Queer Places:
Swallowfield Park, Wokingham, Swallowfield, Reading RG7 1TG, Regno Unito
University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, Regno Unito

Image result for Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of ClarendonEdward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon (28 November 1661 – 31 March 1723), styled Viscount Cornbury between 1674 and 1709, was propelled into the forefront of English politics when he and part of his army defected from the Catholic King James II to support the newly arrived Protestant contender, William III of Orange. His actions triggered the Glorious Revolution of 1688 , a bloodless change of governments. As a reward, he was later appointed Governor of New York and New Jersey between 1701 and 1708.

The new governor’s primary mission was to protect the colonies during the War of the Spanish Succession (known in the Americas as Queen Anne's War, or the 2nd French and Indian War; 1701 – 1714). His administration successfully prevented French incursions into the middle colonies. However, he soon became mired in the region’s many factional conflicts.

By 1708, war weariness led to a shift in the political tide in Great Britain. Governor Cornbury was recalled from the colonies, but was soon after installed as a member of Queen Anne’s privy council . Lord Cornbury’s fortunes changed again when George I was crowned King of Great Britain on 1 August 1714. Out of favor, Lord Cornbury died in Chelsea, London on 31 March 1723.

A degenerate and pervert who is said to have spent half of his time dressed in women's clothes.[75]

Virtually every reference written about Lord Cornbury has described him in disparaging terms. The criticisms can be traced back to a spring 1706 complaint written to the newly appointed Whig ministry by Lewis Morris (1671-1746), and Samuel Jennings (about 1660-1708) in behalf of the New Jersey Assembly.[76] In 1708, the New York Assembly followed suit with their own letter.[77]

Such complaints were commonplace during that era. Similar allegations were made about the royal governors who preceded and succeeded Cornbury -- both in New York & New Jersey, and in the other colonies.[78] What was unique about Governor Cornbury was the allegation of wearing women's clothes.

A generation later, the story was told of a conversation about Lord Cornbury between the famous Whig minister & author Horace Walpole (1717-1797)[79] and author George James Williams (1719-1805) :

Walpole: "[Lord Cornbury] was a clever man. His great insanity was dressing himself as a woman. When Governor in America he opened the Assembly dressed in that fashion. When some of those about him remonstrated, his reply was, 'You are very stupid not to see the propriety of it. In this place and particularly on this occasion I represent a woman (Queen Anne) and ought in all respects to represent her as faithfully as I can.'"

Williams: "My father did business with Cornbury in woman's clothes. He used to sit at the open window so dressed, to the great amusement of the neighbors. He employed always the most fashionable milliner, shoemaker, stay maker, etc. I saw a picture of him at Sir Herbert Packington's in Worcestershire, in a gown, stays, tucker, long ruffles, and cap...." [80]

However Columbia University denies having ties to the former governor: “Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury (1661-1723), could very well have been known as the pre-founder of King's College. He was an advocate for the placement of a college in New York City, but somehow his suggestions were overshadowed by Colonel Lewis Morris' statements on the matter, as Morris is more famously known as the college's pre-founder. Although documents lead to evidence of Cornbury's support of the college, his involvement with the college's founding has been ignored because of his damaged reputation over the years.[81][82]

Professor Patricia U. Bonomi (New York University) tried to rehabilitate the governor by concluding that he was not transgender: “That a royal governor could have publicly displayed himself in women’s clothes, as Cornbury is alleged to have done, and escaped severe censure seems doubtful.[83] As the 18th century unfolded, Britain experienced the rise of moral reform societies determined to purge “sodomy” & “transvestism” from society.[84] Cornbury’s reputation suffered as these groups gained increasing influence in British society.

A critical piece of evidence was an 18th-century portrait hanging in the New York Historical Society. The portrait was uncaptioned, but the subject has been commonly believed to be Governor Cornbury wearing a dress. Professor Bonomi suggested that the subject was not, in fact, Cornbury.[85] However, other art historians have remained unconvinced.[86]

The Dallas Museum of Art has a different portrait of unknown provenance also ascribed to be “Lord Cornbury in a Dress. [87]

Marriage: (10 July 1685) Eloped with Katherine O’Brien, the 8th Baroness Clifton (22 January 1663 – 11 August 1706).[88] She was the daughter of Henry O'Brien, Lord Ibrackan, 7th Earl of Thomond. She died in New York City and was buried at Trinity Church, New York.

