Image of men kissingHomosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook compiled by Rictor Norton  

Image of Two Men


Primary Documents

All the documents faithfully reproduce the
spelling, punctuation, capitalization and
italicization of the original sources. You may
wish to supplement this material with non-gay
material reproduced in my other sites,
Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports
and The Georgian Underworld.

See also Bits & Pieces (Miscellaneous odds and ends, updated in the manner of a blog)


1609 The Sodomite Popes
1624 The Trial of Richard Cornish

        (ship master and cabin boy in Virginia)
1624 A Gallery of Beautiful Boys
1631 Trial of the Earl of Castlehaven
1631 Verses following the Trial of the Earl of

1631 Trial and Execution of Broadway and

1641 The Life and Death of John Atherton

        The Bishop of Waterford, Ireland, hanged
        for sodomy with his tithe proctor
1684 Sodom, or The Quintessence of Debauchery
1698 The Trial of Capt. Edward Rigby

        (first victim of an agent provocateur)
1698 The Women's Complaint to Venus

1700s Early Newspaper Reports 1700-1720
1700 A Flaming Whip for Lechery
1701 Passion for a Catamite
1702 Lives of the Ancient Philosophers
1702 The Vice of the Venetians
1703 The Shortest Way with Whores and Rogues
1703 Homosexual Dream Symbolism
1703 Thomas Baker's Tunbridge-Walks
1704 An Account of the Turks
1707 The Tryal and Conviction of Several
        Reputed Sodomites

1707 Trial of Sodomites
1707 Trials of Thomas Vaughan and Thomas Davis
for blackmail conspiracy
1707 Newspaper Reports for 1707
1707 Daniel Defoe, On the Public Prosecution and Punishment of Sodomites
1707 The Woman-Hater's Lamentation
1707 The He-Strumpets
1707 Bumography, or A Touch at the Lady's Tails
1708 Almonds for Parrots
Satire on effeminate men/sodomites
1708 Sir Narcissus Foplin
1708 The Rival Dutchess; or, Court Incendiary
The lesbian loves of Queen Anne's favourite Abigail Masham
1708 Satire on Queen Anne and her 'She-Favourite'
1709 Sermon by Thomas Bray
1709 The Trial of George Skelthorpe
1709 The Dying Words of George Skelthorpe

