at 30 Clarendon Square, Leamington Spa CV32 5QX, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) rejected the fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life.
Warwick Castle (CV34 4QX)
House: Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
Address: 51 Mill Street, Warwick CV34 4QX, UK (52.27966, -1.58522)
Phone: +44 871 265 2000
English Heritage Building ID: 307361 (Grade I, 1953)
Early site, probably dating from pre-Norman times. Much mediaeval work remains. Good XVIII century and later additions. In 1871 a fire gutted the Great Hall and East Wing, these being restored by Anthony Salvin. This castle, (containing a fine collection of antiques and works of art) is considered of very great national interest. Main block with XIV century walls and vaulted undercroft. Caesan's tower and Guy's tower, the Gatehouse and its Barbican also XIV century. The curtain walls may date from this period. Bear and Clarence towers XV century, left incomplete 1485 and later given battlements; probably intended as a stronghold within the castle similar to that at Raglan. Late XVII century internal features include exceptional plasterwork and wood carvings to the Cedar Room by Roger and William Hurlbut, completed 1678. Altered 1753-5 by Lancelot Brown, who rebuilt the porch and stairway to the Great Hall. Porch extended forward and additional rooms built beside it, 1763-9, by Timothy Lightoler. Watergate tower restored by A Salvin 1861-3. It was used as a stronghold until the early XVII century, when it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I in 1604. Greville converted it to a country house. Fulke Greville spent over £20,000 (£3 million as of 2016) renovating the castle; according to William Dugdale, a XVII-century antiquary, this made it "a place not only of great strength but extraordinary delight, with most pleasant gardens, walks and thickets, such as this part of England can hardly parallel". It was owned by the Greville family, who became Earls of Warwick in 1759, until 1978 when it was bought by the Tussauds Group. In 2007, the Tussauds Group merged with Merlin Entertainments, which is the current owner of Warwick Castle.
Who: Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, de jure 13th Baron Latimer and 5th Baron Willoughby de Broke KB PC (October 3, 1554 – September 30, 1628) and Sir Philip Sidney (November 30, 1554 – October 17, 1586)
Sir Philip Sidney was a poet, courtier, scholar, and soldier, who is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. Returning to England in 1575, Sidney met Penelope Devereux, the future Lady Rich; though much younger, she would inspire his famous sonnet sequence of the 1580s, “Astrophel and Stella.” His artistic contacts were more peaceful and more significant for his lasting fame. During his absence from court, he wrote “Astrophel and Stella” and the first draft of “The Arcadia and The Defence of Poesy.” Somewhat earlier, he had met Edmund Spenser, who dedicated “The Shepheardes Calender” to him. Other literary contacts included membership, along with his friends and fellow poets Fulke Greville, Edward Dyer, Edmund Spenser and Gabriel Harvey, of the (possibly fictitious) “Areopagus,” a humanist endeavour to classicise English verse. Sidney had returned to court by the middle of 1581 and in 1584 was MP for Kent. That same year Penelope Devereux was married, apparently against her will, to Lord Rich. Sidney was knighted in 1583. An early arrangement to marry Anne Cecil, daughter of Sir William Cecil and eventual wife of de Vere, had fallen through in 1571. In 1583, he married Frances, teenage daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. In the same year, he made a visit to Oxford University with Giordano Bruno, who subsequently dedicated two books to Sidney. Later that year, he joined Sir John Norris in the Battle of Zutphen, fighting for the Protestant cause against the Spanish. During the battle, he was shot in the thigh and died of gangrene 26 days later, at the age of 31. As he lay dying, Sidney composed a song to be sung by his deathbed. Sidney’s body was returned to London and interred in the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral on February 16, 1587. The grave and monument were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A modern monument in the crypt lists him among the important graves lost. An early biography of Sidney was written by his friend and schoolfellow, Fulke Greville. While Sidney was traditionally depicted as a staunch and unwavering Protestant, recent biographers such as Katherine Duncan-Jones have suggested that his religious loyalties were more ambiguous. Sir Fulke Greville, was an Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1581 and 1621, when he was raised to the peerage. Greville is best known today as the biographer of Sir Philip Sidney, and for his sober poetry, which presents dark, thoughtful and distinctly Calvinist views on art, literature, beauty and other philosophical matters. In 1628 Greville was stabbed inside Warwick Castle by Ralph Heywood (or Haywood), a servant who believed that he had been cheated in his master’s will (he had been left only £8,000) Heywood then turned the knife on himself. Greville’s physicians treated his wounds by filling them with pig fat rather than disinfecting them, the pig fat turned rancid and infected the wounds, and he died in agony four weeks after the attack.
