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

Newspaper Reports


Wednesday 15 March 1721

Paris, February 23. . . . A ceertain Abbot is imprison'd for seducing a Youth, whom he pretended to instruct; but locking him in a Chamber, and the Father hearing of it, forced the Door in Presence of a Commissary, and found his Son and the Abbot in an unseemly Action, not fit to be mentioned among Christians who abhor Sodomy. (Stamford Mercury)

29 April 1721

Some Time ago a young Spark, one of those they call Mollys, made a Beastly Attempt upon a Lawyer's Clerk under the Piazza's of Lincoln's-Inn Chappel, who, with great Presence of Mind, held him fast by the offending Member, and led him by it all the Way till he brought him before Justice Hungerford, who lives in that Neighbourhood, and who accordingly bound him over; and last Week he was try'd at the Sessions at Hicks's-Hall, and fined ten Pounds for the said Attempt. The Court, in Compassion to his Youth, and out of Regard to his Family, did not inflict any Corporal Punishment upon him, but severely reprimanded him, &c. (Applebee's Original Weekly Journal)

17 June 1721

One S—— a great Brickmaker at Hackney, was lately Charg'd with an Attempt to commit Sodomy on a Drawer at the Kings-Arms-Tavern in Lombard-Street, and being carried before Sir Thomas Abney, gave two hundred Pound Bail, for his Appearance at the next Sessions. (Applebee's Original Weekly Journal)

Saturday 29 July 1721

There is a Club of Sodomites discovered in Leicester-Square to the Number of 50, who meet almost every Night at a Coffee House near that Place, and those Abominable Wretches publickly call one another by the Name of Dolly, Molly, Betty, Bridget, Grace, &c. and perform such beastly Actions in that Lude House, as is not fit to mention. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday, 5 August 1721

We have received a Letter from the Master of the Leicester Coffee-House, near Leicester-Square, complaining of the Injury done him by a Paragraph in our last, concerning a Club of Sodomites who assemble at a Coffee-House near Leicester-Square. In order to clear the Master of the said Leicester Coffee-House, from any undeserved Imputation of entertaining such People, we think fit to call upon the Person who sent us the Information, to send us the Name of the Coffee-House, and of some of the Persons, that we may free the Innocent at least, if not expose the Guilty. (Weekly Journal or Saturday's Post)

Tuesday, 7 November 1721

Yesterday one George Duffus was committed to Newgate by Justice Tilliard of Spitlefields, being charged by the Oath of Nicholas Leader, with having forcibly and violently committedthe most detestable Sin of Buggery upon the Person of the said Leader. (Daily Journal)

Tuesday, 7 November 1721

On Sunday last one George Duffy's was . . . committed to Newgate by J. Tillard, Esq. being charged on Oath by Nicholas Leader for forcibly committing Buggery with him, and attempting the like Crime with others. (Daily Post)

12 December 1721

George Duffus a Weaver was try'd for Sodomy; but the Jury finding some Difficulty in the Matter, brought in their Verdict Special. (Daily Post)

Saturday, 23 December 1721

LONDON, December 23.
George Duffus, agaqinst whom a special Verdic was given, for committing Sodomy, is a zealous Presbyterian; picked u the Lad he abused at a Conventicle, and insinuated himself into his good Graces, by putting on the Mask of Godliness, an old Fanatick Vizor. (Weekly Journal or Saturday's Post)

Saturday, 13 January 1722

On Wednesday last at Guildhall one Valentine Webb was try’d for assaulting a Man on London-Bridge, with an intent to commit Buggery, and fined 5l. (Daily Post)

Wednesday, 17 January 1722

On Monday Night a Fellow was seized near Temple-Bar, and committed, for attempting tocommit Sodomy upon a Boy in the open Street. (Daily Journal)

Monday, 6 March 1722

London, March 5.
On Saturday last the Sessions ended at the Old-Baily, . . . George Duffus, against whom a special Verdict was lately given, on account of a Tryal had for the actual CXrime of Buggery on the Person of Nicholas Leader, was convicted of an Attempt to commit Sodomy on another Person, was sentenced to stand once in the Pillory at the end of Old-Gravel-Lane in Ratcliff, to pay a Fine of 20 Marks, and also tofind Securities forhis good Behaviour. (Daily Journal)

Saturday, 21 April 1722

Lately one Hayns, otherwise call'd Hays, a Barber living in Joyner-Street in Southwark, was committed to the Marshalsea Prison for Sodomy. (Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer)