Westminster Abbey, London


  • Catherine Hyde (1689-1708) Died at age 9.
  • Mary Hyde (-1697)
  • Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury & 9th Baron Clifton (1691-February 1713), Died unmarried at age 21 due to fever.
  • Theodisia Hyde, 10th Baroness Clifton (9 November 1695 – 30 July 1722) Married August 1713 to John Bligh, the 1st Earl of Darnley (1687-1728). Died of sepsis at age 26 shortly after the birth of her 6th child.

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    1. "Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon". The Peerage. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
    2. Bonomi (1998) page 31
    3. Bonomi, (1998), page 32
    4. Here the word “reformed” refers to a broad spectrum of protestant groups that tend to be Bible-focused rather than tradition-focused, devoted to simplicity in lifestyle & worship, and more authoritarian. The distinction here is between Anglicanism and other Protestant sects – known in 17th century England as “dissenters” or “”non-conformists.”
    5. The Clarendon Code(enacted 1661-1665) was a series of laws that re-established the Church of England as the state religion, while excluding both Catholicism & “nonconformist” (aka “dissenting”) Protestant religions (i.e. Presbyterianism, Calvinism, Puritanism, Dutch Reformed, etc.) See also http://www.britainexpress.com/History/stuart/clarendon-code.htm
    6. Bonomi (1998), page 33
    7. See Wiltshire County section of The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, (1983) and 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002 (Found at http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/ ) These accounts detail the political maneuvering that led to Cornbury’s election.
    8. Known as the “Bloody Assizes
    9. Bonomi (1998), page 38
    10. Later known as the “Immortal Seven.”
    11. Entry Glorious Revolution in the Titi Tudorancea Enclycopedia, https://www.tititudorancea.net/z/glorious_revolution.htm See also http://www.berkshirehistory.com/bios/hhyde_2eofc.html
    12. Bonomi (1998), pages 38-39; See also Stone (1892), pages 55-56.
    13. See University of Nottingham’s map of Wiliam’s invasion route at: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscriptsandspecialcollections/documents/elearning/conflict/williamoforangeitinerary-illustration5.pdf
    14. However, the war continued in Ireland until the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690.
    15. George, King of Denmark, had married Cornbury’s cousin Anne, soon to be Queen of England. The couple lived in London with little real political power until 1702.
    16. See Booth, Mary L (1859), Chapters I-III
    17. Wilson (1892) pages 150-154
    18. Reynolds (1906), pages 63-65
    19. Booth (1859), pages 220-239
    20. The first elected assembly in New York had met on 17 October 1683, under Governor Dongan. Booth (1859), pages 207-208. During Leisler’s government, the New York Assembly firmly established its authority. See Vermilye, Ashbel G (1892), The Earl of Bellomont and Suppression of Piracy, 1698-1701 in The Memorial History of the City of New York Volume II, ed James Wilson, New York History Company pages 15-16.
    21. Booth (1859), pages 239-240
    22. Stone (1892), page 58-60
    23. Booth (1859) page 260
    24. Stone (1892), page 57
    25. Peter Kalm, (1749), Travels into North America Vol 1 pages 253-258 and 243-245; reprinted in Stevens, Guy (1909), Selections from the Economic History of the United States, 1765-1860 Callender Ed, Boston: Ginn and Co. pages 16-20.
    26. Booth (1859) pages 254-256
    27. Reynolds (1906) page 163
    28. Vermilye (1892), page 33
    29. See entries on Louis-Hector de Calliere by Yves F Zoltvany, and on Teganissorens by WJ Eccles, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Volume II (1701-1740), University of Toronto, accessed 23 June 2017.
    30. For example, on 8 February 1690, a native attack eradicated the village of Corlaer (Now Schenectady, 19 miles northwest of Albany NY.) See also Beck, Sanderson (2016): New England 1664-1744 & New York to Pennsylvania 1664-1744 in Ethics of Civilization Vol 11, America to 1744, ISBN Q-9762210-7-1
    31. William Glidden, The English Stone Fortress: Fort Frederick, Lake Champlain Weekly (17 September 2003) Quoted at: http://dmna.ny.gov/forts/fortsE_L/frederickFort.htm
