Tag Archives: Sir Francis Bacon

Gay History – May 4: Sir Francis Bacon Was A Total Top and Roaring 20’s Power Bottom Therapy

May 3, 1621 –  Sir Simonds D’Ewes published his political biography of Sir Francis Bacon, in which he accuses the great lawyer, scholar of “his most abominable and daring sin.” D’Ewes continued, “I should rather bury in silence than mention it, were it not a most admirable instance of how men are enslaved by wickedness and held captive by the devil.” D’Ewes accused Frances Bacon of “keeping still one Godrick, a very effeminate-faced youth, to be his catamite and bedfellow… deserting the bed of his Lady.” That same year, Bacon resigned as Lord Chancellor over accusations that he accepted payment from litigants, which, while against the law, was a widespread and accepted practice at the time. He quickly confessed to accepting payments, a confession that may have been prompted by threats to charge him with the capital offense of sodomy.

Wrote D’Ewes:

 . . the favour he had with the beloved Marquis of Buckingham emboldened him, as I learned in discourse from a gentleman of his bedchamber, who told me he was sure his lord should never fall as long as the said Marquis continued in favour. His most abominable and darling sinne I should rather burie in silence, than mencion it, were it not a most admirable instance, how men are enslaved by wickedness, & held captive by the devill. For wheeras presentlie upon his censure at this time his ambition was moderated, his pride humbled, and the meanes of his former injustice and corruption removed; yet would he not relinquish the practice of his most horrible & secret sinne of sodomie, keeping still one Godrick, a verie effeminate faced youth, to bee his catamite and bedfellow, although hee had discharged the most of his other household sevants: which was the moore to bee admired, because men generallie after his fall begann to discourse of that his unnaturall crime, which hee had practiced manie yeares, deserting the bedd of his Ladie, which hee accounted, as the Italians and the Turkes doe, a poore & meane pleasure in respect of the other; & it was thought by some, that hee should have been tried at the barre of justice for it, & have satisfied the law most severe against that horrible villanie with the price of his bloud; which caused some bold and forward man to write these verses following in a whole sheete of paper, & to cast it down in some part of Yorkehouse in the strand, wheere Viscount St. Alban yet lay:

Within this sty a *hogg doth ly,
That must be hang’d for Sodomy.
(*alluding both to his sirname of Bacon, & to that swinish abominable sinne.)

But hee never came to anye publicke triall for this crime; nor did ever, that I could heare, forbeare his old custome of making his servants his bedfellowes, soe to avoid the scandall was raised of him, though hee lived many yeares after his fall in his lodgings in Grayes Inne in Holbourne, in great want & penurie.

At a time when moralists described gay love as “unnatural lust,” and a variety of other degrading terms, Sir Francis Bacon was the first person in the English language to use the non-stigmatizing phrase “masculine love”

May 3, 1921 Dr. Clarence P. Oberndorf, a New York City psychoanalyst, spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Society of the State of New York in Brooklyn about one of his patients, a 74-year-old Civil War veteran who suffered from depression, saying “For sixty years I have been leading a double life.” He became aware of his feelings for other men at a very early age. “He preferred rough, coarse men, like longshoremen, husky and full of vitality. These he sought at intervals, while his acquaintances knew him as a refined gentleman interested in art and literature.” He never married. Oberndorf quoted tim: “In my younger days, I used to grieve because of my affliction, but in later years I have become indifferent.”

Oberndorf’s goal was not to cure homosexuality per se. “Where treatment is undertaken for passive homoerotism in the male,” — active homosexuals, or “tops,” were not considered truly homosexual in the early 20th century — “psychoanalysis may powerfully influence the attitude of the patient toward his malady by removing some of the urgent neurotic fears which accompany the inversion. After analysis such an invert at least feels himself more reconciled to his passive homoeroticism than previously. I have had male passive homoerotics seek treatment with just such stipulations — not to be cured but to be made more content with their lives.”

Gay History – January 22: Hunky Lord Byron and Sir Francis Bacon Were Big Ole Gay Sluts

January 22nd.

*1561 – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) was born in London. He is best known for his philosophical works concerning the acquisition of knowledge; Novum Organum and The Advancement of Learning. Bacon had a preference for young Welsh serving-men. The roll of attendants for Bacon’s household in 1618 lists a total of 75 attendants, of whom some 25 were gentlemen waiters. There was Francis Edney, who, upon Bacon’s death in 1626, received “£200 and my rich gown”; young Thomas Meautys, who was to become Bacon’s secretary-in-chief; a Mr Bushell, “gent. usher,” who came to the household in 1608 as a lad of fifteen, and who remained until Bacon’s death; Edward Sherburn, groom of the chamber; and, above all, young Tobie Matthew, who was left only a ring to the value of £30, but who had become Sir Tobie through Bacon’s efforts, and who was well able to care for himself..

