Born: October 30, 1825, Bedford Square, London, United Kingdom
Died: February 2, 1864, London, United Kingdom
Buried: Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Parents: Bryan Procter
Kensal Green Cemetery is a cemetery in Kensal Green, London, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Address: Harrow Rd, London W10 4RA, UK (51.52998, -0.22806)
Type: Cemetery (open to public)
Hours: Monday through Friday 9.00-17.00
Phone: +44 20 8969 0152
English Heritage Building ID: 1403609 (Grade II, 2012)
The Cemetery of All Souls at Kensal Green was the earliest of the large privately-run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. Its founder George Frederick Carden intended it as an English counterpart to the great Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, which he had visited in 1821. In 1830, with the financial backing of the banker Sir John Dean Paul, Carden established the General Cemetery Company, and two years later an Act of Parliament was obtained to develop a 55-acre site at Kensal Green, then among open fields to the west of the metropolis. An architectural competition was held, but the winning entry – a Gothic scheme by HE Kendall – fell foul of Sir John’s classicising tastes, and the surveyor John Griffith of Finsbury was eventually employed both to lay out the grounds and to design the Greek Revival chapels, entrance arch and catacombs, built between 1834 and 1837. A sequence of royal burials, beginning in 1843 with that of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, ensured the cemetery’s popularity. It is still administered by the General Cemetery Company, assisted since 1989 by the Friends of Kensal Green. The Reformers’ Memorial was erected in 1885. It was erected at the instigation of Joseph Corfield “to the memory of men and women who have generously given their time and means to improve the conditions and enlarge the happiness of all classes of society.” Lists of names of reformers and radicals on north and east sides (together with further names added in 1907 by Emma Corfield.)
Notable queer burials at Kensal Green:
• A simple Portland stone headstone with curved and slightly moulded profile to the top is the burial place for James Miranda Stuart Barry (ca. 1789–1865.) The leaded inscription reads: “Dr James Barry / Inspector General of Hospitals / Died July 25, 1865 / Aged 70 years.” Commemorates James Barry, a.k.a. Margaret Bulkley, a leading military doctor and the first woman to qualify in medicine in this country, who lived all her professional life in disguise as a man.
• Ossie Clarke (1942-1996), Fashion Designer. Born in Liverpool, he showed an early interest in clothes design. In 1958, he enrolled at the Regional College of Art in Manchester, where he met painter David Hockney and the textile designer Celia Birtwell. He attented the Royal College of Art from 1962-1965, and secured a first-class degree. He first featured in Vogue, August 1965, and quickly made his mark in the fashion industry. His fashion show at Chelsea Town Hall was attended by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
• The name of Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904), an Irish writer, social reformer, anti-vivisection activist, and leading women’s suffrage campaigner, is included in the Reformers’ Memorial.
• Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Bt. (1853-1917)’s body was laid in a vault at Kensal Green Cemetery on Nov. 29, 1917, where it remained until the end of WWI. On 22 May, 1920, the burial was moved in a grave cut in the granite on the top of the mountain which Rhodes had called The View of the World, beside the grave of his friend, Cecil Rhodes.
• Isabella Kelly Hedgeland, née Fordyce (1759-1857), Scottish novelist and poet. Her son William was befriended as a boy by the writer Matthew Lewis, by many considered his protector and possible lover.
• In 2013 a memorial plaque to Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) was placed in Kensal Green Cemetery, where the singer was cremated back in 1991.
• Adelaide Anne Procter (1825–1864) was an English poet and philanthropist. Critic Gill Gregory suggests that Procter may have been a lesbian and in love with Matilda Hays, a fellow member of the Society for the Promotion of the Employment of Women; other critics have called Procter's relationship with Hays "emotionally intense." Procter's first volume of poetry, “Legends and Lyrics” (1858) was dedicated to Hays and that same year Procter wrote a poem titled "To M.M.H." in which Procter "expresses love for Hays.” Hays was a novelist and translator of George Sand and a controversial figure ... [who] dressed in men's clothes and had lived with the actress Charlotte Cushman and sculptor Harriet Hosmer. Hays oversaw the tending of Procter's grave after her death and mourned her passing throughout her later years. Hays died in Liverpool and is buried at Toxteth Park Cemetery.
• Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) died in Hamilton, Bermuda, from bone cancer in 1977, aged 66. His cremated remains were deposited in the family vault at Kensal Green Cemetery.
• Dorothy “Dolly” Wilde (1895-1941), buried with her mother, Sophia Teixeira de Mattos. An Anglo-Irish socialite, made famous by her family connections, her uncle was Oscar Wilde, and her reputation as a witty conversationalist. Her charm and humour made her a popular guest at salons in Paris between the wars, standing out even in a social circle known for its flamboyant talkers.
Who: James Miranda Stuart Barry (ca. 1789–1865)
Dr. James Barry was an army medical officer, and – as a lifelong transvestite – the first woman to qualify in medicine in the United Kingdom. She was born Margaret Bulkley, the daughter of Ann Bulkley of Cork, whose brother was the artist James Barry RA. The date of her birth has been variously placed between 1789 and 1799. A family crisis in 1803 had left the Bulkleys destitute, but an inheritance from her uncle, and the support of a family friend General Francisco Miranda, the Venezuelan revolutionary, allowed Margaret to travel to London to continue her education. In 1809, under the sponsorship of the eleventh earl of Buchan, she enrolled at Edinburgh University as a literary and medical student under the name of James Barry, and from this point until her death she passed as male. She received her MD in 1812 and the following year, after a brief spell as a pupil at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, enlisted in the medical ranks of the British Army. She served in Cape Town, Mauritius, Jamaica, St Helena, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Malta and Corfu, ending her career in Canada as Inspector General of Hospitals. She carried out a caesarean section in Cape Town in 1826, in which both mother and child survived – a feat not performed in Britain until 1833. She may herself have had a child in 1819, possibly by Lord Charles Somerset (1767-1831), the governor of the Cape. She was noted throughout her career for her kindness and concern for the oppressed, but also for her ferocious temper; at Sebastopol in 1855 she met Florence Nightingale, who described her as “the most hardened creature I ever met throughout the army.” Barry retired due to ill health in 1859, and died in London on July 25, 1865, the year that Elizabeth Garrett Anderson received her medical licence. Her long deception enabled her to become one of the most successful and respected military doctors of her time, insisting on rigorous hygiene and adequate living conditions for those in her care long before such demands became commonplace. Her strange appearance, flamboyant dress and flirtatious behaviour frequently gave rise to rumours about her gender and sexuality, but her secret was not finally revealed until after her death. Barry lived at 14 Margaret Street, W1W, towards the end of his life and eventually died here on July 25, 1865.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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