    32. See Reynolds (1906) page 157 for the previous governor’s (Earl of Bellomont) report of the conditions at Albany in 1700.
    33. Stone (1892) pages 60-61
    34. Cliff Lamere, Fort Albany & Fort Frederick at Albany NY at: http://www.genealogy.clifflamere.com/Aid/History/FortFrederick-Albany-working.htm
    35. Bonomi (1998), page 64
    36. Stone (1892), pages 65-66
    37. Known at the time as the North River.
    38. Stone (1892), page 69; Booth (1859), pages 276-278.
    39. The plan was to repair and fortify blockhouses originally built by the Dutch – One on Signal Hill on Staten Island (built 1653, later known as Flagstaff Fort [1776] and Fort Tompkins [1806]). Another blockhouse stood in the village of New Utrecht on the Brooklyn side (built 1657, later Fort Hamilton [1826]). England was supposed to supply cannon, but they never arrived. Bonomi (1998) page 83.
    40. Peartree had been appointed mayor because of his former experience as a privateer. See Booth (1859), page 281
    41. The Assembly’s subsequent inquiry discovered that tax collectors only raised £398 of the total. The money had been placed in the hands of the colonial receiver of revenues. Bonomi (1998), pages 82-85. In spite of these findings, historians have continued to cite the charge as proof of Cornbury’s incompetence. Compare Stone (1892) page 70 with page 73. See also, Booth (1859), pages 276-281.
    42. Stone (1892) page 73. In England, the Parliament House of Commons has the “power of the purse” – sole control over taxation and funding of major undertakings. A “Charter of Liberties” had been enacted by the New York Assembly in 1683 but they were annulled by Queen Mary II in 1691 (Booth [1859] p 207-208, 240)
    43. Stone (1892) page 70
    44. Stone (1892) pages 70-71
    45. Stone 1892, page 65
    46. Other ministers had warned Makemie about meeting the legal requirements, so the subject of Makemie’s sermon was “We ought to obey God, rather than Men.” (Acts 5:29) Wilson (1892) page 81
    47. Cornbury accused Makemie of being a “Disturber of Governments”. See David Hall, Francis Makemie and Freedom of Speech in The Aquila Report 25 January 2015; and Wilson (1892) p 82.
    48. The decision has been hailed as a landmark for American religious freedom. See Francis Makemie, Presbyterian Pioneer, by Kirk Mariner. http://francismakemiesociety.org/files/Download/Francis%20Makemie%20-%20Presbyterian%20Pioneer%20by%20Kirk%20Mariner.pdf
    49. Makemie's published account of the event can be found in Rev. Francis Makemie: A Narrative of a New and Unusual American Imprisonment of Two Presbyterian Ministers And Prosecution of Mr. Francis Makemie in William Henry Foote (1850), Foote's Sketches of Virginia (First Book) pages 65-84 http://www.roanetnhistory.org/foote-virginia.php?loc=Foote-Sketches-Virginia-First&pgid=92
    50. Bonomi 1998, page 70. That same year, Governor Cornbury established the first free grammar school in New York City. Booth, (1859) page 273-274
    51. Not the current King’s College of New York, which was founded in 1938
    52. McCaughey, Robert (2003). Stand, Columbia : A History of Columbia University in the City of New York. New York, New York: Columbia University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-231-13008-2.
    53. Matthews, Brander; John Pine; Harry Peck; Munroe Smith (1904). A History of Columbia University: 1754–1904. London, England: Macmillan Company. pp. 8–10.
    54. http://www.hollandsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/dHM-2011-Summer-Vol-LXXXIV-Nr-2-A.pdf
    55. Valentine, David Ed (1853) History of the City of New York McSperton & Baset Printers
    56. Bonomi (1998), pages 62-64.
    57. Haefeli, Evan; Sweeney, Kevin (2003): Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Page 191. ISBN 978-1-55849-503-6. OCLC 493973598.
    58. Williams, John (1853) The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, Northampton: Hopkins, Bridgman & Co, p 51 (Originally published 1707).
    59. Waller, G M, (1960) Samuel Vetch: Colonial Enterpriser. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Va pages x & 311.
    60. A complete account of the political climate and Vetch’s lobbying efforts can be found in: Alsop, James D, Samuel Vetch’s ‘Canada Survey’d’: The Formation of a Colonial Strategy 1706-1710 in Acadiensis Vol XII No 1, Autumn 1982. See especially p 57 https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/acadiensis