Collegiate Church of St Mary (CV34 4RB)
Church: The legend is that Sir Philip Sidney might have been secretly buried in Fulke Greville’s monument, without a tomb, in St Mary’s Church.
Address: 17 Church Street, Warwick CV34 4RB, UK (52.28226, -1.588)
Phone: +44 1926 403940
English Heritage Building ID: 307351 (Grade I, 1953)
The Collegiate Church of St Mary is a Church of England parish church in the town of Warwick. It is in the centre of the town just east of the market place. It is a member of the Greater Churches Group. The church has the status of collegiate church as it had a college of secular canons. In governance and religious observance it was similar to a cathedral (although not the seat of a bishop and without diocesan responsibilities.) There is a Bishop of Warwick, but this is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Coventry. The church foundations date back nearly nine hundred years, being created by Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick, in 1123. In addition to founding the church, de Beaumont established the College of Dean and Canons at the church. The only surviving part of the Norman church which de Beaumont had built is the crypt. The chancel vestries and chapter house of the church were extensively rebuilt in the XIV century by a later Earl of Warwick, Thomas de Beauchamp (later pronounced Beecham), in the Perpendicular Gothic style. His descendants built the Chapel of Our Lady, commonly known as the Beauchamp Chapel. It contains the effigial monuments of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick, and Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. Buried in the chancel of the church is William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, the brother of Queen consort Catherine Parr. The chamber of the Chapter House is filled almost to the ceiling by the monument built by Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke. The tombe’s inscription reads: “Folk Grevill / Servant to Queene Elizabeth / Conceller to King James / Frend to Sir Philip Sidney / Trophaeum Peccati.” A letter written by Fulke Greville to his friend and assistant Sir John Coke in 1615, shows that Greville was outraged that his famous friend, the great Sir Philip Sidney, was “in pawls church wher he lyes open.” Following the first state funeral for a commoner, held in St Paul’s and attended by the Queen, Sidney’s body had been buried into a hole in the wall and marked with a small wooden plaque. Within a short time the plaque fell off. The letter makes clear that Greville had “long promised” that his “brother” Philip would be reburied in a magnificent tomb and that Greville would be buried with him. Greville describes the tomb he would build as a “sepulchre” with himself lying below with Sidney lying above him, like bunk-beds. Greville never built the tomb for Sidney and himself in St Paul’s but he did build a magnificent monument with a black marble sarcophagus in St Mary’s Church, Warwick, which bears the name “Sir Philip Sidney” and Fulke Greville is buried in the crypt directly beneath it.
Nottingham Castle (NG1 6EL)
House: Nottingham Castle is a castle in Nottingham. It is located in a commanding position on a natural promontory known as "Castle Rock", with cliffs 130 feet (40 m) high to the south and west. In the Middle Ages it was a major royal fortress and occasional royal residence. In decline by the XV century, it was largely demolished in 1649. The Duke of Newcastle later built a mansion on the site, which was burnt down by rioters in 1831 and left as a ruin. It was later rebuilt to house an art gallery and museum, which remain in use to this day. Little of the original castle survives, but sufficient portions remain to give an impression of the layout of the site.
