Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Servants, Friends and Retainers => Topic started by: Janet_Ashton on April 17, 2004, 05:11:13 AM

Title: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Janet_Ashton on April 17, 2004, 05:11:13 AM
Quote
Does anyone know what became of the personal collection of C.S Gibbes??? I read that they used to be held at Oxford's Orthodox Chapel - including the chandelier once in Yekaterinburg, and one of Nicky's books, among other things+ Where could these collections be now? I know Mr Gibbes had an adopted son, and thought the items might now be in his ownership, or perhaps they have been removed from this country to Russia? Any ideas?

Elisa :)



Gibbes' adopted son George (who, incidentally, retained his strong Russian accent to the end of his life) kept at least part of the collections until 1989, when he sent them to form part of the Werner Collection at Luton Hoo. Luton Hoo no longer belongs to the Werner family, and I am uncertain what has ahppened to the collection. Some items used to be on display there; I had the privilege of looking through a lot of the photographs when Mr Gibbes still owned them. I'm afarid he's now dead, I think.
One poster here (David Newell) recently wrote that he is tying to ascertain what has happened to Luton Hoo.

Janet
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: BobAtchison on April 18, 2004, 02:48:22 PM
Elisa - that is very interesting!  How did you find that out?  Can you tell us more about your discovery?

Bob
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: BobAtchison on April 20, 2004, 09:08:22 AM
That is VERY interesting - sounds like someone should do some investigative journalism to find out what happened.  VERY mysterious!

Bob
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Bob Wisener on May 13, 2004, 08:08:29 PM
After reading the "Fate of the Romanovs," I find Charles Syndney Gibbes to be quite an interesting character.  "...A quite homosexual, in his later life he harbored an obsessive interest in the tsesarevich, (typo-bad editors! :)) and tried, unsuccessfully, to assume the name Father Alexei in his honor; instead, he became Father Nicholas." (King and Wilson, pg. 507).

Its funny how things don't change with time.  Though none of us are old enough to actually have known the Romanovs, I'm sure some people on this message board are just as obsessive as those who were with NAOTMAA.  Whether that could lead to a possible name change--who knows--crazier things have happened!

I wonder if this obsession and the brutal deaths of the imperial family haunted those close to them and if any of those still alive after the revolution ever sought some kind of professional therapy to deal with their grief.  It sounds like some of them needed it.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Greg_King on May 14, 2004, 12:40:01 AM
Quote
in the tsesarevich, (typo-bad editors! :)) and tried, unsuccessfully, to assume the name Father Alexei in his honor; instead, he became Father Nicholas." (King and Wilson, pg. 507)..


Actually, Tsesarevich IS the correct title and spelling-Peter the Great changed it from Tsarevich in 1721 I think, at the same time he assumed the title of Emperor.

Greg King
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Liz on May 14, 2004, 07:25:45 PM
Please forgive me if my two cents worth on Mr. Gibbes/Father Nicholas offends anyone -- but I feel it at least an anachronism to imply that this devoted servant of the IF and co-tutor to Alexei Nikolaevich was unbalanced in his feelings for the Heir rather than faithful to the boy's memory.  'Unhealthy obsession' as we are acquainted with it today is a very 90's concept and a very 90's nightmare.   It was merely touching that upon his conversion to Orthodoxy Gibbes in fact took the name 'Alexei', and felt no more than a twinge of regret at the loss of his baptismal name when he became a monk-priest (and a name-change always happens at the ordination of a monk-priest.)  CSG quite simply felt the affection of a teacher for a favorite pupil and deserves to be viewed as a child of his time rather than in contemporary terms.  Of course he truly loved Alexei, and he had a right to his feelings and not to be judged for them.

Was there in fact anything more to the assertion that Gibbes was necessarily a homosexual than the 'it may have been so' statements in the Frances Welch book?  If not, perhaps this red herring is as much an unfounded impression impression as the 'suicide attempt' of Alexis in 'Nicholas and Alexandra'.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Belochka on May 17, 2004, 01:58:59 AM
The title Tsar as we know today was originally derived from the Roman word Caesar(in AD 68) and adopted by Ivan IV (the first Russian Tsar) in 1546 and continued to be used right upto 1917.

Tsesar was incorporated by the old Slavonic language (the first literary language of the Slavs developed in the 9th century by the Bulgarian monks Kiril and his brother Methodius).

For the sake of simplicity Tsesar was later contracted to Tsar' by other monks who penned religious manuscripts.

Originally the appellation Tsesarevich was used specifically to identify the male heir apparent to the Imperial Crown. Similarily, this term was also contracted to Tsarevich.

The title Tsarevich is a general term used to identify the son of a Tsar (a word which was adopted into the English language directly from the French designation).

So while both Tsarevich and Tsesarevich have been used by historians, in my opinion it is really a matter of preference as whether the original titles are used or the now accepted modernizations.

