Jeffrey John is born on 10 February in Tonyrefail, Rhondda Cynon Taf. A Church of England priest he made headlines in 2003 when he was the first person in a same-sex relationship to be nominated as a Church of England bishop.
B.B.C. Artist charged
Bail was allowed by the magistrates at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, when committing Cliff Gordon, described as a B.B.C. dramatist, of Churchill-way, Cardiff, for trial at Chester Assizes charged with attempting to procure another male person to commit an improper act at Newtown on Nov. 13.
Source: News of the World, 31 January 1954
Gaol is the ‘Kindest thing’ for them
After being told of a “dreadful situation” which arose at a Borstal institution, Mr. Justice Finnemore, at Monmouthshire Assizes at Newport, sentenced a number of the inmates to terms of imprisonment ranging from eight to 15 months. The judge said it was obvious that the institution at Prescoed Camp, Usk, Mon., – had become a sink of iniquity and corruption. He told the 12 youths, who pleaded guilty to serious offences concerning each other, that he did not believe they were perverts. He suspected that what began as some sort of a joke developed into serious crime.
Source: News of the World, 13 June 1954
Adam Mars-Jones was born in London on 26 October, to Sir William Mars-Jones (1915–1999), a Welsh High Court judge and a President of the London Welsh Trust. Mars, a British novelist and literary and film critic wrote a memoir in 2015, Kid Gloves: A Voyage Round My Father, detailing his father’s struggle to come to terms with his son’s homosexuality.
Sexually fluid Nina Hamnett was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. An artist and writer, she was better known as the Queen of Bohemia. She died on 16 December 1956 from complications after falling out of her apartment window and being impaled on the fence forty feet below. The great debate has always been whether it was a suicide attempt or merely a drunken accident.
Seal marking, 1957 by R.M. Lockley.
A report on the marking of seals in south-west Wales:
Harem bulls become spent in October and November, but some adult bulls are active again in December and onwards to May, although with few calves about there is no territorial struggle between males, and in fact they are often friendly – even with some homosexual behaviour.
Source: Nature in Wales the quarterly journal of the West Wales Field Society. Vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1958), p. 541
On 5 March 1958, the academic A.E. (Tony) Dyson wrote a letter to The Times, published on the 7th, calling for reform of the law by the implementation of the Wolfenden Committee’s recommendations and was signed by many distinguished people including Clement Attlee, A. J. Ayer, Isaiah Berlin, Trevor Huddleston, Julian Huxley, J. B. Priestley, Bertrand Russell, Donald Soper, Angus Wilson and Barbara Wootton.
The correspondence that this letter generated helped bring together supporters of the Wolfenden Report and this led to the Homosexual Law Reform Society being founded on 12 May 1958 with members including Victor Gollancz, Stephen Spender, and Kenneth Younger MP. Most of the founders were not homosexual.
Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution.
A debate in the House of Commons on the Homosexual Offences and Prostitution Report (better known as the Wolfenden report) takes place on 26 November 1958. The Rev. Llywelyn Williams, MP for Abertillery said:
The only justifiable approach to the recommendations of the Wolfenden Committee is one as free as possible from emotionalism and pharisaical self-righteousness, that self-righteousness which says, “God, I thank Thee that am not as other men.”
Some words are very highly charged in their emotional content, and the word “homosexuality” is one of these. We should, therefore, be as free from emotionalism as possible in our analysis of these problems and difficulties. I admit that it is not easy for the so-called normal person, such as myself, whose physical and sexual life is happily integrated in a satisfactory marital relationship, to be unemotional or objective in these matters. I confess that it is only on the basis of knowledge acquired by extensive reading on the subject plus a deliberate act of a sympathetic imagination that enables me to understand or even to try to understand the problems and difficulties of a homosexual. But the effort must be made, otherwise there can be no progress in dealing with this admittedly difficult problem.
