Friday, 3 August 2012

96 years ago today...

On 3rd August 1916, Sir Roger Casement was executed in Pentonville Prison, London. An Irish nationalist, he was convicted of treason.

There is still some controversy over his sexual orientation. Photographs of the 'Black Diaries', meant to be his own, were circulated shortly before his execution. Taken at face value, they show him as a promiscuous homosexual with a liking for yonger men. Given contemporary attitudes towards homosexuality, they would have greatly reduced public sympathy for him.

Whether the diaries are genuine or forgeries has been much debated. However, a detailed forensic investigation in 2002 concluded that the diaries had been written by Casement. The diaries were declassified for public inspection in August 1959 and may be seen at the  National Archives in Kew (

More information:

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Crime Against Europe, by Roger Casement

Thanks to LGBT History Month (@LGBTHM) for the tweet that reminded me of this date.

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