Lord Arthur Clinton

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Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton, with Fanny (resting on his shoulder) and Clinton's former lover Stella (sitting on the floor)
Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton (23 June 1840 – 18 June 1870) was an English aristocrat and Liberal Party politician. He was the third son of Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle and Lady Susan Harriet Catherine Hamilton. He went to Eton College and became a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, serving in the Baltic from 1854 to 1856 and in India during the Mutiny. He was elected as MP for Newark at the general election in July 1865, and held the seat until he stood down at the 1868 general election. He was declared bankrupt on 12 November 1868, with debts and liabilities reported to total £70,000.

He lived, for a time, as "husband" to transvestite Ernest Boulton, alias Stella, (of Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park). Stella had been dressed as a girl from a young age, with the support of her mother. Jack Saul, a rent boy who wrote his memoirs The Sins of the Cities in the Plain, claimed to have witnessed Lord Arthur make love to Stella at a ball given at Haxell's Hotel in the Strand.

Boulton and Park were brought to trial on the allegation that they were homosexual and "conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence". Lord Arthur died on 18 June 1870, the day after receiving his subpoena for the trial, ostensibly of scarlet fever but more probably a suicide.

After the prosecution failed to establish that they had had anal sex, which was then a crime, or that wearing women's clothing was in any sense a crime, both men were acquitted.

Boulton and Park appear in the play Lord Arthur's Bed (2008) by English playwright Martin Lewton. The play premièred at the Brighton Festival on 14 May 2008. It subsequently toured nationally in 2008, and transferred to Dublin in 2009.

Further reading

Fanny and Stella: The young Men who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna. McKenna's website has three additional chapters about Lord Arthur for which there was no room in the book.[1]


  1. http://www.neilmckennawriter.com/bonus-chapters/