1709 A Full and True Account
of a raid on a molly house
1709 The Mollies Club
1709 Venereal Disease
(i.e. can be transmitted by oral and anal intercourse between men)
1710 The Tipling Philosophers
1715 The Game at Flats  
A song about two lesbians
1715 A Dialogue in Defence of Ganymede
1718 Jonathan Wild & Charles Hitchin
(organized crime and the mollies)
1718 A Defence of Homosexuality
1719 Trial and Execution of Three Blackmailers
1719 Footpads and Sodomites
1720s & earlier Some Cross-Dressing Women
1721-23 Newspaper Reports 1721-1723
1721 The Dying Speech of William Casey
(robber attacks a sodomite)
1721 The Trial of George Duffus
— "No harm, nothing but love"
1721 The Conspirators; or, The Case of Catiline, Part I
1721 The Conspirators; or, The Case of Catiline, Part II
1722 The Trial of John Casey
(ring of robbers/blackmailers)
1722 The Trial of John Dicks
— "My precious little Rogue"
1722 The Trial of Thomas Rodin
—"so far from being ashamed, that he gloried in it"
1723 The Trial of Charles Banner
(picking up a post-boy)
1724 Those Glorious Platonicks
(satirical note on effeminate men)
1724-5 Blackmail, a Hanging, and a Masquerade Ball
1725 Trial of Goddard and Rustead for Blackmail
1726 Newspaper Reports
1726 Address to the Grand Jury
1726 The Trial of Thomas Wright
(hanged for sodomy)
1726 The Trial of William Griffin
(hanged for sodomy)
1726 The Trial of George Kedger
(sentenced to death, but reprieved)
1726 The Trial of Gabriel Lawrence
(hanged for sodomy)
1726 The Trial of George Whittle
(a molly-house keeper is acquitted)
1726 Letters from Philogynus
(exposé of gay cruising grounds and clubs)
1726 A Modest Proposal
(to castrate sodomites)
1726 A Letter from the Drury Lane Ladies
(complaining that sodomites are ruining their trade)
1726 The Trial of Martin Mackintosh
(caught by an undercover police agent)
1726 The Trial of Patrick Malcolm
1726 The Trial of William Brown
(who defended the right to his own body)
1726 The Raid on Mother Clap's Molly House
1726 The Trial of Mother Clap
(for keeping a molly house)
1726 An Ecclesiastical Prosecution
1726 Faustina, A Satire on the Luxury and Effeminacy of the Age
1727 Newspaper Reports
1727 The Trial of Charles Hitchin
(thief-taker and molly)
1727 Reformation Necessary to Prevent Our Ruin
1727 A Story from the East Indies
1728 Newspaper Reports
1728 Molly Christenings
1728 Drag Parties at Miss Muff's
1728 James Dalton's Narrative
(highway robber infiltrates a molly house)
1728 But Among Our Own Selves We'll Be Free
1728 Two Kissing Girls of Spitalfields
1728-31 Gay Love-Letters from Lord Hervey to Stephen Fox
1729 A Well-Hung Blackmailer
1729 Sodomastix and Other News Reports
1729 Life of Thomas Neaves
(describes mock birth in a molly house)
1729 Hell Upon Earth
1729 Of Sodomy and Bestiality
(Review of laws against homosexuality in antiquity)
1730 Dutch Purge of Homosexuals
1730 A Case of Pedophilia
1730 The Trial of Gilbert Laurence
(for raping a boy)
1730 The Trial of Peter Vivian
(for soliciting)
1730 The Trial of William Goodman
(for blackmail and robbery)
1730 The Trial of Holiwell and Huggins
(for having sex together in St Paul's Cathedral)
1730 A Blackmail Conspiracy
1730–31 Newspaper Reports, 1730–1731
1731 Moral Relativism
1731 Plain Reasons for the Growth of Sodomy
1731 A Frolick on Saffron Hill
1731 A Proper Reply To a late Scurrilous Libel
William Pulteney's attack on John, Lord Hervey
1732 Newspaper Reports
1732 William Curtis, Hustler
(testifies against a Club of Sodomites)
1732 A Trial involving Princess Seraphina (a drag queen)
1732 Prison Chums
1732 Stolen Gay Love-Letters
1732 The Toast
Satire on the lesbian "Myra"
1733 Newspaper Reports (castration proposed as punishment for sodomy)
1733 An Account of the Societies for Reformation of Manners
1734 Newspaper Reports
(incl. suicide of a servant of the Archbishop of Canterbury)
1734 Pretty Doings in a Protestant Nation
1735 Newspaper Reports
1735 An Epistle from Mr. Pope, to Dr. Arbuthnot
Alexander Pope's caricature of John, Lord Hervey
1735 A View of the Town
'hanging is too mild a punishment'
1735 Immorality of the Ancient Philosophers
1730s Sodomites in Bristol
Including obituary of a "noted Old Catamite" who celebrated mock birth ceremonies
1735 or 1749 The Sappho-An
Lesbian erotica; description of sex between women and the use of the dildo