    61. On 3 December 1706, he was appointed Secretary of State for the Southern Department (Southern England, Wales, Ireland & the American colonies.)
    62. Alsop (1982) p. 45.
    63. Alsop (1982) p. 45.
    64. The selection of Lord Lovelace in March as governor of New York raised expectations that the colony would play a more active role in the war.” Alsop (1982) page 57.
    65. Marlborough’s victory at Oudenarde in July 1708 relieved the need for a Canadian expedition, which might have complicated peace negotiations underway during April & May of 1709.
    66. Since 1705, both the New York & New Jersey Assemblies had refused to appropriate funds for the governor’s salary and for support of the colonial garrison. Both were forced to survive on borrowed funds.
    67. The welcoming banquet cost £46 7s. 6d. which Cornbury borrowed from Henry Swift, a wealthy merchant. The New York Assembly refused to reimburse the sum, which only added to Cornbury’s debt burden. Wilson 1892, page 100.
    68. Wilson (1892), page 135
    69. Sunderland was dismissed as Secretary of State on 13 June 1710 with the arrival of the Tory Harley Cabinet on 11 August 1710.
    70. Bonomi (1998), page 51 His name has been replaced by John Leake in the Wikipedia First Admiralty entry. Compare Wikipedia John Leake entry.
    71. James Edward was the son of James II who had been deposed during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and died in 1701.
    72. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford, lived 1661-1724. As Queen Anne’s Lord High Treasurer (1711-1714), he was responsible for restructuring the national debt incurred during the war. His solution was the formation of a joint-stock company, the South Sea Company (1711). Due to fraud, insider trading, and bribery, the scheme collapsed after 1721. Shares were issued at £100, reached a high of £1000 in 1720, and fell to less than nominal value by 1721. Much of the aristocracy—including Harley--was ruined financially by the scheme. There's no evidence of Cornbury's involvement.
    73. Bonomi (1998), pages 52-55
    74. Bonomi (1998), pages 54-55.
    75. Quote from Shelly Ross (1988), Fall from Grace: Sex, Scandal and Corruption in American Politics from 1702 to Present, Random House, page 4
    76. Wilson (1892), page 77
    77. Wilson 1892, pages 84-85
    78. For example, Marlborough, Sunderland, Harley, and Governors Slaughter, Bellomont, Hunter et al. see Booth (1859) pages 232, 245, 285-286, & 292 and Wilson (1892), page 104
    79. Horace's father, Prime Minister Robert Walpole (Whig), served in the Sunderland ministry that recalled Cornbury from the colonies.
    80. Bonomi (1998) page 15. See also: Benson, Eric, “English King Appoints Drag Queen”, The Complete History of Scandals, New York Magazine News & Politics 2 April 2012
    81. Quote from Kristan Aiken (18 February 2002) Columbia University: A Social History http://cuhistory3057.tripod.com/hyde/id1.html
    82. Matthews, Brander; John Pine; Harry Peck; Munroe Smith (1904), A History of Columbia University: 1754–1904. London, England: Macmillan Company, pages 8–10.
    83. Quote from Bonomi (1998), page 141
    84. For more information, see Norton, Rictor, Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England. http://www.rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/molly2.html[permanent dead link]
    85. Bonomi, Patricia (Jan 1994) U. Lord Cornbury Redressed: The Governor and the Problem Portrait. William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 106-118.
    86. Eric Pace, “A Tempest in a Portrait: Was that Lady a Lord?” New York Times 30 May 1990 https://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/30/nyregion/a-tempest-in-a-portrait-was-that-lady-a-lord.html
    87. "Portrait of a Lady, Possibly Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury in a Dress - DMA Collection Online". Dma.org. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
    88. "Person Page". Thepeerage.com. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
    89. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
    90. Hoffman, William M. (ed) (1979). Gay Plays: The First Collection. New York, New York: Avon Books. pp. 413–14. ISBN 0380427885.
    91. Isherwood, Charles (2009-01-30). "The Man Who Would Be Queen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-11.