Unfortunately few authors today choose to use the more formal original titles.

;)




Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Belochka on May 17, 2004, 02:37:13 AM
Peter the Great was the first Tsar' to be granted the title of Imperator of All the Russias, which was provided by Senate decree on October 22, 1721.

It came about with the signing of the Peace Treaty in Nystad, Sweden, which not only enabled expansion of the Russian territory but also concluded the 21 year war against Sweden.

The new title of Imperator reflected Russia's new expansion to the Baltic Sea - which now permitted unfettered access along the Baltic coast.

IMHO the appellation of Imperator is more correct, despite the fact that the other term Tsar' is used more commonly.

;)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Nadya_Arapov on May 29, 2004, 12:34:07 AM
Quote
'Unhealthy obsession' as we are acquainted with it today is a very 90's concept and a very 90's nightmare


With all due respect Liz "unhealthy obsession" was not merely a phenomenon of the '90s. Obsession, like every other human emotion,  has existed since the dawn of time.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: ptitchka on May 30, 2004, 02:45:54 PM
If obsession has existed since the dawn of time, the Victorians, being the romantics they were, must have wallowed in benign, obsessive sentiments.  And consider that the Emperor, the Empress, and all the most loyal members of court, Mr. Gibbes among them, absolutely doted on the Imperial Children.

A friend of mine from church has remarked that the Tsesarevich was perhaps even 'too beautiful'.  'Not of this world', certainly....

Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: elisa_1872 on June 11, 2004, 06:53:22 AM
Has anyone a photograph of Gibbes' grave?
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Belochka on June 19, 2004, 01:07:47 AM
Quote
I feel it at least an anachronism to imply that this devoted servant of the IF and co-tutor to Alexei Nikolaevich was unbalanced in his feelings for the Heir rather than faithful to the boy's memory.   CSG quite simply felt the affection of a teacher for a favorite pupil and deserves to be viewed as a child of his time rather than in contemporary terms.  Of course he truly loved Alexei, and he had a right to his feelings and not to be judged for them.


I agree with you Liz, CSG did not express obsessive attitudes towards his charge - Alexei. What we do learn about CSG is his expression of profound grief which took many years to manifest itself in a recognizable way - when he converted to the Orthodox faith and was ordained a priest in 1934. IMHO this drastic step was his way to honor not just Alexei, but the entire family, because of their own religiosity. Although maintaining a stiff upper-lip expression characteristic of his Englishness, he was significantly influenced by his attendances at the Ipatiev House and subsequent visit to the burial site to help identify remnants whilst assisting Sokolov. This slow personal spiritual journey took 16 years to be realized.

By removing keepsakes and significant objects such the chandalier from the Ipatiev House, Gibbes not only fortuitously preserved forever this eclectic collection, but these objects provided a tangible link to the Imperial Family and allowed a constant reminder for all who viewed them, of the family's ulimate fate.

By becoming a priest he IMHO believed he found a connection to the old Russia and through it a spiritual union to the Imperial Family.

Professor Elizabeth Kotaissoff (Welch p 107) believed that Gibbes' calling was indeed ... "following his faithfulness to the Imperial Family." which was based on emotion rather than the normal realization when a person does become a priest.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Mike on June 19, 2004, 03:54:59 PM
Let's clarify the terms tsarevich and tsesarevich:

In XIX-XX cc. there was no official title tsarevich . The word was used either as a vernacular designation of a tsar's son (whose official title was velikiy knyaz' = Grand Duke), or in historical context for naming such personages as tsarevich Alexey, tsarevich Dmitriy etc.

Tsesarevich on the other hand was an official title of the heir apparent, who wasn't necessarily the ruling monarch's son - he could instead be his younger brother. E.g., Konstantin was tsesarevich during the reign of Alexander I who had no legitimate children.

The heir didn't assume this title automatically. With Nicolas II ascention and until Alexey was born, Mikhail was the heir apparent - but without the title tsesarevich, which was a subject of much gossip and court talks.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Forum Admin on June 19, 2004, 05:20:06 PM
Quote
The heir didn't assume this title automatically. With Nicolas II ascention and until Alexey was born, Mikhail was the heir apparent - but without the title tsesarevich, which was a subject of much gossip and court talks.


Mike
Was this something granted by the Tsar? or was it more the difference between Heir "Apparant" and Heir "Presumptive"? Michael was the presumptive heir, but Nicholas could easily have a son (as happened)... so he was not the Heir Apparant....
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Mike on June 20, 2004, 02:22:34 AM
Rob, by Russian Imperial law, the heir to the throne should have always been known to the public; his name was also a part of the church liturgy. Therefore the heir was always proclaimed immediately upon the ascention of a new emperor. It was up to the emperor whether to grant his heir the tsesarevich title.

