Cleveland Street scandal
One of the clients, Lord Arthur Somerset, was an equerry to the Prince of Wales. He and the brothel keeper, Charles Hammond, managed to flee abroad before a prosecution could be brought. The male prostitutes, who also worked as telegraph messenger boys for the Post Office, were given light sentences and no clients were prosecuted. After Henry James Fitzroy, Earl of Euston, was named in the press as a client, he successfully sued for libel. The British press never named Prince Albert Victor, and there is no evidence he ever visited the brothel, but his inclusion in the rumours has coloured biographers' perceptions of him since.
The scandal fuelled the attitude that male homosexuality was an aristocratic vice that corrupted lower-class youths. Such perceptions were still prevalent in 1895 when the Marquess of Queensberry accused Oscar Wilde of being an active homosexual. Wilde sued Queensberry for libel but his case collapsed. He was arrested, found guilty of indecency, and condemned to two years' hard labour (the maximum sentence for "gross indecency").
The Cleveland Street Affair by Lewis Chester, David Leitch & Colin Simpson, 1976, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London.