Exhibits A and B and their envelope in Oscar Wilde trial, 1895. Catalogue ref: CRIM 1/41/6

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This is the calling card left by Marquis of Queensbury calling Oscar Wilde a ‘posing somdomite’ (presumably intending to spell ‘sodomite’). It was presented as evidence as part of Wilde’s 1895 trial.

On 18 February 1895 the Marquis of Queensbury – also known as Sir John Sholto Douglas – left his calling card at the Albemarle Club, labelled ‘For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite’. He took issue with Wilde’s ongoing relationship with his son Alfred. Wilde put Lord Queensbury on trial for libel. However, during this trial, evidence was brought up that eventually got Wilde convicted for ‘gross indecency’, including witness statements from male sex workers.

Wilde was convicted due to the ‘Labouchere Amendment’ of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, which made it illegal for any man to commit an act of ‘gross indecency’ with another man. Sexual acts no longer had to be proven.

Learn more about LGBTQ+ history in our lesson resources:



Owner: The National Archives UK
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 12266
wilde crime somdomite

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    • 05/Apr/2023 04:16:07

    Congrats on Explore! ⭐ April 4, 2023

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    • 05/Apr/2023 04:40:40

    Nice Capture! Congratulations On Explore!

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    • 05/Apr/2023 05:04:48

    Glückwunsch zu Explore !

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    Marut Rata

    • 05/Apr/2023 05:44:22

    ✨Congratulations ✨💚🍃

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    • 05/Apr/2023 06:26:24

    Das ist schön.

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    Sigurd Krieger

    • 05/Apr/2023 06:46:06

    Congrats on Xplore!!

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    Congrats on Explore!⭐

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    • 05/Apr/2023 07:41:25

    "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. - Oscar Wilde. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 05/Apr/2023 12:01:30

    Well captured