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From ‘Disorderly Persons’ to Drag Queens – A Look At Gender Identity Across Three Centuries

We continue to celebrate Pride Month here at the British Newspaper Archive with this special blog exploring gender identity from the 1700s right up until the 1960s. Using newspapers taken from three different centuries, this blog will show how gender identity has always been fluid, and how members of the LGBTQ community have faced both persecution and prosecution for expressing their identity through how they dressed and presented themselves. ‘Extraordinary Discovery – A Woman Dressed in Man’s Clothes’ | Illustrated Police

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The ‘Sensational’ Trial of Oscar Wilde – Reports of Ignominy, Shame and Tragedy

Described at the time in the pages of the Western Mail as ‘one of the most sensational events in the criminal annals of England,’ the arrest and prosecution of Oscar Wilde on charges of ‘gross indecency’ is a tragic chapter in LGBTQ history, and represents the wider persecution faced by the LGBTQ community at the time, as well as throughout the ensuing decades. Oscar Wilde | Illustrated London News | 27 February 1892 In this special blog, we will explore how newspapers at

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‘London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous’ – The Caravan Club, Endell Street

For just over a month in the summer of 1934, the Caravan Club in Endell Street, Holborn, was ‘London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous.’ A safe space for society’s outcasts, it was a temporary haven for London’s marginalised LGBTQ community, home to an eclectic mix of clientele, from cabaret performers to bright young things. But in the early morning of 25 August 1934, the music ended. London’s Caravan Club was raided by the Metropolitan Police, whilst both its owners and members faced

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Rose Heilbron – Legal Superstar of the 1950s

‘If you want something to write, write about Rose Heilbron. She’s the greatest lawyer in history.’ These were the words of Jack Comer as he left the Old Bailey in September 1955, having been defended by 39-year-old Rose Heilbron QC, and subsequently acquitted. Who was Rose Heilbron? Born in August 1914, she was the first woman to win a scholarship at Grey’s Inn, one of the first two women to be appointed to the King’s Bench, the first woman to

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On this day, an arrest at sea

Dr Crippen

On 31 July 1910, Hawley Harvey Crippen, better known as Dr Crippen, and Ethel Le Neve, his typist-turned-lover, were arrested on board the Montrose while trying to flee west to Canada. On top of being a sensational case and arrest, it was the first example of an arrest aided by wireless telegraphy. A cross-Atlantic chase of a fleeing couple is an apt ending to our July theme of travel and migration. When you ask yourself why your ancestor or the

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