Outed as a homosexual – the scandal that shook ‘Brideshead’

When William Lygon, the 7th Earl of Beauchamp was outed as a homosexual by his brother-in-law, in June 1931, his family banded together to protect him.

The Lygons of Madresfield Court were the inspiration for the doomed aristocratic Marchmain family in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited.

‘William’s unmasking had been a long time coming. Since the mid-1920s, stories had circulated about homosexual parties at Walmer at which local youths and fishermen serviced the earl and his guests. But his undoing began in Australia.’

There, the Australian Star newspaper reported that William’s retinue was made up of:

‘rosy-cheeked footmen, clad in liveries of fawn, heavily ornamented in silver and red brocade, with many lanyards of the same hanging in festoons from their broad shoulders, [who] stood in the doorway, and bowed as we passed in. Lord Beauchamp deserves great credit for his taste in footmen.’

Read more… at telegraph.co.uk

 

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