Bacon’s mother wrote him a letter, which still survives, complaining about the long list of “servants and envoys” who find their way to his bed. She refers to a gay Spanish envoy as “that bloody Perez and bed companion of my son.” We don’t know what she wrote to her other son, Roger, who was also gay.

*1788 – George Gordon, Lord Byron, was born in 1788. His memoir My Life and Adventures was burned being considered too scandalous for publication. But, bits of his private life have been pieced together. A champion of freedom and an enemy of hypocrisy he had a ravenous sexual appetite.

Byron’s attraction to adolescent boys had first become evident at Harrow, where he referred to his entourage of adoring younger pupils as his Theban band. At Cambridge, Byron fell in with a sophisticated group of like-minded friends fascinated by the theory and practice of sodomy. Their hero was William Beckford, author of the libidinous eastern dream novel The Caliph Vathek, who had been forced to flee the country rather than face possible criminal charges related to a homosexual scandal. They called themselves by the codename Methodists. In autumn 1805, when he was 17, Byron met and fell in love with John Edleston, a Trinity College chorister, and wrote some of his most beautiful lyrics of lament to his “musical protégé”, using the deceptive female name of Thyrza, after Edleston died young.

It is clear from Lord Byron’s correspondence of this period that one of his main motives in setting out on extended travels in 1809-10 was his hope of homosexual experiences. In Greece and Turkey, sex with boys was more or less accepted as the norm and he found willing partners. There was Eusthathius Georgiou, the volatile Greek boy with “ambrosial curls” whose parasol, carried to protect his complexion from the sun, made Byron’s valet cringe. There was the Franco-Greek Nicolo Giraud, with his limpid eyes, who taught Byron Italian in Athens, taking a whole day to conjugate the verb “to embrace”. By the end of Byron’s stay in Greece he was boasting to his Methodist friends that he had achieved more than 200 “pl and opt Cs”, their code for unlimited sexual intercourse, taken from Petronius’s Satyricon “coitum plenum et optabilem”.

When Byron arrived back in England in summer 1811, prejudice against homosexuals was on the increase after a police raid on the White Swan tavern in Vere Street, London. Of the men charged with “assault with the intention to commit sodomy”, six were sentenced to be pilloried in the Haymarket, where they were pelted with mud and excrement by a savage crowd. Byron was lectured about the need for caution by Hobhouse, who had already persuaded him to burn his early journal, which presumably included an account of his love for the choirboy Edleston. Byron later said the loss of this manuscript was “irreparable”.

From 1812 to 1815, Byron’s “curl’d darling” years of literary fame, he was swept up in the whirl of London social activity. For its readers in that period of moral and political uncertainty, two decades after the upheavals of the French revolution, the subversive energy of Byron’s Childe Harold had struck an extraordinary chord. Its success was entwined with the mysterious persona of its author, the 24-year-old Lord Byron, the handsome, lame young aristocrat recently returned from the east. 

His sexual conflicts impelled Byron into wild behavior. Due to the hostile climate of homosexuality Lord Byron’s relationships with women needed the extreme, the risqué, to fan them into life. Cross-dressing was a feature of these complicated sex games. The arousing innuendos of his summer with “blue-eyed Caroline”, a prostitute passed off in Brighton as Byron’s brother Gordon, were recreated on a more sophisticated level in his perilously public affair with Lady Caroline Lamb. The gamine, crop-haired Caro was already a page-fancier and needed no encouragement to dress in page’s uniform for Byron’s delectation, their increasingly hysterical liaison being sustained by a creaky assortment of Gothic props.

It was actually Lady Caroline who doomed Byron. Early in 1815 Byron had made an unenthusiastic marriage to Caro’s husband’s cousin, Annabella Milbanke. Caro had predicted that he would “never be able to pull with a woman who went to church punctually, understood statistics and had a bad figure”. The claustrophobia of conventional married life in Piccadilly Terrace prompted Byron to behave badly with a thoroughness only he could have achieved, flaunting his relations with Augusta, throwing out dark hints of his homosexual past and  shooting the tops off his soda-water bottles while his wife was in labor in the room upstairs.

On January 15 1816 Annabella and their infant daughter left London, taking refuge at her parents’ country house in Leicestershire. Three weeks later her father, Sir Ralph Milbanke, wrote formally to Byron to request a separation. Rumors of marital violence, adultery with actresses and his incest with his sister began to circulate. In early February the “villainous intriguante” Lady Caroline began spreading her own version of these stories, perpetrating the worst possible revenge of the woman scorned. “Accused B of – poor fellow, the plot thickens against him,” reported Hobhouse. The dash in his diary stands for sodomy. Byron’s sexual predilections, up to then known only to his confidential inner circle, were becoming public property. On February 12, Hobhouse brought Byron the alarming news of what he had been hearing “in the streets” that day.

Shortly after nine in the morning of April 25 1816, the poet George Gordon Lord Byron left England for the continent never to return.