In Mikhail's case, as you correctly noticed, the prospect of another heir was more than possible - at that time Nicolas wasn't even married yet, and his future first child could easily be male. In such a case Mikhail should have been "stripped" of his tsesarevich title. Probably the title was not granted in order to save him such eventual embarassment.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: rskkiya on June 20, 2004, 09:37:26 AM
 Guest Bob W.

I read your post about  CSG, his sexuality, his religious conversion &  IF obsession with some interest...but I have to admit that I was bothered by its subtle tone.

No doubt there may well be some prople here who might be- as you term it-"obsessed" with the Romanovs. Maybe so.  But only an indivdual can really judge whether he is  "obsessed"  or not. This cannot fairly be done by way of a chat group such as this. We may all have different reasons for being here.

Was CSG gay?  I don't know - only he could tell you...does it matter?

Did he convert to Orthodoxy because of an "obsession" or because he felt the truth of it? (this is an issue that I am wrestling with right now- so maybe I am overly sensitive!  :) )

You made some interesting comments, and I hope that you will find the posts of others here to be as thought provoking.

Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Gerjo on September 10, 2004, 01:26:00 PM
What was the name of the personal maid of Sydney Gibbes, who went with him in captivity to Tobolsk?
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Je_Reviens on February 09, 2005, 11:05:25 PM
Hi, I looked into the Gibbs Collection last month after reading Frances Welch's The Romanovs and Mr. Gibbs.  Welch reports that the Gibbs Collection was/is part of the Lutton Hoo Foundation (Lutton Hoo being an estate house in England).  The Lutton Tourist Office emailed me saying that Lutton Hoo closed in the late 1990s.  They report that the  the Gibbs Collection was purchased by the Whener Collection in 1987 "for the marriage of Harold Whener into the Gibbs family."  The Luton Tourist Office got this information from Engish Heritage at Rangers House in London.  I have not been successful in tracking the Gibbs Collection further than that.  I am so curious where this personal, unique collection (as mentioned, the chandelier from the Grand Duchesses' bedroom, the Tsar's carpet slippers, etc) ended up...
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: ChristineM on February 10, 2005, 05:42:22 PM
J Stanley Gibbes adopted son died a few years ago.    As Father Nicholas, Gibbes hung the chandelier from the Grand Duchess' bedroom in the Ipatiev House, in the Russian Orthodox Church in Oxford.   I do not know if it still there.

As for his papers, the last I heard they were with Sotheby's where they repeatedly failed to reach their reserve price at auction.   Unfortunately the person who could have revealed much is also dead - the late John Stuart, formerly Sotheby's Russian expert.

tsaria
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: lababoc on September 22, 2006, 08:23:15 AM
let's not forget that  sexuality was not what it is nowadays  those were the "pre-Freud" years ...with Freud  new studies /  definitions   the concept of  sex and sexuallity  changed ....  by the  just found a  'little" book called THE ROMANOVS AND MR.GIBBES by Frances Welch  will start reading  it over the week end
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: aussiechick12 on September 23, 2006, 03:09:23 AM

Wikipedia has heaps of information on him but no pictures.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Sydney_Gibbes

There is a small picture on Ipatiev House website, here it is:
(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/aussiechick12/th_CharlesGIbbes.jpg) (http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/aussiechick12/CharlesGIbbes.jpg)

Here is one from my collection:
(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/aussiechick12/th_CharlesGIbbes1.jpg) (http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/aussiechick12/CharlesGIbbes1.jpg)

Are there some of him with Olga and Tatiana at Livadia or is that Pierre Gillard I am thinking of?
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: lababoc on September 23, 2006, 05:31:22 AM
I think it's Pierre Gilliard     there is a picture of Mr. Gibbes as a priest  in the book THE ROMNANOVS AND MR GIBBES
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on September 23, 2006, 07:50:59 AM
Here are the pictures you're thinking of, Emma. They're definitely Gilliard.

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Crimea/th_7-154b1913.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Crimea/7-154b1913.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Crimea/th_gilliardbigpair.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Crimea/gilliardbigpair.jpg)


This one is Gibbes with Anastasia:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/7-174b1914.jpg)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: aussiechick12 on September 24, 2006, 04:52:25 PM
Yes, those were what I was thinking of. Thank you Sarushka!
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: RealAnastasia on October 08, 2006, 11:28:28 PM
If obsession has existed since the dawn of time, the Victorians, being the romantics they were, must have wallowed in benign, obsessive sentiments.  And consider that the Emperor, the Empress, and all the most loyal members of court, Mr. Gibbes among them, absolutely doted on the Imperial Children.

A friend of mine from church has remarked that the Tsesarevich was perhaps even 'too beautiful'.  'Not of this world', certainly....



I agree absolutely with your statement Ptitchka. I think that a teacher who spend many, many years of his life working for a family, must have been almost desperate when he knew what happened in Ekaterinburg. He, as a good teacher, must have loved Alexei almost as a second father, like most of teachers does. And much more in this case, when his pupil was the future Tsar of all Russias! I can't blame for being "obsessed" (a word I do not like very much) about this special boy. And yes...Alexei has a little angelic face that could make people think he was not from this world...But I think it's the same for her sisters.

