How the Victorian Era Became an Anti-Gay Icon
The Victorian Era was one of the most homophobic eras in human history.
It was the time when the word “gay” was used as a synonym for homosexuality, and a man was hanged for having sex with a woman.
In one particularly vile example, a man accused a married woman of sleeping with her husband, a woman who had already had sex with her boyfriend.
The man who was convicted, Richard Burton, became an iconic figure in Victorian society and has been a fixture in the public consciousness ever since.
But his life story has largely been forgotten, until now.
He was born in 1837 in Norfolk, England, to a wealthy family.
His father, John Burton, was a prominent member of the wealthy, elite and influential merchant class.
He married Margaret (Natalie) Stewart in 1842 and had three daughters.
They had two sons, Charles (1796-1864) and John, Jr. (1849-1916).
Charles Burton, the eldest of the family, was married to Margaret Stewart, a wealthy woman, for a time, but she was never the wife he wanted.
He wanted to be a nurse.
John Burton married Margaret Stewart in 1862 and had four children, two of whom were fathered by the same woman.
They were Richard and Elizabeth (1854-1914), Elizabeth Margaret (1856-1917), James and Margaret (1914-1918) and Charles (1864-1919).
The eldest daughter, James, died in the early 1920s.
The eldest son, Richard, was born, but he died in infancy.
The youngest, Elizabeth Margaret, was five years old.
The siblings died when James was five.
Richard Burton lived in a small, secluded, one-room house with a single-room apartment on the top floor.
The family moved to a larger, four-room, three-story house, but the house was always in disrepair.
There were no servants, and he did not receive any income from the house.
When his brother was killed by a robber in 1864, Richard was not in the house at the time.
Richard was a lonely child.
He went to school and played outside but he did nothing to help his older brothers.
He worked at the butcher shop and in the laundry.
When the family moved into the larger, three story house, Richard became a man and became involved in the family business.
He started working as a tailor, but soon had an interest in architecture.
He built his own house in a suburb of Norfolk and lived there until his death in 1918.
He had two daughters, Anne and Charlotte, and three sons, John, James and John Jr. His family lived in Norfolk for nearly 40 years, but died there in 1917.
The house where his mother died was demolished in 1922.
Richard’s son, Charles Burton became a wealthy merchant who died in 1899, aged just 37.
He left his son Charles, who was an artist, to pursue his artistic interests.
Charles Burton lived the rest of his life in England and Wales.
He sold many of his paintings and works of art and died in 1901, aged 72.
He is buried at Hampton Court, Norfolk, Norfolk.