Address: Lenton Rd, Nottingham NG1 6EL, UK (52.94935, -1.15446)
Phone: +44 115 876 1400
Edward III used the castle as a residence and held Parliaments. In 1346 King David II of Scotland was held prisoner. In 1365 Edward III improved the castle with a new tower on the west side of the Middle Bailey and a new prison under the High Tower. In 1376 Peter de la Mare, speaker of the House of Commons was confined in Nottingham Castle for having “taken unwarrantable liberties with the name of Alice Perrers, mistress of the king.” In 1387 the state council was held in the castle. Richard II held the Lord Mayor of London with Aldermen and Sheriffs in the castle in 1392, and held another state council to humble Londoners. The last visit recorded by Richard II was in 1397 when another council was held here. From 1403 until 1437 it was the main residence of Henry IV's queen, Joan. After the residence of Joan maintenance was reduced. Only upon the Wars of the Roses did Nottingham Castle begin to be used again as a military stronghold. Edward IV proclaimed himself king in Nottingham, and in 1476 he ordered the construction of a new tower and Royal Apartments. This was described by John Leland in 1540 as: “the most beautifulest part and gallant building for lodging... a right sumptuus piece of stone work.” During the reign of King Henry VII the castle remained a royal fortress. Henry VIII ordered new tapestries for the castle before he visited Nottingham in August in 1511. By 1536 Henry had the castle reinforced and its garrison increased from a few dozen men to a few hundred. In 1538 the Constable, the Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, reported on the need for maintenance. A survey in 1525 stated that there was much “dekay and ruyne of said castell” and “part of the roof of the Great Hall is fallen down. Also the new building there is in dekay of timber, lead and glass.”
Who: William Neville (died October 10, 1391)
The guided walk in Nottingham called the Gay Robin Hood tour examines the alleged homosexual origins of the man and has been researched by Nottingham historian Tony Scupham-Bilton. Scupham-Bilton believes Robin's origin dates back 700 years. It revolves around the relationship of two real life characters - Sir William Neville, the constable of Nottingham castle, and Sir John Clanvowe, a poet. According to the historian the two were as good as hitched, even though Sir William had a wife, Elizabeth. "The two men were soldiers who'd fought in the One Hundred Years War. They formed a close friendship. It's commonly accepted now that they were a gay couple." As a writer, Sir John Clanvowe was always looking for inspiration. "One of the ideas he had when King Richard II visited was to write a brand new ballad," says Scupham-Bilton. The result was “The Jest of Robin Hood.” According to Tony Scupham-Bilton all the stories created in the ballad became the basis of every film, book and television series around the character. "It was the gay connection that Sir John Clanvowe had with the constable of Nottingham that formed all the background to Robin Hood." Sir William Neville and Sir John Clanvowe died on pilgrimage near Constantinople. Neville died two days later of Clanvowe. Their tombstone survives in the Archaeological Museum of Constantinople.
Source: Was Robin Hood gay?, BBC Nottingham website, London Road, Nottingham, NG2 4UU
School: Nottingham High School (Waverley Mount, Nottingham NG7 4ED) is an independent fee-paying day school for boys and girls in Nottingham, comprising the Infant and Junior School (for ages 4–11) and Senior School (for ages 11–18). Located on Waverley Mount, the school's main building is close to local amenities and public transport. The main building is in the style of Gothic Revival architecture. In 1513, the school was founded as the "Free School" by Dame Agnes Mellers, after the death of her husband, Richard, partly in his memory, but also as an act of atonement for his several wrongdoings against the people of Nottingham. In order to do this she enlisted the help of Sir Thomas Lovell, who was both the Governor of Nottingham Castle and Secretary to the Treasury. As a result of their combined efforts, King Henry VIII sealed the school’s foundation deed on the November 22, of that year. D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) attended Beauvale Board School (now renamed Greasley Beauvale D. H. Lawrence Primary School in his honour) from 1891 until 1898, becoming the first local pupil to win a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham. He left in 1901, working for three months as a junior clerk at Haywood's surgical appliances factory, but a severe bout of pneumonia ended this career. In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood. He went on to become a full-time student and received a teaching certificate from University of Nottingham, in 1908. During these early years he was working on his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, “Laetitia,” which was eventually to become “The White Peacock.” At the end of 1907 he won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian, the first time that he had gained any wider recognition for his literary talents. The University of Nottingham (Nottingham NG7 2RD) is a public research university based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. It was founded as University College Nottingham in 1881 and was granted a Royal Charter in 1948.
Queer Places, Vol. 2.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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Queer Places, Vol. 2.2 (Color Edition): Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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