Friday, October 28, 2005
William III, Prince of Orange, King of England (1650-1702)
1. 'King William of Orange, hero of anti-gay Loyalists such as Ian Paisley, had male lovers'.
2. At the time of Great Britain's King William III there was a gay court circle, 'consisting of more than a dozen members including King William and Van Keppel, the 20-year-old page who accompanied William to England and eventually received the title of Earl of Albemarle.
(Rubini, "Sexuality and Augustan England", pp. 349—381.)
In 1698 the Duchesse d'Orleans wrote to a friend that "nothing is more ordinary in England than this unnatural vice". (Cited by Gordon Rattray Taylor, "Historical and Mythological Aspects of Homosexuality", in Sexual Inversion, ed. Judd Marmor, New York and London: Basic Books, 1965, p. 141.)
She was amused by the description of the English court as un château de derriére. (Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchesse D'Orleans, Letters from Liselotte, trans. and ed. by Maria Kroll, New York: McCall, 1970, p. 70.)
King William 'was widely believed to belong to the sodomitical brotherhood'.
3. Louis Crompton wrote, at http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/william_III.html
William had close and affectionate relations with two notable favorites, William Bentinck, whom he brought to England and made Earl of Portland, and a handsome younger Dutchman, Arnold van Keppel, whom he created Earl of Albemarle.
A spate of political satires accusing William of intimate relations with both men circulated during his reign. These scurrilous poems are quite explicit in their allegations...
4. The following are quotes from http://myweb.lsbu.ac.uk/~stafflag/williamiii.html :
In 1664 William Bentinck (1649-1709) joined Prince William's household as a page and instantly endeared himself to his master. In a year he became a courtier and a key figure in the household...
After the coronation William Bentinck was created Earl of Portland, and William III's lavish generosity soon made him one of the wealthiest men in England. He was made Groom of the Stole, Treasurer of the Privy Purse, and more. A painting of William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, (1698-9, studio of Rigaud) is in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and is reproduced in black and white in Colin Spencer, (1995).
The only Englishman who could compete for William III's friendship was the tall and handsome Henry Sidney who was created Earl of Rodney at the coronation.
Posted by Anon at 11:11 AM