One’s approach must be as enlightened and unemotional as possible and that certainly was the approach of the Wolfenden Committee. I find myself, after much serious thinking and much heart searching, able to accept the recommendations about consenting adult homosexual behaviour in private. The distinction between a crime and a sin which has been made not only by the Wolfenden Committee but by representatives of the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic Church is valid. I do not accept the rather hysterical notion that this will lead to wild orgies. The heterosexual will remain heterosexual. From my reading, I gather that a percentage of homosexuals are homosexuals because of inborn or innate tendencies which in the majority of cases perhaps cannot be eradicated. Dr. J. A. Hadfield, lecturer on psychopathology and mental hygiene in the University of London, insists that radical cures are possible in many instances. He says this in an article in the British Medical Journal of 7th June, 1958. He admits to many failures also.
As the Wolfenden Committee recommends, there must be much more research into the cause and origin of homosexual behaviour. I believe that the Committee rendered a service by insisting that there should be no distinction in law between heterosexual behaviour involving adultery, fornication and seduotion which takes place in private and homosexual behaviour between consenting adults which takes place in private. The operative words in this context are “in private” and “adult”. I would have no mercy at all for homosexual adults who offend against young boys. The maximum sentence for such people must be the severest possible, exactly as there are severe, and rightly severe, sentences for heterosexual adults who commit rape and serious offences against young girls under 16 years of age.
I sometimes wonder whether Jesus Christ was thinking of this type of shocking wickedness when He used this most biting condemnation.And He said unto His disciples, It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come—but woe unto him through whom they come. It were better for that man if a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.There is not much of a gentle, meek and mild Jesus about that denunciation. But the Wolfenden Report deals with homosexual behaviour between consenting adults and in private. It recommends that while society could never give moral approval to that type of behaviour, nevertheless, since it takes place in the privacy of a household, it should not rank as a criminal offence any more than heterosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private, such as adultery and fornication, to which again society could never give moral approval, should rank as a criminal offence.
Source: Hansard, HC Deb 26 November 1958 vol 596 cc365-508
Margaret Haig Mackworth, 2nd Viscountess Rhondda a Welsh peeress, businesswoman and active suffragette who was significant in the history of women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. died on 20 July. She had several relationships with women. Her life is detailed in the book Turning the Tide: The Life of Lady Rhondda by Angela V. John.
Rev. Thomas Rhys Williams, a 58-year-old bachelor pastor of Painscastle Baptist Church, more commonly called Adullam Baptist Chapel, went on trial at Radnorshire Quarter Sessions at Presteigne charged with improperly assaulting William Greenhalgh Quine, aged 20 of Broad Street, Crewe.
Williams was a guest preacher at a church near Crewe when he first met Quine and invited the young man to stay with him at the manse in Painscastle. When Quine arrived they went to a social event returning about 2am and went to bed about 3am. They shared a bedroom and it was alleged that Williams then attempted to assault Quine. Quine then jumped from the bed and called 999 on the bedroom telephone. While he was telephoning Williams continually interrupted pleading with him not to take such an action saying his whole life and reputation depended on the police not being called. Williams went onto his knees and begged for mercy. Quine said, “I could not stand him near me and picked up a water jug saying ‘Keep away or I’ll hit you with this’”. Quine then went downstairs followed by Williams. He locked himself in a room to wait for the police but then escaped through a window into the ice and snow of a cold January night. He was on his way to a neighbouring farm when he met PC Geoffrey Payne. Payne said that Williams later told him, “I don’t know what is the matter with the boy. I have done nothing whatsoever. My conscience is perfectly clear. He wants to be a Baptist minister and I was going to help him.”
Source: News of the World, 8 March 1959
At this time it is not known what happened in the case but Quine went on to win a scholarship for an undergraduate degree at Manchester University getting a first in History and winning a second scholarship to do an MA. He was a research worker in the Department of Social Sciences at Liverpool University before becoming a lecturer at the University of Southampton in 1965 and was very popular.
John B. Randell, a pioneer of trans studies, writes Tranvestism and Trans-Sexualism: A Study of 50 cases.
Source: British Medical Journal, 26 December 1959