Timeline for Michael Schofield


1919: Michael Schofield is born in Leeds on June 24th 1919 at the end of World War I, the fourth child of a large happy family

1938: obtains a degree in Psychology at Cambridge University (1938-1940), Clare College, where he is also the leader on saxophone of the Footlights dance band.

1940: spends the war years as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, a period which he regards “as five wasted years” (1940-1945 Air Force)

1946: studies at Harvard Business School and lives in the USA (1946-7) gaining his MA.

1948: returns to Leeds to work for a while in his father’s shop: Schofield’s of Leeds.

1952: Society and the Homosexual is published (under the name of Gordon Westwood). It was – the first non-medical book to be written about homosexuality, before the famous trials of the 1950s and the appointment of the Wolfenden Committee that recommended partial decriminalization of homosexuality. It was a very influential book, much quoted by journalists, politicians and sociologists during the discussions that preceded the changes in the law and is now cited by historians

1953: meets Anthony Skyrme, his life long partner (late August).

1958: house in Belsize Gardens, Hampstead bought

1961: A Minority is published. This is the first detailed research into the lives of homosexuals who had not got into trouble with the law and who had not sought medical treatment. Becomes Research Director of the Central Council for Health Education 1965: Sexual Behaviour of Young People is published: his most discussed book. Sociological Aspects of Homosexuality also published 1968: Michael founds a charitable foundation named the Lyndhurst Settlement.

Between 1968 and 2005, it donated at least three million pounds to small struggling charities, particularly those groups working for civil liberties and for the protection of the environment Served on the Government Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence (The Wooton Committee) and produced a minority report – suggesting that legal penalties were far too severe This is a key period of campaigning. He was a member of the then Executive Committee of the National Council for Civil Liberties for nine years (now renamed Liberty). Michael is active in the campaign against censorship and appeared as an expert witness for the defence of several obscene publications trials including Last Exit to Brooklyn, the Oz Trial and the Forum Trial

1973: Buys house in Tenerife

1985: Retires

2005: Civil Partnership

2012: Becomes increasingly fragile and immobile. Anthony loves and cares for him.

2014: Dies, at home, aged 94 on 27th March 2014

Michael’s Key Books 1952-1979

Society and the Homosexual (1952)

A Minority: Male homosexuality in Great Britain (1960)

Sociological Aspects of Homosexuality: A comparative study of three types of homosexuals (1965)

The Sexual Behaviour of Young People (1965)

Social Research (1969)

The Strange Case of Pot (1971)

The Sexual Behaviour of Young People (1973)

Promiscuity (1976)

Report of the Committee on the Operation of the Sexual Containment Act (1979)

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