Queer Places:
Inner Temple church, Temple, London EC4Y 7BB, Regno Unito

John Hoyle (died May 1692) was a bisexual lawyer in London and an alleged lover of the writer Aphra Behn.[1][2]

John Hoyle was the son and heir of Thomas Hoyle. Thomas Hoyle (baptised 29 January 1587 - died 30 January 1650) was a parliamentarian in the Civil War and he was appointed lord mayor of York following the city’s capture in July 1644. He joined the regicides after some hesitation, but regretting what they did, he hanged himself on the first anniversary of the King Charles I’s execution.[3]

John Hoyle, born in the city of York, was a lawyer who received his training at Gray's Inn and was a member of the Inner Temple,[4] London. While still a law student, in 1663, he stabbed an unarmed watchmaker, who died six days later.[5] Despite a number of witnesses against him, he escaped the murder charge with a verdict of ''ignoramus'', i.e. there was not sufficient evidence to convict him. In 1665, he killed a man, but was acquitted of murder.

In 1687, Hoyle was arrested and tried for sodomy. The grand jury returned a verdict of ''ignoramus''.

In the 1670s, he was an intimate of the pioneering woman writer and playwright Aphra Behn. Their relationship was tumultuous.[6] [7] In Tom Brown's "Letters of Love and Gallants", there is a letter from Aphra Behn to Hoyle, remonstrating with him on his depraved way of life, and asking him in the name of "Our past endearments" to clear himself, if possible, of the allegations made against him.[8] He figures in much of Behn's writings[9] and is thought to be one of the two models for the promiscuous protagonist of Behn's 1677 play ''The Rover''.[10] Behn died in 1689 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. John Hoyle is believed to have written the epitaph on her black marble stone: "Here lies a proof that wit can never be / Defense enough against mortality."


Inner Temple Church, London

In May 1692, he was stabbed to death "after a drunken brawl in a tavern" and is buried in the vault belonging to the Inner Temple Church.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/John_Hoyle_(died_1692)#References