1735 Prosecuted for Consenting Sex
1736 Newspaper Reports
1737 Newspaper Reports
1737 Venereal Disease in Catamites
1738 Newspaper Reports
1738 Caught in a Bog-House
(Two men sentenced to death, then pardoned by the King, but both die in Newgate)
1738 A Ramble through London A Conversation between a Sodomitical Baronet, a Bawd, and the Author,
          on a Bench in St. Jamesís Park
1739 Newspaper Reports
1739 The State of Rome, under Nero and Domitian
Satire prompted by a homosexual scandal at Wadham College, Oxford
1739 A Female Dragoon
1740 Newspaper Reports
(an Alderman convicted of sodomy is pardoned)
1740 Lewd Philosophers
1741 Newspaper Reports
1742 Newspaper Reports
A man murders the new girlfriend of his long-term kept man
1743 Newspaper Reports
(man killed in the pillory; bad business in the Temple bog-houses; hanged man's body rejected for dissection because he had VD)
1743 The Trial of Deacon and Blair
(for having sex together)
1743 The Execution of Hunt and Collins
1744 Decoy Ducks
(Soldiers decoy gay men in St James's Park and rob them)
1744 Newspaper Reports
(including a masquerade party)
1744 Travels into Turkey Story of an old woman who falls in love with a girl
1745 Newspaper Reports
1745 A Dutch Sodomite
Englishmen intercede to save the life of a Dutch sailor
1745 "He Loved a Soldier as He Loved His Life"
1745 A Tragic New Year's Eve
1745 Trial of Richard Manning and John Davis
(two men caught kissing and fondling)
1746 Newspaper Reports
(An old offender stands in the pillory)
1746 Second Trial of Richard Manning
1747 A Constitutional Inclination
1747 The Character of Fribble
from David Garrick's farce Miss in her Teens
1747 Newspaper Reports
(a Turkish sailor is sentenced to 500 lashes for sodomy)
1748 Newspaper Reports
1748 Lord Strutwell
from Tobias Smollett's novel Roderick Random
1749 Newspaper Reports
1749 Ancient and Modern Pederasty
(A defence of homosexuality)
1749 Unhappy Gift from God
1749 The Petit Maitre. A Poem
1749 The Game of Flats
1750 Newspaper Reports
1750 Confession of Thomas Munn
1751-81 Bristol Gaol Delivery Fiats
1751 Newspaper Reports
(A man accused of unnatural practices kills himself)
1752 Newspaper Reports
1752 The Adventures of Captain Greenland
1753 Newspaper Reports
Two men kiss under the gallows; a sodomite burned at the stake in Cracow
1754 Newspaper Reports
Incl. Timothy Raven and the Sodomitical Dr Walton; a man hangs himself after rumours spread
1754 Charge to the Grand Jury
1755 "As Common as the Night"
The Life and Death of a Soldier Prostitute
1755 The Case of Catherine Vizzani
A study of the lesbian body
1755 Newspaper Reports for 1755
1756 Newspaper Reports for 1756
1757 Newspaper Reports for 1757
1757 A Male Prostitute
1757 The Plague of Effeminacy
1758–60 Newspaper Reports for 1758–1760
1759 "He heard the word Buggerer"
(Conspiracy to blackmail Sir Humphry Morice)
1759 A Robber Swears Sodomy against his Victim
1760 The Trial of Emanuel Rose
1760 Some Cross-Dressing Women
1760 A Female Husband Exposed
1761 The Fribbleriad
by David Garrick
1761 The Trial of Thomas Andrews
(for sodomitical rape)
1761 The Trial of John Lowther (A sodomite makes a pass at the wrong man)
1761 Newspaper Reports
Brutal treatment in the pillory
1761 A Cruising Alley
1762 Newspaper Reports
1762 Molly Exalted
(Pillory Broadside)
1762 Biography of Marc Anthony Muretus
1763 Newspaper Reports
Man killed in the pillory
1763 Life and Death of an Entrapper
1764 Newspaper Reports
(incl. arrest of men in women's clothes
1764 The Times
by Charles Churchill
1764 Epitaph on a Notorious Sodomite
1764 Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishments
1765 Newspaper Reports
1766 Newspaper Reports
1766 The Unnaturalists, or Deserters of the Fruit Shop
1766 Mary East, the Female Husband
1766 Debate about the Destruction of Sodom
1767–69 Newspaper Reports
1769 Blackstone's Commentaries
Blackstone's discussion of laws against sodomy
1769 The Sodomite Snake
1769 The Boots
(A silly poem)
1769 Juvenal's Satires
1770s Accusations of Sodomy in the Westminster and Middlesex Quarter Sessions Rolls for the 1770s
1770–71 Newspaper Reports
County court agrees to pay the cost of prosecutions.
1770 Thomas Gray's Love-Letters to Charles Victor de Bonstetten
1770s-1790s Mrs Piozzi's Reminiscences
1772 Newspaper reports
; plus a major section for 1772:

