Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book

Subscribe

The Old Un's Note

Old Un's Notes |


The Rector of Stiffkey or 'The Prostitutes' Padre': gone – but not forgotten, as our art editor, John Bowling, discovers on a visit to his grave in Stiffkey, Norfolk

Eighty years ago, Harold Davidson – aka the Rector of Stiffkey or ‘The Prostitutes’ Padre’ – met his sad end: savaged to death by a lion whose tail he’d accidentally stepped on. He had lived a full life. The one-time actor, who later took up the cloth, was defrocked for his weekly commute to London’s Soho in search of fallen women. His downfall came in a consistory court in 1932, when the prosecuting QC revealed this photograph of Davidson with Estelle Douglas, the 15-year-old daughter of one of his friends.  Davidson claimed the photo was taken as a publicity still to boost the girl’s acting career. He insisted he’d been set up; that he thought she’d be wearing a bathing costume under her towel, as she had in a previous shoot. The desperate Davidson was reduced to spending his final years as a circus performer in Skegness, billed as ‘Daniel...


I’m afraid this isn’t one of our six free articles available in full, which are set out in the first two rows of the ‘Magazine’ page.
Please click here to find them.

To buy a digital version of this issue for just £1.99, click here