Partner Oliver Baldwin, 2nd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Queer Places:
Shirburn Castle, Castle Rd, Shirburn, Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5DJ, UK
St Mary, Church Ln, North Stoke, Wallingford OX10 6BQ, Regno Unito

John Parke Boyle (July 30, 1893 – February 24, 1969) was the son of Major Charles John Boyle and Lillian Kennedy Pochin. He was educated at Bradfield School and was invested as a Fellow, Zoological Society (F.Z.S.) His sister Lilian Joanna Vere Boyle married George Loveden William Henry Parker (1888-1975), 7th Earl of Macclesfield, son of George Augustus Parker, Viscount Parker and Carine Agnes Loveden, on June 9, 1909.

When Oliver Baldwin, 2nd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, returned to Britain in 1922 he was briefly engaged to Dorothea ("Doreen") Arbuthnot, the daughter of a political ally of his father.[10] Coming to terms with the fact that he was homosexual, Baldwin broke off the engagement, and settled with Johnnie Boyle.[11] Described in The New Statesman as "a charming ne'er-do-well",[2] Boyle, who was six years older than Baldwin, became his lifelong partner.[12] Boyle's family came from Oxfordshire, where he and Baldwin set up home together, living in what the biographer Christopher J Walker describes as "gentle, amicable, animal-loving, primitive, homosexual socialism".[13]

Together they set up home in Oxfordshire, first at Shirburn and then at North Stoke, keeping geese and hens and taking in lodgers, with Oliver trying to make money by writing. He refused to accept money from his father, except for small cheques at Christmas or for his birthday. His mother was also supportive – she wrote to John Boyle to say, “Thank you for loving my Oliver.” Oliver Baldwin threw a party in honour of his father, on Dec. 15, 1938. In Oliver’s words “it was a wonderful evening and made the old man very happy.” The following day Stanley wrote to his son, “I enjoyed every minute of your happy party last night. In the excitement of leaving I don’t believe I said Good Night to Johnny, whose work as caterer was beyond praise. Bless you. Your loving old Father.” Oliver’s parents treated John Boyle as an ideal son-in-law and would begin letters to him with “My dear Johnny.”

For a time, Oliver and John lived at Shirburn at John’s brother-in-law’s castle, before moving to North Stoke. John Parke Boyle is buried at St Mary the Virgin (Church Lane, North Stoke, Oxfordshire, OX10 6BQ). 


  1. "Baldwin of Bewdley", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 2014, retrieved 4 August 2015 (subscription required)
  2. Lycett, Andrew, ""An average MP; Oliver Baldwin: a life of dissent, by Christopher J Walker", New Statesman, London. 29 March 2004.
  3. Lyttelton and Hart-Davis, letter of 13 August 1958, pp. 115–116
  4. Who's Who, 1938, page 726
  5. Walker, p. 22
  6. "Obituary – Earl Baldwin of Bewdley", The Times, London. 12 August 1958. p. 8
  7. Walker, p. 31
  8. Walker, p. 69
  9. Walker, p. 75
  10. Walker, p. 88
  11. Walker, p. 99
  12. Walker, pp. 99–103
  13. Walker, p. 108
  14. Walker, pp. 150–151
  15. "The General Election", The Times, 28 October 1931, p. 6
  16. "The General Election", The Times, 15 November 1935, p. 8
  17. "News in Brief", The Times, 13 September 1945, p. 2
  18. "Governor of Leeward Islands", The Times, 9 February 1948, p. 3