Lord Alfred Douglas (right) was his brother and Oscar Wilde's lover From the moment guests at Sir Edward Stanley MP’s fashionable shooting party at Quantock Lodge, near Bridgewater, heard a muffled explosion, a frantic search had been put in place, scouring the countryside for Drumlanrig, who had disappeared minutes before.
Alfred Egerton Smith, the doctor who pronounced him dead at the scene, noted that the dead aristocrat was found near a hedge with powder burns to his moustache, blood around his mouth and terrible injuries to the base of his skull.
Even in the Victorian era there were senior figures who had illicit affairs yet survived without opprobrium.
William Gladstone, for all his high Anglican sermonising, regularly visited prostitutes to ‘rescue’ them and returned home to flagellate himself for courting evil. William Pulteney reckoned him ‘such a nice Composition of the two Sexes, that it is difficult to distinguish which is more predominant’ – a jibe that led to a duel in which Hervey was nearly killed.
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The lifeless body of Francis Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig, the eldest son of the atheist 9th Marquess of Queensberry and brother of Oscar Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, was discovered slumped in a ditch at the edge of a turnip field in Somerset on a cold, crisp Thursday in October 1894, his 12-bore shotgun at his side.
Viscount Drumlanrig (left) whose body was found in a ditch in 1894 amid rumours he was having a homosexual relationship with the Prime Minister.
Over the summer, Kobe, 38, and Vanessa, 34, announced they were expecting baby number three.