It is a little sick to think that Gibbes could have loved the Tsarevich with other feelings than the ones of a devoted teacher. It's almost disgusting imagine this!

RealAnastasia. >:(
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: James1941 on October 09, 2006, 01:47:13 PM
Disgusting it may be, but it was very possible. Prince Carol of Romania's tutor was homosexual and had a crush on him, and there may well have been physical incidents which played a part in Carol's development.
Also it is speculated that one of Prince Eddy's teachers was homosexual and developed an obssession for him.
Gibbes may not have been an overt, practicing homosexual but he certainly was a closet one.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Nadya_Arapov on November 02, 2006, 09:06:12 PM
If obsession has existed since the dawn of time, the Victorians, being the romantics they were, must have wallowed in benign, obsessive sentiments.  And consider that the Emperor, the Empress, and all the most loyal members of court, Mr. Gibbes among them, absolutely doted on the Imperial Children.

A friend of mine from church has remarked that the Tsesarevich was perhaps even 'too beautiful'.  'Not of this world', certainly....

I never meant to suggest that Gibbes was obsessed with Alexei. The individual who started this thread brooched the subject of Alexei and Gibbes' relationship, not me. Personally, I seriously doubt that there was anything unhealthy, or inappropriate, about his feelings for Alexei. I only meant that obsession, and obsessive behavior, are hardly something that originated in the 20th Century.  ::) They have, perhaps, reached a new zenith during the last century, however, with the advent of the movies, television, and the internet.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: RealAnastasia on November 03, 2006, 09:52:50 PM
Disgusting it may be, but it was very possible. Prince Carol of Romania's tutor was homosexual and had a crush on him, and there may well have been physical incidents which played a part in Carol's development.
Also it is speculated that one of Prince Eddy's teachers was homosexual and developed an obssession for him.
Gibbes may not have been an overt, practicing homosexual but he certainly was a closet one.

I think that when we are speaking of History issues we must be very careful about our statesments. Of course, we know that Carol of Romania's tutor WAS homosexual and had a crush on him...But we cannot affirm that "may well have been physical incidents" between the young Crownprince and him, as well as we can't said "Gibbes may not having been an overy, practicing homosexual but.." This is dangerous. Not being but "maybe he was" always makes people think that most possibily he was...and we have NO PROOF of it, excepting the oversentimental things he wrote about the Tsarevich, and this way of writing was common back then.

It is like the topic about a possible rapping experienced by the Grand Duchess at the "Rus". We can't said they were raped; we can't said they weren't. So we must only state what we know about the events and that's all. If some new proof comes to the surface, we must publish it and discuss it, but not allow to ourselves this not scholar at all "maybe if..." that could confound people.

Oh, and I share all you said in your post, Nadia_Arapov.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: dmitri on July 08, 2007, 12:08:52 PM
I agree with RealAnastasia. People should be careful how they judge others. Most teachers would run a mile at the very thought of any involvement of any kind with a student. It is totally unsubstantiated and unverifiable to claim anything untoward about Gibbes. He was obviously a very good teacher otherwise he would have not kept his position. Naturally he would have been extremely devestated at the deaths of his former students. He knew them very well. I guess that is why he did not recognise Anna Anderson as he knew the Grand Duchess Anastasia perhaps better than many outside her immediate family circle.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Ally Kumari on November 19, 2007, 03:46:34 PM
I´m not sure if there are any memoirs by Mr. Sydney Gibbs. Could you helkp me?

And is it possible to find them somewhere on Internet?

Thank you
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 19, 2007, 04:04:21 PM
The best you may be able to find is THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE by  J.C.  Trewin. It is based on Gibbes  papers. A slight volume but worth having.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Ally Kumari on November 20, 2007, 01:38:53 AM
Thnaks:o)

The only problem is that what´s not on-line available is as it wouldn´t exist for me:)

The Amazon and other servers doesn´t seem to know where my country is and in Czech there are almost no such books.

I guess I´ll have to do without it.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: s.v.markov on November 21, 2007, 11:54:20 AM
J.C. Trewin's book is probably the best one to start with. When it first came out in the UK in 1975 it was called 'Tutor to the Tsarevich', which was a much better title for a book mainly concerned with Gibbes' work as a teacher of the five children, and this first edition contained many coloured pictures of such things as the Grand Duchesses' paintings and some items (including a glass chandelier!!) which Gibbes managed to bring back to Oxford from Ekaterinburg. These coloured pictures were not included when Trewin's book was re-issued as 'The House of Special Purpose' in the 80's. There is another, longer biography of Gibbes published in the US, but the author's name escapes me at the moment. And then there is 'The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes' by Frances Welch (2002) ~ a short book which is mainly useful for the story of Gibbes' life after July 1918, and his experiences as a priest in Oxford with his adopted son George. For quite a long period the contents of Gibbes' famous box were kept quite near to where I live, and I was lucky enough to be able to examine them. The exercise books of the Grand Duchesses were especially moving to hold and read. All this is discussed in more detail in a section on the 'Books' thread.

