Douglas, Alfred Bruce

BORN 22 Oct 1870, Powick, Worcesterhire: Ham Hill House - DIED 20 Mar 1945, Lancing, West Sussex
CAUSE OF DEATH congestive heart failure
GRAVE LOCATION Crawley, West Sussex: Franciscan Monastery (Churchyard)

Alfred Bruce Douglas was the son of John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry. His mother called him Bosie and he kept this nickname all his life. In 1887 his parents divorced because of the adultery of his father. He studied in Oxford, but left without a degree.

In 1891 he met Oscar Wilde and they started an affair. His father left a card for Wilde at Wilde's club on which he had written "For Oscar Wilde posing as a somdomite". Against the advice of his friends Wilde accused Queensberry of criminal libel. During the trial evidence of Wilde's homosexual relations was produced. Wilde was convicted to two years of imprisonment in 1895 and in prison he wrote "De profundis" to Douglas.

After Wilde's release they met in Rouen, offending both their families and friends by doing so. After a few months Douglas returned to England and Wilde went to live in Paris. They met again in Naples.

After Wilde's death in 1900 he befriended the bisexual poet Olive Eleanor Custance. They married in 1902 and their son Raymond Wilfred Sholto Douglas was born in November of that year. In 1911 he converted to Catholicism and he and Olive separated in 1913. During the 1920s they lived together again for a while, but after that the marriage was over, although they never divorced.

From 1907 to 1910 he was the editor of "The Academy" and at this time he reportedly had an affair with the artist Romaine Brooks. In 1920 he founded the Catholic and antisemitical magazine "Plain English". He was involved in a number of libel cases, both as laintiff and as defendant. After he was found guilty of libel against Winston Churchill he was in prison for half a year in 1924. There he wrote "In Excelsis".

After his release he continued writing and he corresponded extensively with George Bernard Shaw. In the 1940s he lived in Hove. He died in 1945 in Lancing, West Sussex at the home of Edward and Sheila Corman.

Related persons
• was engaged to Barney, Natalie Clifford
• was a friend of Brooks, Romaine
• is brother/sister of Douglas, Percy Sholto, 10th Marquess of Queensberry
• had a relationship with Wilde, Oscar


The grave of Lord Alfred Douglas at the Franciscan Monastery, Crawley.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2017)


Lord Alfred Douglas - Wikipedia

Douglas, Francis, 11th Marquess of Queensberry

Published: 12 Jan 2018
Last update: 25 Apr 2022