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Legal battle between crown & Oscar Wilde

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No sooner did Wilde free himself from controversies than came another blow to his reputation & peace of mind. Surprisingly, an arrest warrant for him was issued on account of a complaint lodged against him.

He was issued a warrant at the Cadogan Hotel, Knightsbridge. On acknowledging the news, Robert Ross went to Wilde, who was with Reginald Turner, & urged him to take a boat & rush to France as soon as possible.

But Wilde’s mother felt otherwise. She insisted that Wilde should stay & fight against the circumstances bravely. Wilde had lost all hope & finally giving it up, not being able to think properly, he could only say that it was too late to do anything now.

Within a span of few months Wilde’s life had taken a harsh turn. Wilde was arrested on charges of gross indecency un der section 11 of the Criminal Law Ammendment Act 1885.

In British legislation of the time, this term meant to say homosexual acts not amounting buggery are offensive under a separate statute. Wilde was than imprisoned on remand at Holloway. During imprisonment, he used to be visited daily by Lord Alfred Douglas.

Post Wilde’s arrest, Ross went to his home & removed certain specific items, letters & manuscripts belonging to Wilde. Wilde forced Douglas to leave England & move to Paris.

Initially he refused to go away, but later was forced to leave. During the same time Ross also left United Kingdom. Wilde’s prosecution began on 26th April, 1985 wherein Wilde presented an eloquent defense from his side.

During the trial the prosecution used the lines written by Wilde, the love that dare not speak its name, as allegations of homosexuality on Wilde. Once again, the private life of Wilde, linked to the Victorian underground, became public for everyone to see, speak, allege & ponder upon.

At the end of the trial, the jury was unable to reach at any specific verdict & as result agreed upon a bail amounting to £5000. Most of the amount of bail was put up by The Reverend Stewart Headlam. Thereafter Wilde went into the hiding at a friend’s place.

Final trial took place on 25 may, 1895 & was presided over by Mr. Justice Wills. The trial resulted in Wilde & Taylor’s conviction. They were sentenced to 2 years of hard labour.

By FW Editor

Tags: writer, poet, london

Category: Celebrities  - ( Celebrities Archive)

Date Added: 12 April '10

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