VelkokneznaMaria ~ I am sorry you are not able to acquire these books to read for yourself. I saw 'The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes' for sale in Cambridge recently for less than £1 !! I'll buy it if it's still there next time. Keep an eye on the 'Duplicate Books' thread ~ there are some very generous members of the forum who often send books to one another. 
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: duke felix on July 11, 2008, 11:26:41 AM
I just read on Wikipedia, on the article on Demidova, and she was smitten with Gibbes, but that he was homosexual, of course, it coming from Wikipedia makes it relatively unreliable.

I wanted to know if anyone's come across this anywhere else, and how anyone could know, Homosexuality was illegal in both Britain & Russia until his time of death (1963).

Thanks!
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: EmmyLee on July 11, 2008, 03:18:19 PM
Yes, I have read that Gibbes was a homosexual.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: duke felix on July 11, 2008, 04:29:08 PM
Seems quite strange, regrading that he was an Orthodox Monk in later life and Nicholas II certainly wouldn't have employed him had he known, even by standards of the day he was an ultra-conservative.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: StevenL on July 11, 2008, 08:14:34 PM
Seems quite strange, regrading that he was an Orthodox Monk in later life and Nicholas II certainly wouldn't have employed him had he known,
even by standards of the day he was an ultra-conservative.

There is probably no evidence whatsoever that Gibbes was a practicing homosexual (if he ever was!) during the years of his service to the Romanovs.
In many cultures, the role of priest/shaman/medicine man provided a respectable profession to an array of "non-marrying types," including homosexuals.

Steven
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on July 11, 2008, 08:19:31 PM
Numerous accounts agree that Gibbes was homosexual. However, I don't know whether he actually had a romantic relationship with *anyone* regardless of sexual preference.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: StevenL on July 11, 2008, 09:30:29 PM
Numerous accounts agree that Gibbes was homosexual. However, I don't know whether he actually had a romantic relationship with *anyone* regardless of sexual preference.

Based on reliable accounts of his own admission/actions?

Or is this another case of "profiling" based on people's assessment of his manners, etc.?

I don't doubt at all that he was gay, but I do think this is something that N & A would
never have tolerated in a tutor if they learned about it, or believed it. He must have been
fairly discreet in that period.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 28, 2008, 11:34:24 PM
Seems quite strange, regrading that he was an Orthodox Monk in later life and Nicholas II certainly wouldn't have employed him had he known, even by standards of the day he was an ultra-conservative.

The word conservative has had various shades of meaning throughout history. Nicholas II was conservative in the traditional sense of that word - he was adverse to making sweeping changes, and preferred to "conserve" the status quo. Conservatives of this type generally do not concern themselves with another person's private sexual behavior provided that the person is discreet. In this way, it is perhaps understandable that at least one (and more likely two) of Nicholas' brothers in law were gay, and at least one tutor was gay. The judgemental attitudes of modern conservatives toward private behaviors was not part of Nicholas' world.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: BobG on August 15, 2008, 09:59:38 AM
I don't doubt at all that he was gay, but I do think this is something that N & A would
never have tolerated in a tutor if they learned about it, or believed it. He must have been
fairly discreet in that period.

I think we continue to have the problem of thinking that today's openness about gays was something that existed during N & A time.  Clearly there were many practicing homosexuals (ie. GD Konstantine Konstantinovich (K.R.), G. D. Serge Alexandrovitch, and GD Ernest of Hesse come to mind).
But the idea that any of these men would openly acknowledge this is absurd. Most married and practiced their "secret" on the side.  I don't think any of their relatives would even speculate on their sex lives, even if they may have felt that they were more "artistic" than others.  I am sure Mr. Gibbes was not hired to "make a man" of the heir-- his father and the military staff took care of that and so even if he was blatantly "feminine" would not be a cause for worry. Think of the access Felix Yousupov had to the Imperial family.  I don't believe Alexandra would even think that anyone she might meet or know might be subject to such "perversions."  We have to try to understand the culture and wolrd of 1896-1917.

