Thomas William Hodgson Crosland

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Thomas William Hodgson Crosland (21 July 1865 – 23 December 1924) [1] was a British author, poet and journalist. [2] [3]



He was born in Leeds in 1865, [4] [2] [5] the son of William and Hannah Crossland. He was baptised in a nonconformist church in Leeds on 3 September 1865. [6]

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in the United Kingdom, located in the county of West Yorkshire in Northern England, approximately 170 miles north of central London. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a High Sufficiency level city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by five universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.

Nonconformist Protestant Christians in Wales and England who did not follow the Church of England

In English church history, a Nonconformist was a Protestant who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established Church of England. Broad use of the term was precipitated after the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, when the Act of Uniformity 1662 re-established the opponents of reform within the Church of England. By the late 19th century the term specifically included the Reformed Christians, plus the Baptists and Methodists. The English Dissenters such as the Puritans who violated the Act of Uniformity 1559—typically by practising radical, sometimes separatist, dissent—were retrospectively labelled as Nonconformists.

He was an associate and friend of Lord Alfred Douglas, who was Oscar Wilde's lover. The bitter feud between Lord Alfred's father the Marquess of Queensberry and his son resulted in Wilde suing the Marquess for libel at Douglas's urging. Subsequently Wilde was charged with homosexuality after the Marquess produced evidence of Wilde's behaviour as justifying the libel. In 1895 Wilde was found guilty and imprisoned. After the trial Crosland united with Douglas, who had become a pious Catholic, and together they persecuted Robbie Ross in the civil courts in a variety of actions. They also repeatedly wrote and visited the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions, trying to ensure Ross's arrest for homosexual offences. [7]

Lord Alfred Douglas English poet, translator and prose writer

Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas was a British poet and journalist best known as the lover of Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde 19th-century Irish poet, playwright and aesthete

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46.

John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry Scottish noble

John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, was a Scottish nobleman, remembered for his atheism, his outspoken views, his brutish manner, for lending his name to the "Queensberry Rules" that form the basis of modern boxing, and for his role in the downfall of the Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde.

In 1913 the author Arthur Ransome recalled "the rather endearing story of his (Crosland's) first arrival in London from Yorkshire, by road, pushing a perambulator that was shared by manuscripts and a baby". This was at the trial of Ransome and others for libelling Douglas in Ransome's 1912 book on Wilde; Crosland and the impecunious Douglas had hoped for substantial damages but lost. When Douglas was declared bankrupt in February 1913, his solicitor had informed the court that damages of £2,500 "a fortune", were expected, which alarmed Ransome when he saw it in The Times . [8] The judge was rather scathing about Douglas's behaviour in the box, and the jury found that the words complained of were a libel but were true. Ransome's biographer referred to Crosland as a "shady associate" of Douglas, and Ross's biographer calls him "a narrow-minded bigot" and a "right-wing Tory". Crosland wrote a condemnation of Wilde's De Profundis , in verse, titled The First Stone, in 1912, and ghost-wrote Douglas's memoir Oscar Wilde and Myself in 1914. [9] [10]

Arthur Ransome English author and journalist

Arthur Michell Ransome was an English author and journalist. He is best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. The books remain popular and Swallows and Amazons is the basis for a tourist industry around Windermere and Coniston Water, the two lakes Ransome adapted as his fictional North Country lake.

<i>The Times</i> British daily compact newspaper owned by News UK

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, in turn wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

De Profundis is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie".

In 1914, Robbie Ross, Oscar Wilde's literary executor and rival for Wilde's affection, charged Crosland with criminal libel, plus writs for criminal conspiracy and perjury against Douglas and Crosland jointly. Crosland was found not guilty, though the judge did say that acquittal would not imply that Ross was guilty of any offence. [11]

Robbie Ross Canadian journalist and art critic

Robert Baldwin Ross was a Canadian journalist, art critic and art dealer, best known for his relationship with Oscar Wilde, to whom he was a devoted friend, lover and literary executor. A grandson of the Canadian reform leader Robert Baldwin, and son of John Ross and Augusta Elizabeth Baldwin, Ross was a pivotal figure on the London literary and artistic scene from the mid-1890s to his early death, and mentored several literary figures, including Siegfried Sassoon. His open homosexuality, in a period when male homosexual acts were illegal, brought him many hardships.

