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Was King Billy homosexual?
So they say. And so too was David, who slew Goliath in the bible. In fact, there is ample reason to believe that key characters involved in two pillars of the DUP’s view of the world would be deeply offended at recent remarks by Ian Paisley Jnr in Hot Press.
Eamonn McCann, 18 Jun 2007
But instead of fetching David, the conscience-stricken Jonathan rushes to warn him against the wrath of the king. “And they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.”
After David has finished exceeding (no, I’m not entirely certain, either) Jonathan makes a getaway, heading for the city.
It is in the second book of Samuel that David, upon receiving the dread news from the front that Saul and Jonathan have both been cut down in battle, utters his extravagant lament: “O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”
I see Peter Tatchell as David. Graham Norton as Jonathan. Lily Savage as Michal. The Brokeback Bible, anyone?
Is it true that Samuel was Billy’s favourite book of the bible? Or has somebody just made that up?
Many of King Billy’s followers assumed that he would cleanse the Augean stables of Jacobite immorality, once he was snug on the throne. But Billy was followed by other boys, too. And thus the disillusionment of those who realised, too late, that James had been,
“Turn’d out and replaced by Allmighty Sodomy.
But here content with our own homely joys,
We had no relish of the fair fac’d Boys.
Till you came in and with your Reformation,
Turn’d all things Arsy Versy in the nation.”
The essayist Rictor Norton (no relation) suggests that, “Reasonable evidence has been gathered to confirm the existence of a gay court circle, consisting of more than a dozen members including King William, Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, Bentinck, Van Keppel (the 20-year-old page who accompanied William to England and eventually received the title of Earl of Albemarle)... King William was widely believed to belong to the sodomitical brotherhood, but he defended his fondness for one of his courtiers: ‘It seems to me a most extraordinary thing that one may not feel regard and affection for a young man without its being criminal.’”