BobG
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Michael HR on August 15, 2008, 12:21:12 PM
Who said Gibbs was gay in the first place? I know it is often said but cannot recall where this first arose. Hde zeesm to have lived a simple life as tutor and then in Oxford as a monk after the revolution and one wonders when he had time for a "sex life".
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: tyumen on August 15, 2008, 01:22:35 PM
This is where I first heard about it. On page 64 in FOTR. " During her service at court, Demidova became enamored of Charles Sydney Gibbes, The young English tutor to the imperial children.  The homosexual Gibbes, however,took no notice ; he once described her as of a singularly timid and shrinking disposition. "
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: matushka on September 18, 2008, 03:02:40 PM
And what is the source of FOTR? That is the major question!
According to Christine Benagh, author of "An Englishman in the Court of the Tsar", Gibbes had a girlfriend in Petrograd, miss Lora-Anna Keid (Sorry, I have a russian edition, and do not know to spell the name in english!). He know him since 1912. She worked with him at his English school in the town and they wanted to marry. But, for an unknown reason (perhaps the fact he prefers to go to Siberia?) their relashionship was broken and they never married. The source of Christine Benagh is George Gibbes, adoptive son of our teacher.
We will probably never know. Possibly he had some relationships. As for me, I higly doubt he had an homosexual life as an orthodox priest in England.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on September 18, 2008, 03:45:35 PM
Hde zeesm to have lived a simple life as tutor and then in Oxford as a monk after the revolution and one wonders when he had time for a "sex life".

Regardless of how Gibbes spent his time, sexual orientation and sexual activity are two entirely different matters.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 19, 2008, 11:09:10 AM
So true, Sarushka.  If Gibbes was homosexual there is no evidence that he ever acted on it.  Especially with any undersage boys.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Michael HR on September 20, 2008, 03:48:55 AM
His private life is his private life and nothing to do with anyone. It seems to have been a rumor rather than fact.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Paul on September 25, 2008, 09:28:14 AM
I don't doubt at all that he was gay, but I do think this is something that N & A would
never have tolerated in a tutor if they learned about it, or believed it. He must have been
fairly discreet in that period.

I think we continue to have the problem of thinking that today's openness about gays was something that existed during N & A time.  Clearly there were many practicing homosexuals (ie. GD Konstantine Konstantinovich (K.R.), G. D. Serge Alexandrovitch, and GD Ernest of Hesse come to mind).
But the idea that any of these men would openly acknowledge this is absurd. Most married and practiced their "secret" on the side.  I don't think any of their relatives would even speculate on their sex lives, even if they may have felt that they were more "artistic" than others.  I am sure Mr. Gibbes was not hired to "make a man" of the heir-- his father and the military staff took care of that and so even if he was blatantly "feminine" would not be a cause for worry. Think of the access Felix Yousupov had to the Imperial family.  I don't believe Alexandra would even think that anyone she might meet or know might be subject to such "perversions."  We have to try to understand the culture and wolrd of 1896-1917.

BobG


Very true. Homosexuality was so underground back then that the average person rarely thought about it at all. The taboo was so strong, in most places, that few would even speak of it in polite company. It's likely that a lot of people went thru their whole lives w/o hearing anything about the topic.

Another quirk of human nature probably came in to play back then- as now. People have a wonderful capacity to ignore things that they don't like. If a Gay man made himself useful or distinguished himself in some positive way, people would bend over backwards to block his true nature out of their conscious minds.
So long as the man in question never actually said anything, his peers would gratefully overlook his homosexuality. They'd think something like: "That pervert down the street is a pervert. However: Saburov The Great Doctor is... <chuckle> <shake their heads>... just Saburov."

It's no different now, really.

Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 25, 2008, 05:17:01 PM
I don't doubt at all that he was gay, but I do think this is something that N & A would
never have tolerated in a tutor if they learned about it, or believed it. He must have been
fairly discreet in that period.

I think we continue to have the problem of thinking that today's openness about gays was something that existed during N & A time.  Clearly there were many practicing homosexuals (ie. GD Konstantine Konstantinovich (K.R.), G. D. Serge Alexandrovitch, and GD Ernest of Hesse come to mind).
But the idea that any of these men would openly acknowledge this is absurd. Most married and practiced their "secret" on the side.  I don't think any of their relatives would even speculate on their sex lives, even if they may have felt that they were more "artistic" than others.  I am sure Mr. Gibbes was not hired to "make a man" of the heir-- his father and the military staff took care of that and so even if he was blatantly "feminine" would not be a cause for worry. Think of the access Felix Yousupov had to the Imperial family.  I don't believe Alexandra would even think that anyone she might meet or know might be subject to such "perversions."  We have to try to understand the culture and wolrd of 1896-1917.

BobG


Very true. Homosexuality was so underground back then that the average person rarely thought about it at all. The taboo was so strong, in most places, that few would even speak of it in polite company. It's likely that a lot of people went thru their whole lives w/o hearing anything about the topic.

Another quirk of human nature probably came in to play back then- as now. People have a wonderful capacity to ignore things that they don't like. If a Gay man made himself useful or distinguished himself in some positive way, people would bend over backwards to block his true nature out of their conscious minds.
So long as the man in question never actually said anything, his peers would gratefully overlook his homosexuality. They'd think something like: "That pervert down the street is a pervert. However: Saburov The Great Doctor is... <chuckle> <shake their heads>... just Saburov."

