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

A Letter from the Drury Lane Ladies


From the Hundreds of Drury, May 9.

I am a Whore —— This, you'll say, is a very odd Beginning; but should I tell you we have above 40 Neighbours under the same Predicament, it would hardly be thought a Paradox. The other Night we had a general Meeting at a Gin-Shop, when it pass'd, Nemine contradicente [without contradiction], to return you our hearty Thanks for endeavouring to suppress the notorious Practice of the Mollies, by which Abuse of Nature we may properly call ourselves the greatest Sufferers; for of late, several of our Christian Acquaintance have resorted to the Jews, and in particular my old Friend Mr. P——e who has pass'd with me thro' Fire and Water, Elixirs, Bolusses, Turpentine Pills, and Salivation; but now the Villain has left me and learnt a Way to go to the D[evi]l backwards [i.e. by way of sodomy], the Thoughts of which runs me to a thousand Extravagancies, such as Oaths and Imprecations, Curses, Prayers, and Poetry; it would be endless to trouble you with the 20th Part of my Performance of this Nature, only be pleas'd to publish the following Lines, and you will oblige as honest a Girl as ever put the Bite upon a Country Attorney, and put him in Mind of the old Saying, What is got over the D[evi]l's Back, is spent under his Belly. [puns on back/arsehole and spent/ejaculation]

To that Sodomitical Villain, P——e.

You stand indicted in the publick News,
For Innovations offer'd at the Stews,
And running after unbelieving Jews.
To some
Italian sure thou art a-kin,
T' abandon Women for so vile a Sin;
A Sin of Sins; 'twas this alone you lack't
To make you D[evi]l, and a Beast in Fact;
May righteous Heaven punish such an Act.
What cursed D[evi]l brought this Trick in vogue,
To spite a W[ho]re, and doubly damn a Rogue?
To change the Laws of Nature, vice versa,
And set a W[hor]e to Prayers — the Lord have Mercy!
Good Heavens may Mother
Creswell's Ghost appear
[Creswell was a famous prostitute]
To Vindicate her virtuous Daughters here;
May Bauds and Cracks of every Sort and Size
Have Leave from
Pluto's Kingdom to arise,
And may old
Succubus direct a Ghost
To Spoil each damn'd Intrigue,

(SOURCE: Letter to the Editor of The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer, 21 May 1726.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Letter from the Drury Lane Ladies, 1726," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 22 April 2000, updated 20 June 2008 <>.

Return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England