Crosland was a humanitarian who frequently wrote in his poems about the impoverished and sick and unemployed, especially caring about returned soldiers in the First World War. After many illnesses, he died in Surrey in 1924, leaving a wife and son.

A biography, The life and genius of T.W.H. Crosland, by W. Sorley Brown was published in 1928.


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The Oxford University Press published a long series of poetry anthologies, dealing in particular with British poetry but not restricted to it, after the success of the Oxford Book of English Verse (1900). The Oxford poetry anthologies are traditionally seen as 'establishment' in attitude, and routinely therefore are subjects of discussion and contention. They have been edited both by well-known poets and by distinguished academics. In the limited perspective of canon-formation, they have mostly been retrospective and well-researched, rather than breaking fresh ground.

<i>Wilde</i> (film) 1997 British biographical film directed by Brian Gilbert

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<i>The Trials of Oscar Wilde</i> 1960 film by Ken Hughes

The Trials of Oscar Wilde also known as The Man with the Green Carnation and The Green Carnation, is a 1960 British film based on the libel and subsequent criminal cases involving Oscar Wilde and the Marquess of Queensberry. It was written by Allen and Ken Hughes, directed by Hughes, and co-produced by Irving Allen, Albert R. Broccoli and Harold Huth. The screenplay was by Ken Hughes and Montgomery Hyde, based on the play The Stringed Lute by John Furnell. The film was made by Warwick Films and released by United Artists.

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William More Adey, known universally as More Adey, was an English art critic, editor and aesthete. He was a co-editor of the Burlington Magazine, but is perhaps best known for having been a friend and member of the inner circle of Oscar Wilde from the early 1890s until Wilde's death in 1900. As a defender of Wilde during his trial and imprisonment, Adey visited the fallen author in Reading Gaol, attempted to negotiate on behalf of the gaoled writer's interests as his de facto guardian, and oversaw a collection that was used to purchase necessities of life, including clothes, for him upon his release.

Christopher Sclater Millard was the author of the first bibliography of the works of Oscar Wilde as well as several books on Wilde. Millard's bibliography was instrumental in enabling Wilde's literary executor, Robert Baldwin Ross to establish copyright on behalf of his estate.


  1. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995
  2. 1 2 Henry Robert Addison, Charles Henry Oakes, William John Lawson and Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen (1907). "T. W. H. Crosland". Who's Who. Vol. 59. p. 418.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. William Sorley Brown (1928). The life and genius of T.W.H. Crosland.
  4. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
  5. Jon Stallworthy. The Oxford Book of War Poetry . T.W.H. Crosland (1865–1924)
  6. West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985
  7. Fryer, J "Robert Ross. Oscar Wilde's Devoted Friend", pp. 75–90 and passim
  8. Ronald Chambers (2009). The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome. faber and faber, London. p. 66. ISBN   978-0-571-22261-2.
  9. Hugh Brogan (1984). The Life of Arthur Ransome. Jonathan Cape, London. p. 80. ISBN   0-224-02010-2.
  10. Jonathan Fryer (2000). Robbie Ross: Oscar Wilde’s devoted friend . Carrol & Graf, New York and Constable & Robinson, London. pp. 198, 218, 234. ISBN   0-7867-0781-X.
  11. "Crosland is Acquitted. Charged with Conspiracy to Defame Oscar Wilde's Executor". New York Times . 7 July 1914. Retrieved 18 March 2011. T. W. H. Crosland, author of "The Unspeakable Scot" and a number of other books, who was charged with being concerned with Lord Alfred Douglas and others to charge falsely with a criminal offense Robert B. Ross, executor of the estate of the late Oscar Wilde, was found not guilty by a jury yesterday

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