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Norman Fowler (1927 - March 23, 1971)

Lived: Bath Hotel, Charlestown, St. Kitts & Nevis (17.13244, -62.62588)
Find A Grave Memorial# 161870547

Peter Watson was a wealthy English art collector and benefactor. He funded the literary magazine, Horizon, edited by Cyril Connolly. "When I think of him then, I think of his clothes, which were beautiful, his general neatness and cleanness, which seemed almost those of a handsome young Bostonian." –Stephen Spender. In 1930, society photographer, artist and set designer Sir Cecil Beaton began a lifelong obsession with Watson, though the two never became lovers. One chapter from Hugo Vickers' authorized biography of Cecil Beaton is titled I Love You, Mr. Watson. One
of Watson's lovers was the American male prostitute and socialite Denham Fouts, whom he continued to support even after they separated because of Fouts's drug addiction. Norman Fowler was Watson's boyfriend from 1949 and heir to most
of Watson's estate. When Watson drowned in his bath, Fowler was in the flat; some have suggested that Fowler murdered him, but the police dismissed foul play, even if the death remained suspicious. Fowler bought a hotel, called The Bath Hotel, on Nevis, in the British Virgin Islands, and lived there until he himself drowned in the bath in 1971, within weeks of the fifteenth anniversary of Watson's death.

Together from 1949 to 1956: 7 years.
Norman Fowler (1927 - March 23, 1971)
Peter Watson (September 14, 1908 – May 3, 1956)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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House: The “White House,” as Sulhamstead is sometimes affectionately called, was sold by the Thoyts' to Sir George Watson in 1910.

Address: 1 North Dr, Sulhamstead, West Berkshire RG7 4DU, UK (51.41866, -1.08021)
English Heritage Building ID: 40018 (Grade II, 1951)

Built in 1748, Rebuilt in the early XIX century with further alterations in 1852 and 1910.
The house is now a police training centre. Painted stucco with hipped slate roofs. Central 3 storey 3 bay block with set back 2 storey wings. Plinth, first floor cill band, cornice, coped parapet, and paired end stacks to central block and wings. Central 2 storey, 3 bay tetrastyle Ionic portico with triangular pediment. Lead downpipes and rainwater heads. 9 bays; glazing bar sashes with architraves and cornices. Central enclosed porch and two 3-panelled doors with bracketed cornice. Rear similar without portico. North-east front of 4 bays. Low early XIX century additions to south-west. Interior: largely 1910. Early XVIII century style panelled entrance hall with coupled Doric pilasters, screen of coupled Doric columns, and bifurcating staircase with balcony on to central landing. Other rooms with early XVIII century style panelling, fireplaces, and plaster ceilings.

Who: Peter Watson (September 14, 1908 – May 3, 1956) and Norman Fowler (1927 – March 23, 1971)
The Watson family constructed the present swimming pool in 1935 but, on the 23rd October 1940, they left and the building became occupied by the War Office as the Commando Troop Headquarters. Late in 1941, it was entirely taken over by the Air Ministry for use as an RAF Elementary Flying Training School. The present large hard-standing garage housed a link trainer and was also used as an Officers Squash Court. Because of the lack of a purpose built landing field, the RAF utilised a nearby grass field. Peter Watson was a wealthy English art collector and benefactor. Norman Fowler was Watson's boyfriend from 1949. When Watson drowned in his bath, Fowler was in the flat; some have suggested that Fowler murdered him, but the police dismissed foul play, even if the death remained suspicious. Fowler bought a hotel, called The Bath Hotel, on Nevis, in the British Virgin Islands, and lived there until he himself drowned in the bath in 1971, within weeks of the fifteenth anniversary of Watson's death.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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National Park: The Bath Hotel in Nevis is considered to have been the first tourist hotel in the Caribbean.

Address: Charlestown, St. Kitts & Nevis (17.13244, -62.62588)

Built in 1778
Bath Hotel was a rather grand “spa” hotel, and it rapidly became a very successful venture, attracting many wealthy European visitors who were hoping to treat their various ailments using the healing waters of the nearby volcanic hot spring, the Bath Spring, and perhaps more importantly, to enjoy the social scene at this tropical spa hotel on what was then the busy colonial island of Nevis. John Huggins, a merchant and aristocrat built the large, stone hotel at a cost of 43,000 “island” pounds, and surrounded it with lush landscaping, statuary, and goldfish ponds. The hotel was 200 feet long and 60 feet wide. Dignitaries such as Lord Nelson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Prince William Henry, who was the Duke of Clarence, visited the hotel in its heyday. With the downturn of the sugar industry, Nevis stepped into the world of tourism with this hotel, which flourished for about 60 years. Since then the hotel has had various uses, reopening as a hotel from 1912 until 1940. It was used as training center for the West Indian regiment during WWII, and most recently, the headquarters of the Nevis Island Administration.

Who: Norman Fowler (1927 – March 23, 1971)
In 1968, Norman Fowler moved to St Kitts and Nevis, farther east in the Leeward Islands, where he was one of the few white people among the mostly black population. He settled on the island of Nevis, where he purchased the Bath Hotel, an elegant XVIII century pile in Charlestown with a two-storey bathhouse attached to it (from which it took its name). He set about restoring the hotel, and lived in one of its suites. His residency there lasted just over two years. On March 23, 1971, at the age of forty-four, Norman Fowler was found dead. He had lost consciousness while bathing in the hot bathhouse and drowned. Almost 15 years before, his lover Peter Watson had drowned in his bathroom as well. Fowler was in the flat; some have suggested that Fowler murdered him, but the police dismissed foul play, even if the death remained suspicious. Fowler’s death was front-page news in his local paper back on Tortola: “There is profound sympathy here over the sad news of his death.” The coroner's inquest returned an open verdict — simply “death by drowning in hot water bath.” There was suspicion locally that he had been murdered, and the case was investigated, but no evidence was ever found and the case was dropped.

Queer Places, Vol. 3.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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