John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensbury: Background to the Wilde Trials

Timeline of events surrounding John Douglas and his involvment in the trials of Oscar Wilde.


Chronological table

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4
Date Event Created by Associated Places
7 Jul 1844

John Sholto Douglas is Born

John Sholto Douglas (7/20/1844 – 1/31/1900) is born in Florence Italy. The eventual catalyst of Oscar Wilde's downfall, Douglas was born to conservative Scotish nobleman Archibald William Douglas and Caroline Margaret Clayton. Archibald was the 8th Marquess of Queensberry making John the 9th after inheriting the title in 1858. His son Alfred Bruce Douglas would become sexually involved with Oscar Wilde, a relationship that Douglas did not approv of, leading to the libel trial of 1895.

Aidan Diefenbach

Queensberry Brawl

John Douglas assults his son Percy in the street for showing support for Oscar Wilde. Despite this, Percy would go on to inherit his father's title of Marquess of Queensberry after his father's death.

Aidan Diefenbach
Feb 1895

John Douglas Accused of Libel

John Douglas leaves a card at Oscar Wilde's Club accusing him of being a homosexual after discovering the affair between Wilde and his son Alfred. The card read: "For Oscar Wilde, posing Somdomite" This incident would lead to Wilde suing Douglas for criminal libel, thus beginning the legal proceedings that would tarnish Wilde's career and name. Douglas would soon be arrested for the case, though the trial would not begin until April 3rd of the same year.

Aidan Diefenbach
3 Apr 1895

Wilde v. Queensberry

The trial of John Douglas begins. According to the 1843 Libel Act, Douglas needed to prove that the libel that Wilde was accusing him of was indeed true. 

Aidan Diefenbach