1773 Newspaper Reports
1773 The History of Harry Harper
1773 Plato the Pederast
1774 News Reports
1774 Sodomites and Venereal Disease
1775 News Reports
1776 Newspaper Reports
1776 Thomas Burrows & Co.
A club where men regularly met to have sex together
1776 The Trial of Thomas Burrows
One of the men who frequented a sodomites' club
1776 Reports on the Trial of Samuel Foote
1776 Sodom and Onan
(A satire on Samuel Foote)
1776 L'Amour Socratique
(A cosmopolitan view of homosexual love)
1777 Newspaper Reports
1777 Sapphic Love in Portugal
1777 The Case of Chevalier D'Eon
1777 The Tragic Case of Ann Marrow
A lesbian blinded in the pillory
1777–78 Extortion Ring
1778 Newspaper Reports
1778 A Sapphick Epistle
1779 James Donally, Extortionist
1779 Newspaper Reports
1780 Burke Proposes Abolition of the Pillory
due to death of two sodomites in the pillory
1780 A Sketch of the Times
1780–81 Newspaper Reports
(Execution of Loveday and Burke)
1781 The Complete Modern London Spy
1781 Madge Culls
(pick-up practices of gay men)
1781 Incident at the Royal Academy
(Scandal involving the Hon. Edward Onslow)
1782–84 Newspaper Reports
(incl. a monk broken on the wheel and burned at the stake in Paris)
1785 Newspaper Reports
1786 Newspaper Reports
(incl. effigies of sodomites paraded through the streets; men beaten by the mob)
1787 Newspaper Reports
Two men sentenced to death for consenting sex
1788–89 Newspaper Reports
(incl. a man sentenced to solitary confinement)
1789 "Suck Prick!" Two men caught enjoying themselves in the street
1789 A Picture of England
(comments by a German traveller)
1790 Newspaper Reports (The enraged mob vents their fury against sodomites in the pillory)
1790 Extraordinary Female Affection Ellinor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, the Ladies of Llangollen
1791 Newspaper Reports
(A baronet convicted of an unnatural crime; advertisements placed for men absconding from justice)
1791 Memoirs of Antonina
(scandalous novel portraying Marie Antoinette as a lesbian)
1792 Astrological Predisposition
1792 Legal Precedents of Blackmail Cases
1792 A Case of Blackmail
1792–93 Newspaper Reports
(Eighteen men are arrested at a drag party, with nicknames such as Miss Conveniency and Miss Cockatoo)
1792 General Gustavus ('Gusty') Guydickens
1794 Newspaper Reports
(The life of a blackmailer of sodomites; a sodomitical seller of pornography stands in the pillory; a man is sentenced to two years' solitary confinement)
1795 Newspaper Reports
(A Baronet absconds after conviction of having sex with a Guardsman; man sentenced to two years' solitary confinement)
1796 Newspaper Reports
(A blackmailer is sentenced to death; a servant blackmails a Baronet; a man sues his wife for calling him a sodomite)
1797 Newspaper Reports
(A 70-year-old man is executed for sodomy; two lovers are hanged together)
1797 The Scottish Law against Homosexuality
Commentary by David Hume
1798 Newspaper Reports
(A one-armed seller of indecent prints; a clergyman libels several gentlemen as sodomites; vigilantes entrap sodomites in Moorfields)
1799 Newspaper Reports

See also Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. Updated 28 February 2023 <>.

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