In 1916 following the death of her grandmother a nineteen year old Bessie Warfield traveled from Baltimore Maryland to Pensacola Florida to visit her relative Corinne Mustin, whose husband the Captain Henry C. Mustin had recently been appointed Commander of the newly established Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Soon Bessie was introduced to Lt. Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. known to his friends as Win. Spencer was short, thick, and paunchy with dark circles around his eyes. As he spoke she began to size him up and later wrote, “I felt here was a man you could rely on in a tight spot.”
Bessie and Win played golf together, walked the beaches picking up shells, they enjoyed holding hands in the dark during silent films at the local theater and dined on Saturday evenings at the San Carlos Hotel. Win would take her to dances at the Pensacola Country club and afterwards spent evenings on the veranda where they shared their first kiss.
A romance developed quickly with Bessie innocently believing that she would discover the man hidden beneath a reserved exterior and tame his rugged spirit. He seemed intent to return her affection but he had a desire to possess her and harbored a darker side prone to sudden outbursts of anger and jealousy coupled with brooding silence.
One evening Win took Bessie to the movies but as the lights faded he took her hand and led her out and drove in silence to the country club. Once there he guided her to the veranda where he proposed to her. She told him he would have to wait for his answer following approval from her mother after she returned home in a few weeks.
Once home Bessie’s mother argued the points that this was not the grand society match that she had envisioned for her daughter. The years spent making sure she attended the right schools, made the right friends and had a proper debut would have been wasted on a lieutenant who had no money. Bessie argued that she did not want to end up a dull Baltimore matron and that a nomadic life of travel with a navy husband would be an adventure. Bessie’s mother stated that this was yet another example of her daughter’s obstinate perseverance to obtain whatever she wanted.
The wedding took place on November 8th 1916. A honeymoon followed at a resort in West Virginia and upon arrival at the hotel Win noticed a sign declaring that no alcoholic beverages would be served as West Virginia was a dry state. Win remedied the situation by pulling a flask out of his suitcase and Bessie learned that he would seldom be separated from it.
Following the honeymoon the Spencer’s returned to Pensacola and set up house. On Saturday nights they would dine at the San Carlos hotel. Officers were not allowed to drink until after dinner on Saturday nights but Win found a way around this by having his martini out of a soup bowl. Eventually he began to drink more often and not socially but alone with his flask. Some nights he would come home drunk or lock himself in the bathroom with his flask emerging hours later intoxicated.
In April of 1917 the U.S. declared war on Germany and the Spencer’s left Pensacola and moved to Massachusetts where Win was stationed to oversee a new naval air station. From there they moved to San Diego where Win’s drinking continued and he began to verbally and physically abuse her. Following much relocation and several separations, Win was stationed in China where Bessie eventually followed and the abuse continued to the point where Bessie was so severely kicked in the stomach that it caused internal bleeding. She eventually divorced him in 1927.
Although it’s easy to feel pity for Bessie it’s noted that she carried on numerous affairs while separated from her abusive husband. On the voyage to China it was rumored that she had sex with the ship’s crewmen in front of children and their mother who were sharing the cabin with her. Later in China after she informed her husband that she intended to divorce him, Win became sadistic and publically abused Bessie. He dragged her to several Chinese brothels where he cavorted with whores while making her watch.
According to reports she not only visited the brothels but willingly participated in the activities and was trained in special sexual techniques including lesbian instruction, erotic massage for men suffering premature ejaculation, and most famously the “Chinese Grip.” This was an ability that taught her to control and contract the walls of her vagina to an extraordinary degree. One that it was said she quickly put to use on her husband and for that matter any other men who frequented the brothels where she allegedly worked as a prostitute.
Apparently all of this information was reported or rather compiled in a famous 1935 dossier at the request of the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. It was Baldwin’s task to have Bessie investigated because at the time Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson was having a very heated and public affair with Edward, Prince of Wales. It was an affair with a tootsie that eventually led to his abdication.
Supposedly Winston Churchill said, "Why shouldn't the King marry his tootsie?" to which Noel Coward replied, "Because the British public does not want a Queen tootsie". Especially to a twice divorced Queen Tootsie, and to think that the royal line of succession was interrupted by what started as an innocent romance with an abusive drunkard in Pensacola Babylon.