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

The Trial of Patrick Malcolm


Patrick Malcolm, for Sodomy, July, 1726.

PATRICK MALCOLM was indicted for committing Sodomy with John Pokins, aged 17, June 17, 1726.

Mrs. —. The Prisoner was a Journeyman in my House, and Jack Pokins was my Apprentice. Jack was an ungracious Rogue, and had been concern'd in several Robberies, upon which Account his Mother, as well she might, was afraid he'd come to the Gallows, and therefore she had provided a Master to send him to Sea. I understood one Night, that the Prisoner and Jack were together in Jack's Room, and being afraid that the Prisoner would wheedle him to discover who the Captain was, and so prevent his being sent away, I pull'd off my Shoes, and went softly up Stairs, in Expectation of hearing some Discourse about it; but I was much surprized to hear something of a very different Nature. The Prisoner said, —— and ——, and Jack said ——, and the Prisoner said ——, by which I concluded, that they were committing Sodomy together. So I went and call'd a Constable, and when we went into the Room, the Prisoner trembled, and Jack pretended to be asleep.

John Pokins. It's a Lie of her own Invention, and please ye my Lord, — there was no such thing said or done. — The Prisoner never touch'd me, nor was he within two Foot of my Bed-side. — But my Mistress don't value being perjur'd, for she'll swear any Thing.

Several Witnesses, Men and Women, appear'd to the Prisoner's Character. They deposed, that he was a kind Husband to his Wife, a careful Father to his Children, and always preferr'd the Company of Women to that of Men. — Some Men who had often laid with him, deposed, that he never offer'd any Indecencies to them.

The Jury acquitted him.

SOURCE: Select Trials at the Sessions-House in the Old-Bailey, From the Year 1720, to this Time, Dublin, Printed by S. Powell, For W. Smith in Dame-street, G. Faulkner, in Essex-street, and Oli. Nelson, in Skinner-Row, 1742, vol. 3, p. 37.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "The Trial of Patrick Malcolm," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 10 April 2000, updated 20 June 2008 <>.

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