It's no different now, really.



In same places it's no different now. But, among my friends and family it is much much different and has been for at least three generations.  So much so, my two daughters were absolutely shocked that a dear friend of ours could not legally marry the man he loves. And they were so happy when they could finally marry legally.

I always tell my mom that she raised us "wrong" (tongue in cheek) in that she and I both grew up knowing our Uncle Billy Haines and Uncle Jimmy Shields, who were dear friends of her mother (my grandmother).

Our daughters plan to continue to raise their children "wrong", too. Vive le difference!
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 25, 2008, 05:41:48 PM
I agree with Paul, in that homosexuality was different than being "gay".  Although there were many long term same sex relationships, they were never as open as now.  My partner & I are now getting legally married, after 38+ years together [write me to find out where we are registered!].
 To us, it is more of a political statement, as all the legal aspects have been taken care of long ago. But,  in the past, especially when marriage was the province of a state church and morals religiously mandated, it would have remained impossible.
 Whatever Gibbes was, he seems to have remained celebate. May have, or not, had his fantasies but there is no evidence he ever acted upon them.

 
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 25, 2008, 07:07:59 PM
I agree with Paul, in that homosexuality was different than being "gay".  Although there were many long term same sex relationships, they were never as open as now.  My partner & I are now getting legally married, after 38+ years together [write me to find out where we are registered!].
 To us, it is more of a political statement, as all the legal aspects have been taken care of long ago. But,  in the past, especially when marriage was the province of a state church and morals religiously mandated, it would have remained impossible.
 Whatever Gibbes was, he seems to have remained celebate. May have, or not, had his fantasies but there is no evidence he ever acted upon them.

 

Congratulations, Robert Hall, to you and your husband.

For whatever it's worth, I agree that there is a huge difference between being gay and being able to live a normal life with the person you love. In the 19th and early 20th century, there was really no such thing as being an openly gay couple.

I am inclined to believe what I stated before, that is, that Nicholas and Alexandra quite clearly had gay people among their friends and family, and likely would have professed no interest in anyone's discreet and private behavior, homosexual or not. These things were not openly discussed. However, many tend to apply their own (contemporary) values and norms to historical personages, which really muddies the waters. Nicholas, even though he was "conservative" was not "conservative" in the sense that present day evangelical Christians are "conservative" and often very judgemental about private behaviors. It would never have occurred to him to poke his nose into a tutor's private desires or interests.

Fact is, those who served the Imperial Family often could not marry and if they did, their families and loved ones suffered. Gibbes had little chance for a private life of any kind whilst attached to the IF.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: tyumen on September 28, 2008, 12:38:40 PM
You are spot - on Lisa D. ! Congrats Robert H. !
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 28, 2008, 01:25:47 PM
Thank you Lisa & Tyumen.
 Although there have always been homosexuals/gay folk throughout history, very little is really hard and fast documentation. There are several histories of gay  life & culture, we seem to have disspeared from the Reformation to Oscar Wilde. In the case of Gibbes, I have heard/read several theories about his desire to go religious. One, of course, is his desire to memorialise the IF, another might have been to  suppress his sexuality. If the latter was the case,  choosing religion is the wrong place to go for that! But, it a choice that many before  and after him have made, with varying results
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: matushka on September 29, 2008, 06:28:26 AM
Hum, we could also suppose that Gibbes deeply converted himself, became orthodox believer with the desire to serve his new Church and the contry he had lean to love: I remember he was also proposed to make some mission work in Siberia and Russia. Not only the desire to memorialise the IF, but to go by their steps in faith. That kind of things also happen, you know, simple psychology can not always all explain.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 29, 2008, 09:25:14 AM
Of course, Matushka. The two theories I posited are just that- theories.  At the end of the day, it was between Gibbes and his god.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on November 25, 2008, 02:49:33 PM
Joanna kindly emailed the image to me, so here is the photo she found at the website linked in her last post:

(http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6397/gibbesch9.th.png) (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gibbesch9.png)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: nena on November 25, 2008, 04:16:58 PM
OMG, that one is priceless! I was right when I said there are many unpublished for us pictures of R-ovs.
I think this one (http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Stavka%20u%20Mogiljevu/Zilijar_Dzibs_Petrov_Vojkov_Aleksej.jpg) was taken at same period.

Yes, it was indeed taken at Mogilev in 1916.

I think OTMAA learned English well (as beginers) near Charles Sydney Gibbes.  ;)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on November 25, 2008, 06:30:40 PM
I think this one (http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Stavka%20u%20Mogiljevu/Zilijar_Dzibs_Petrov_Vojkov_Aleksej.jpg) was taken at same period.

