Newspaper Reports


25 February 1720

On Sunday last, as several Persons were Scating upon the Ice in Hyde Park, one dressed like a Lady, with a large Hoop Petticoat, a scarlet Cloak, and Mask'd, went on, to make one among them: But, unfortunately, the Ice broke, and took the Stranger up to the Waste; upon which a gallant Dutchman immediately came to afford his kind Assistance, and was dip'd in the same manner. At length, in struggling to get up, the Mask drop'd off, and the pretended Lady appeared to be a Gentleman, who was very well known there; whereupon the Hollander seemed sorely chagrin'd to have suffered so much, and to be so errantly cheated in the Subject of his Complaisance. (London Journal)

24-31 December 1720

Some Days since a Gentleman meeting another on the Royal Exchange, though a Stranger to him before, was presently acquainted with him, and told him, he was captivated with the fineness of his Person, and then declared himself in favour of the Crime of Sodomy; and warmly sollicited him for his Company to an adjoyning Tavern. This stun'd at first, the other; but collecting himself in order to view the Monster, and have an Opportunity to punish and put him to shame, he agreed to meet him the next Day at a Tavern by the Exchange; but before they met, the Gentlemen acquainted the Master of the House with the Matter, and several Persons were got ready on the Signal to enter the Room. Accordingly, when every thing within was ready for Action and the Alarm given, the People rushed in. The Guilty Person was not able to rectify some Indecencies he was in. Upon this they gave him the Cold Bath with several Pales [i.e. pails] of Water thrown in his Face. Thus restoring Speech and Motion to him, he cursed and swore in a very outragious manner, and endeavoured to fling himself out of the Room, but they would not part with him till he had been well rubbed down with some Oaken Towels, prepared for that purpose; after which they kick'd him out of the House. (London Journal)

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, 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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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, 1720-1723," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 3 March 2004, updated 10 December 2014 and 24 July 2015 <>.

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