Thursday 26 April 1722

Last Week one Hains, a Barber in Tooley street, Southwark, was committed to the Marshalsea for Sodomy against whom a Cloud of Witnesses appeared. It seems he has been known many Years for that abominable Practice. (Stamford Mercury)

Friday, 27 April 1722

Too Morrow Dicks the Sodomite is to stand in the Pillory at the New Church in the Strand, for Indorsing one Meeson, a Dyer in that Neighbourhood, pursuant to his Sentence last Sessions at the Old-Baily. (Daily Journal)

Saturday, 6 May 1722

One Dicks that was try'd last Sessions for Sodomy, stood in the Pillory last Sturday near the New Church in the Strand. (Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer)

Saturday, 14 July 1722

Extract of our Rye Letters.
One John Spratt, who keeps a Publick House at Brabourn, in Kent, having lately made an Attempt to commit the unnatural Sin of Sodomy on the Body of John Stacey, a Clergyman's Servant in that Neighbourhood: Stacey has sworn the Fact against him, and he is boudn over to appear at the next Quarter Sessions to answer that Charge. (London Journal)

4 August 1722

On Friday was se'nnight the Assizes for the County of Surry ended at Kingston, when . . . Thomas Haynes, who was found guilty of Sodomy upon two several Indictments was fin'd 10 Marks on each Indictment, sentenced to stand twice in the Pillory, and to suffer six Months Imprisonment. (The Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer)

Saturday 11 August 1722

Yesterday Morning one Norman was committed to Newgate on a Charge of Sodomy. (Newcastle Courant)

Saturday, 18 August 1822

By Letters from Worcester of the 11th Instant, we are inform'd, that the Assizes ended there ont he 8th, . . . One Mr. W––fs, alias W––ins, a M–– of that County, against whom there is no less than eight or ten Informations for the execrable Crime of Sodomy, is run away from his L––, some say he is landed in France; but if not, he will assuredly be prosecuted with the utmost Severity, and be as publickly given up, as he is most justly detested by the sacred Body, of which he was a most unworthy Member (London Journal)

Saturday, 18 August 1722

The Beginning of last Week an Elderly Person, whose name is Towers, was taken up in Moorfields, and carried before D'Oyly Michel for attempting to commit the unnatural and detestable Sin of Sodom, on the Body of a Youth that lives thereabouts, and was committed to New Prison in Clerkenwell, by a Warrant under the Hand and Seal of the aforesaid Justice, but has since given in Bail. (Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer)

Thursday 20 September 1722

LONDON, Sept. 18
On Saturday Mr. Norman, Master of a Ship, who had been committed to Newgate upon Suspicion of committing the Sin of Sodomy on a Boy, was admitted to Bail. (Stamford Mercury)

Saturday, 22 September 1722

Mr. Norman, the Commander of a Vessel, is admitted to Bail; he was charg'd with attempt to commit Sodomy on his Cabbin-Boy. (Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer)

Thursday 11 October 1722

Last Thursday at the Sessions held at Oxford, one Tho. Pococke, a Fruiterer, was tried for Sodomy; it appeared he was aged 72 Years, and had practised that abominable Vice near 20 Years, which was proved by 5 Witnesses; the most notorious was in June last, with the Tapster at the Angel. The Fact was clearly proved, and the Jury found him Guilty. (Stamford Mercury)

Thursday 28 March 1723

We hear, that last Saturday four Persons were condemn'd to die at Brentwood Assizes, viz. two for the Highway, one for House-breaking, and the fourth for Sodomy. (Stamford Mercury)

Saturday, 6 July 1723

On Monday last . . . a Jew was committed to Clerkenwell Bridewell, for attempting to commit Sodomy. (British Journal)

Saturday 28 December 1723

Mr. Jones, High Constable of Holbourn, last Night seized at the Blue Posts in Hare-street, near Common Garden [this is almost certainly an error for Hart Street, Covent Garden (see reports for 1724)], 25 Persons belonging to a Club, who have met frequently in Masquerade Habits, to perpetrate, as is supposed, the hanious [sic] Sin of Sodomy; several of those taken, 'tis assured, have stood in the Pillory for such Practices. (Newcastle Courant)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, as noted above. Most of these newspapers were published once a week, on Saturdays, but some were published three times a week.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1721-1723," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 3 March 2004, updated 10 Dec. 2014, 24 July 2015, 12 Dec. 2020 <>.

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