Who is the man beside Gilliard?
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Rodney_G. on November 25, 2008, 06:48:00 PM
 I wondered about that too. We have, left to right, Gilliard, ? , Gibbes, and P. P. Petrov. Since, it's at Stavka at Mogilev, it could be any staff officer, but in the context of Alexei with three tutors, one wonders about a likely teacher connection. Maybe just a friend though. I'm not that familiar with the faces of Nicholas' staff and retinue.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on November 26, 2008, 06:50:53 AM
Found the answer in Tsesarevich (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=46): it's V. I. Voiekov.
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: nena on November 26, 2008, 12:53:48 PM
Found the answer in Tsesarevich (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=46): it's V. I. Voiekov.
Correction: it is Vladimir Nikolaevich Voeikov, writer of book S Tsarem i Bez Tsara (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=11968.0) or With Tsar and without Tsar, Count of Court and friend of Tsarevich and Tsar.  ;)
Voeikov with Heir (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Stavka%20u%20Mogiljevu/?action=view&current=aleksejvojejkov1916mm8.jpg).
Count Voeikov with Tsar,Tsarevich,OTMA and Joy at GHQ,1916 (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Stavka%20u%20Mogiljevu/?action=view&current=nickyotmadog.jpg)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sunny on December 02, 2010, 12:25:51 PM
Hello everybody,
i hope this' the right place for my topic; actually i've a little (maybe simple for u) question for you all: do you know wheter Sidney Gibbes spoke Russian?
I really didn't find it, and i'm writing about him, so i'll need to know.
Thank you everybody  :)
Sunny
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Rodney_G. on December 11, 2010, 02:29:34 PM
  Excellent question. I've wondered about this for a while as well as about the language abilities of the other Imperial children's tutors. My thinking is that he had to have known some, a fair amount, but that he wasn't totally fluent He went to St. Petersburg as a young man without any Russian, basically to work , to tutor, for a little adventure. I believe he taught English to at least one family's children prior to the IF job. He needn't necessarily have had to speak Russian well to do this. You can teach a foreign language to a student without knowing his or her language. Also, you might know a third mutual foreign language, say French in this instance. ,though I get the sense Gibbes' French wasn't more than adequate.

Gibbes lived among a circle of English citizens and interacted with the Imperial Family as the children's tutor. In these venues he could have gotten by with almost no Russian. Of course he couldn't count on being understood by the Russian populace when speaking English. But in the end at the point he left Russia after being on hand in Ekaterinburg for the White investigation of the Romanov murders I think he was basically competent in Russian. I forget how long he was in Russia, (at least about eight years?) and it's almost impossible to live in a foreign land that long without learning the language reasonably well. And of course Gibbes was fairly intelligent and well educated, if not exactly sophisticated.

The above  doesn't represent any more than reasoned speculation, but I think it characterizes CSG' Russian skills.

Good luck with your Gibbes project, Sunny!
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sarushka on December 11, 2010, 02:51:17 PM
From The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=58), by Frances Welch:

"Eventually [Gibbes] decided to go to Russia. It was an odd decision: he spoke no Russian and had no connection with Russia." (pg 22)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Alexander1917 on December 15, 2010, 06:08:25 AM
in "An Englishman at the court of the tsar" is written that he arrived in Russia without any Russian. but he lernt it. make of course sense. when he was about 10 years in russia before he was addet to the court.
there was a large english community in st. pb, so it would not necessary to speak russia - but I think when you are so long in a country you speak some of the language.

later he changed to orthodoxy and founded back in england a russian church (that was totally new for me)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Sunny on December 16, 2010, 08:56:45 AM
Well, thank u very much to everybody!
I agree with you all: he could have learnt it. Since what i'm writing  takes place AFTER the murder of the imperial family, it's far more easy to think he actually speak russia - at least a little. I tought he spoke in french, for example, with Gilliard; but i think it's quite impossible not to learn a word of a language, in which country you live for a long time.
Moreover, i was thinking about the fact, that Gilliard and Gibbes stayed in Russia for a while after the if's murder, collaborating with the White Army; we all know in the army there's not only learned people; it's possibile that most of them knew French... but english? Only aristocrats, In imperial russia, knew english, as i know; so, i think he spoke a little russian, just to make himself understood...
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Carisbrooke on January 11, 2013, 03:17:58 AM
A picture of St Nicholas House Oxford, the one time home of Charles Sydney Gibbes & the elusive Ipatiev House treasures. Note the link may go down once the house is sold.
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property-history/4a-marston-street/oxford/ox4-1ju/17265736 (http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property-history/4a-marston-street/oxford/ox4-1ju/17265736)    .....Link by Zoopla

Charles Sydney Gibbes at find a grave
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=75368143 (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=75368143)
Title: Re: Mr Charles Sydney Gibbes
Post by: Inok Nikolai on April 14, 2020, 08:43:52 AM
A new detailed article on C. S. Gibbes' life as a Russian Orthodox priest:
https://www.rocorstudies.org/2020/03/26/archimandrite-nicholas-gibbes-from-the-russian-orthodox-church-in-exile-to-the-moscow-patriarchate/