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

Passion for a Catamite


Quest 77. How do you prove, that one Man may have a greater Affection for another, than for the Fair Sex?

Answ. This Question is not put well; for every Person that indulges the Male Amours, and those who have been executed for Catamiting, proves, That some one Man may have a greater Passion for a Catamite, than a female Prostitute. Now if the Question had been, How such a Degeneracy comes in the Affections of Man, to prefer Male Concubinage with a greater Affection than the Female, it might have been better put.

SOURCE: Post-Angel, November 1701, p. 291.


This all-too-brief article in the Post-Angel for November 1701 is intriguing. It refers to those "executed for catamiting", but no records exist for such executions until 1703. (The execution of Mervyn Touchet and his pages took place more than sixty years earlier.) I don't think any of the historical scholarship has mentioned this report or this early date. It also shows that the heterosexual/homosexual binary was well in place at the time (rather than the bisexual indifference alleged to be characteristic of libertines).

Rictor Norton

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Passion for a Catamite," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 10 April 2000, updated 15 June 2008 <>.

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