Sexually fluid Nina Hamnett was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire on 14 February. An artist and writer, she was better known as the Queen of Bohemia.
Welsh author Kate Roberts is born on 13 February. Born and raised in Rhosgadfan near Caernarfon, Roberts is considered the most significant writer of fiction in Welsh in the twentieth century and was known during her own lifetime as Brenhines ein Llên (Queen of our Literature). Possibly bisexual, some of her short stories include intense female friendships such as Y Trysor (The Treasure), and Nadolig (Christmas). Translations of these stories are included in the anthology Queer Square Mile: Queer Short Stories from Wales
MASQUERADING IN WOMAN’S CLOTHES
Thos. Owen, who was apparently about 25 years of age, hailing from Ruthin, and said to be of no particular occupation, was locked up by P.C. Josiah Barker, charged with being a wandering lunatic. On the night in question the constable was informed by Mr. Tilston, a blacksmith, that there was a man in woman attire wandering about Rhydygoleu. P.C. Barker proceeded in the direction indicated, and about a quarter past eleven found Owen wandering at large at the top of High-street, whither he had come from Rhydygoleu. The constable, of course, took charge of the unfortunate man, whom he took with commendable promptitude to the police-station, first having asked him what he meant by being in woman’s clothes, and judging from his appearance and the manner in which he spoke that he was a lunatic at large. It appears that Owen has been in an asylum for two years, but came out last October. It is alleged, too, that he obtained the clothes he was wearing when apprehended from the house of his mother, who is said to reside in Rhos-road, Ruthin. Messrs. P. B. Davies Cooke and Tatton Davies Cooke saw the man on Monday morning, and Dr. E. Williams, of Mold, having certified as to his mental condition, the magistrates made the usual order for the detention of Owen by the proper authorities.
Source: Llangollen Advertiser, 31 March 31 1891
Source: Evening Express, 19 May 1893
Evan Morgan, 2nd Viscount Tredegar (1893 – 1949)
A Welsh poet and author he was born on 13 July. He was sexually fluid having relationships with both men and women.
More can be read about him in William Cross‘s works such as Not Behind Lace Curtains: The Hidden World of Evan, Viscount Tredegar and Aspects of Evan ( co-written with Monty Dart) Sketches of Evan, Viscount Tredegar ‘Lord of the Lies’ As seen by friends, foes and lovers.
Or follow tweets about him on @EvanTredegar
Women Who Have Acted as Men
The Cardiff Times publishes an article Women Who Have Acted as Men outlining a few individuals such as:
“About five years ago an individual who gave the name of John Nolan, Of Bradford, was locked up at Wrexham charged with being drunk and disorderly, and was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment. At Shrewsbury Gaol John was discovered to be a woman, and confessed to having worn male attire for seven years, but refused to give any further particulars.”
Source: Cardiff Times, 16 December 1893
Crown Court – Shocking Cases
Vincent Clarke was found guilty of an attempt to commit an unnatural offence on Daniel Desmond. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment.
Sources: Western Mail, 7 July 1894 & Evening Express, 9 July 1894
ALLEGED HORRIBLE OFFENCE AT MERTHYR, Prisoners Committed for Trial. At the Merthyr Police-Court, to-day, Philip Wheelan and Thomas Henderson, young Dowlais labourers, were committed for trial at the assizes upon a charge of an abominable nature. They were found, on Sunday, by Police-constables George Hughes and Edward Finch in a lodge at the works. Prisoners now pleaded not guilty. An application to admit Henderson to bail was refused.
CROWN COURT. FRIDAY. MERTHYR CASES. Thomas Henderson, 16, labourer, was charged with feloniously and wickedly committing an unnatural offence with Philip Wheelan, at Merthyr on May 31st. The prisoner, who was undefended and had nothing to say, was found guilty of the attempt. Sentence was deferred.
Glamorgan Assizes. Philip Wheelan and Thomas Henderson were also sentenced, the former for six months and the latter to four months for unnatural offences.
Sources: South Wales Echo, 21 May 1894; South Wales Daily Post, 7 July 1894 & Evening Express, 9 July 1894
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, audiences accepted same-sex (and they would have been considered same-sex at this time) couples in romantic roles such as this performance at the Theatre Royal, Cardiff.
“In this scene “Robin Hood” (Miss Nell Ingram) made his appearance, and of Miss Ingram’s impersonation we can only speak in the highest terms. She succeeded in placing herself en rapport with the audience almost immediately, and infused her part with charming vigour and naivete. Her songs were rendered with great feeling … Miss May Hetherington, who appeared as “Maid Marian.” The duet, “The Man who Kept a Shebeen,” sung by “Maid Marian” and “Robin Hood,” took very well, and ought to become popular among Cardiffians, who are not unfamiliar with the illicit institutions which the Sunday Closing Act has succeeded in bringing into existence.”
Source: The Western Mail, 26 December 1894 (See 1914 for another Robin Hood cross-dressing role)
Kennedy Allen appears as The Baroness of Ystrad Rhondda at Cardiff.
Welsh sculptor Mary Lloyd dies. She was born in Denbighshire, Wales in 1819 the eighth of seventeen children, and is closely associated with queer artists such as Rosa Bonheur, Welsh sculptor John Gibson and Harriet Hosmer. Her longtime partner was Frances Power Cobbe.
Alleged Unnatural Offence
At Cardiff Police Court to-day, before the Stipendiary (Mr T. W. Lewis), Ismail Hassan (27), an Arab seaman, and Nathaniel Miles (19) were committed for trial at Glamorgan Assizes on a charge of committing an unnatural and abominable offence on the night of the 4th inst. in Dumballs-road.
Ismail Hassan, an Arab, and Nathaniel Miles were found not guilty of a nameless crime at Dumballs Field, Cardiff.
Sources: South Wales Echo, 6 May 1898 & Evening Express, 6 August 1898