Lord Arthur Somerset (1851–1926)

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Lord Arthur Somerset
Major Lord Henry Arthur George Somerset (1851-1926), - Vanity fair nov 19 1887.jpg
An 1887 caricature of Lord Arthur Somerset
Noble family House of Beaufort
Father Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort
Mother Georgiana Charlotte Curzon
Born (1851-11-17)November 17, 1851
Died May 26, 1926(1926-05-26) (aged 74)
Hyères, France

Major Lord Henry Arthur George Somerset DL (17 November 1851 – 26 May 1926) was the third son of the 8th Duke of Beaufort and his wife, the former Lady Georgiana Curzon. He was head of the stables of the future King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) and a Major in the Royal Horse Guards.

He was linked with the Cleveland Street scandal, wherein he was identified and named by several male prostitutes as a customer of their services. He was interviewed by police on 7 August 1889; although the record of the interview has not survived, it resulted in a report being made by the Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Director of Prosecutions urging that proceedings should be taken against him under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. A piece of paper was pasted over Somerset's name in the report, as it was deemed so sensitive. However, the Director was told that the Home Secretary wished him to take no action for the moment.[1] The police obtained a further statement implicating Somerset, while Somerset arranged for his solicitor to act in the defence of the boys arrested over the scandal. After the police saw him for a second time on 22 August, Somerset obtained leave from his regiment and permission to go abroad.[2]

Lord Arthur went to Homburg, although he returned to England. When tipped off in September that charges were imminent, he fled to France to avoid them. From there he travelled through Constantinople, Budapest, Vienna, and then back to France, where he settled and died in 1926, aged 74.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ H. Montgomery Hyde, "The Cleveland Street Scandal" (W.H. Allen Ltd, 1976), p. 32-3.
  2. ^ H. Montgomery Hyde, "The Cleveland Street Scandal" (W.H. Allen Ltd, 1976), p. 35.
  3. ^ Kaplan, Morris B. (2005), Sodom on the Thames: Sex, Love, And Scandal in Wilde Times, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-3678-8