Queer Places:
Harrow School, 5 High St, Harrow, Harrow on the Hill HA1 3HP
University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PA
Holmhurst St Mary, The Ridge, Hastings, Saint Leonards-on-sea TN37 7PT, UK
All Saints Churchyard Herstmonceux, Wealden District, East Sussex, England

Augustus John Cuthbert Hare (13 March 1834 – 22 January 1903) was an English writer and raconteur. The Order of Chaeronea named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was founded in 1897. It was a secret society for the cultivation of a homosexual moral, ethical, cultural and spiritual ethos established by poet and penal reformer George Cecil Ives who believes that homosexuals will not be accepted openly in society and must become covert in its organising. Members include Charles Kains Jackson, Samuel Elsworth Cottam, Montague Summers, the writer on the occult and witches who published ‘Antinous and Other Poems’ in 1907, dedicated to the subject of pederasty. Another was the school teacher, Uranian poet, and photographer John Gambril Nicholson. He was in contact with Oscar Wilde, Adolf Brand, Oscar Browning, Norman Rowland Gale, writer and watercolourist Augustus John Cuthbert Hare, Freud’s biographer Alfred Ernest Jones, Reggie Turner, author and loyal friend of Oscar Wilde, Edvard Alexander Westermarck, the Finnish philosopher and sociologist, author of The History of Human Marriage (1891) and Edward Carpenter. The Arts & Crafts movement designer Charles Robert Ashbee is also thought to have been a member.

Augustus John Cuthbert Hare was the youngest son of Francis George Hare of Herstmonceux, East Sussex, and Gresford, Flintshire, Wales, and the nephew of Augustus William Hare and Julius Hare.[1] He was born in Rome; he was adopted by his aunt, the widow of Augustus Hare, and his parents renounced all further claims to him. His autobiography The Story of My Life (1896-1900) details both a devotion to his adopted mother, Maria, and an intense unhappiness with his home education at Buckwell Place. He spent one year at Harrow School in 1847 but left due to ill health. In 1853, he matriculated at University College, Oxford, graduating in 1857 with a BA.

Hare was the author of a large number of books, which fall into two classes: biographies of members and connections of his family, and descriptive and historical accounts of various countries and cities. To the first belong Memorials of a Quiet Life (about his adoptive mother), Story of Two Noble Lives (about Countess Canning and the Marchioness of Waterford, sisters and artists), The Gurneys of Earlham (about the Gurney family of bankers and social reformers of Earlham Hall near Norwich), and an autobiography in six volumes. This last included a number of accounts of encounters with ghosts. A reviewer in the New York Times concluded that "Mr Hare's ghosts are rather more interesting than his lords or his middle-class people".[2] He also compiled numerous travel books, including a couple for John Murray, as well as many others under his own name, such as Walks in Rome, Walks in London, Wanderings in Spain, Cities of Northern, Southern, and Central Italy (separate works), Days near Rome and Sussex. Hare was a friend to the barrister Basil Levett and his wife Lady Mary Levett, the daughter of the Earl of Shaftesbury, to whom Hare left a painting in his will.[3] ("Basil Levett or his wife Lady Margaret Copy of the Last Communion of S Jerome by Domenichino.")[4]

He spent his money on purchasing and refurbishing a house near Hastings, which he named Holmhurst St Mary.[5] In his biography of Somerset Maugham, writer Ted Morgan mentions that Hare, whom he refers to as "the last Victorian," befriended Maugham who became a frequent guest at his country house, Holmhurst in Baldslow, Sussex.[6] After his death, the house was taken by Admiral Sir Lewis Beaumont and family, and then from 1908 Sir John Gordon Kennedy and family.[7] At some point after this the estate was purchased by the Community of the Holy Family, an Anglican order of teaching nuns, with a focus on art and scholarship. Their mother foundress, Agnes Morton, who had formed the community in London in 1896 and later brought it to Sussex, recognised the house and gardens as a piece of Italy – specifically Florence – in England.[8] The girls' school that the nuns ran there, from the 1930s to the 1980s, was known as St Mary's Convent School, the Ridge.[9][10] Its best-known pupil was Joanna Lumley, an "army brat" who boarded in the 1960s: "I especially loved my second boarding school, an Anglo-Catholic convent in the hills behind Hastings. The nuns wore blue stockings and were brainy and lovely. There were 70 boarders and I was happy as a clam."[11]

Hare died alone the day after receiving the news that a lifelong friend, Mme Ernest Bunsen, had died. He was buried at All Saints Churchyard, Herstmonceux, Section A, beside his birth mother on the southern slopes of the churchyard with the sea and South Downs in view.[12] A number of his travel books were revised in later editions by the historian, Welbore St Clair Baddeley (1856-1945).

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