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September 13th
2008

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The Criminal Trials of Oscar Wilde
Transcript Excerpts of the First Criminal Trial (April 26 to May 1, 1895)

9
Testimony of Alfred Wood

Wood was examined by Horace Avery

Wood: I was formerly a clerk. In January 1893, I was not in any occupation. I first knew Taylor about that time.

Avory: When did you go to Little College Street to live?

W: In January, 1893. I stayed there about three weeks.

A: Where did you sleep there?

W: In the same room with Taylor. There was only one bed there.

ClarkeA: When did you first get to know Wilde?

W: About a month after I made the acquiantance of Taylor.

A: How did you come to know Wilde?

W: I was introduced to him by a gentleman at the Cafe Royal.

A: Who was the gentleman?

W: Must I give the name?

A: Yes.

W: Lord Alfred Douglas.

A: What took place when you were introduced to Wilde?

W: Mr. Wilde was sitting down. He spoke to me first. He asked, "Are you Alfred Wood?" I said, "Yes." Then he offered me something to drink and I had something; and then he invited me to go round to the Florence in Rupert Street for dinner. I went with him and we dined in a private room.

A: What kind of meal was it?

W: Very nice, one of the best to be got.

A: What wine did you have?

W: Champagne. After dinner I went with Mr. Wilde to 16 Tite Street. There was nobody in the house to my knowledge. Mr. Wilde let himself in with a latchkey. We went up to a bedroom where we had hock and selzer. Here an act of grossest indecency occurred. Mr. Wilde used his influence to induce me to consent. He made me nearly drunk. [testimony censored.].... Afterwords I lay on the sofa with him. It was a long time, however, before I would allow him to actually do the act of indecency.

A: Did he give you any money that night?

W: Yes, at the Florence. About 3 I think it was. He said he thought I must need some money to buy some things with. The money was given me before any suggestion about going to Tite Street....

A: Did you ever meet Wilde again?

W: He once came to my room in Langham Street.

A: Did you know he was coming?

W: Yes.

A: How did you know?

W: He came by appointement. He took me out to buy a present. He bought me a half-dozen shirts, some collars, and hankerchiefs, and a silver watch and chain. Before he took me out we had some tea.

A: Up to what time did your acquaintanceship with Wilde go on?

W: Up to the end of March.

A: How did it cease?

W: I told Mr. Taylor that I would like to get away from a certain class of people. I think I mentioned it to Mr. Wilde, who gave me 30. I saw him at Taylor's rooms.

A: What took place between you?

W: Mr. Wilde asked me if I wanted to go away to America. I said, Yes," and then he said he would give me the money. He said, "You have some letters I should like to get back," and he gave me 30.

A: Was it a fact that you had any letters of his in your possession?

W: Yes. I don't remember how many.

A: Did the letters belong to you?

W: No. They were letters I found in some clothes Lord Alfred Douglas had given me. They were letters from Mr. Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas.

© Matt & Andrej Koymasky - 1997 / 2008 9

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