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

Newspaper Reports

1727


7 January 1727

Yesterday [i.e. Friday] Whale and Horner, who received Sentence last Term for keeping a House for the Entertinment of Sodomites, stood in Pillory at Charing Cross. (The British Journal) [See also 14 Jan below, and 9 July 1726, 26 Nov 1726, and 3 Dec 1726.]

14 January 1727

The Eve before the Sodomites stood on the Pillory at Charing Cross, a Centinal in St. James's Park was accosted by one Arrowsmith, of the Beastly Fraternity, who must needs give him a Green Gown upon the Grass, whereupon the Centinel seiz'd him and carry'd him to his Serjeant, who conducted him to the Captain of the Guard then in waiting, and after Examination the Captain sent him to St. Martin's Roundhouse, from whence next Morning he was carry'd before a Justice of Peace and Bail'd.
      Yesterday York Horner and Robert Whale stood in the Pillory at the Royal Exchange, being their last Time, for keeping Houses for the Reception of Sodomites. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer) [See also 7 Jan above and the cross-references there.]

11 February 1727

On Thursday last Peter Dubourg stood in the Pillory at the Royal-Exchange, for attempting to commit Sodomy; and was severely treated by the populace. (The London Journal)

Cambridge, Feb. 7. So many Robberies have lately been committed here, that the Magistrates have been employed with examining into the Lives and Character of all the loose and suspected Persons, but tho' they have not succeeded in their design'd Enquiry, yet they have found out a Practice of a much worse Nature, viz. that there is a large Gang of Sodomites in this Town; six of 'em are already apprehended and committed, and they are in Search for more. (Mist's Weekly Journal)

4 March 1727

[Saturday Night the Sessions ended at the Old-Baily.] Richard Scuse, and James Coltis, convicted of Sodomitical Practices, are to stand in the Pillory in Covent-Garden, and to suffer one Year's Imprisonment. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

11 March 1727

At the Assizes at Abingdon, Nine Men receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. Will. Ward, Tho. Cobb, Will. Coleman, and Hen. Langston for Burglary; Will. Dereham, Jacob Alloway, Benj. Chapman, and Charles Cooper, for Horse-stealing, and Jona. Grandy for Sodomy. (Mist's Weekly Journal)

25 March 1727

Cambridge, March 18. Contrary to all Expectation, ours prov’d a Virgin Assize, thro’ the Modesty of a Witness, who having sworn the Fact of Sodomy before a Justice against three Men, as committed upon himself, was pleased so to moderate his Evidence on the Tryal, that the Jury could do no otherwise than acquit the Creatures.
     Reading, March 20. On Saturday last John Gandy and Jacob Alloway were executed here; the former for Sodomy; the latter for Horse-stealing. The seven others that were condemn’d are reprieved. (Mist’s Weekly Journal)

25 March 1727

At the Assizes at Bucks John Alden was indicted for Sodomy and acquitted, and four for Dear-stealing, who were also acquitted. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

11 April 1727

On Sunday last Charles Hitchin, City Marshal, was committed to Newgate by Justice Haynes, being charged on Oath with the odious and detestable Sin of Sodomy, committed on the Body of Richard Williamson.
     A young Woman that had been Apprentice to a Mantua-maker near Fetter-Lane, who afterwards put on Man’s Cloaths, going by the Name of Tom Shammy, and became Servant at a Tavern of good Note, within Temple Bar near the Gate, was last Friday brought to Bed of a Daughter: We hear that one of the Midwives that were present at her Labour, declared her to be an Hermaphrodite, grounding her wise Judgment, as is supposed, upon the impudent Creature’s being aparelled as a Man. (Daily Post)

13 April 1727

Charles Hitchin, Deputy City Marshal, charg’d with Sodomy, is to be try’d Tomorrow.
     Mary Toft, the Godalming Rabbit Woman, was last Saturday discharg’d from her Recognizance at the Quarter Sessions, Westminster, there being no Prosecution. (Daily Post)

15 April 1727

Yesterday at the Sessions in the Old Baily, Charles Hitchin, the Under City Marshal, an elderly Man, formerly a Cabinet-maker in St. Paul’s Church-yard, was convicted of a Misdemeanor for an Assault on the Body of Richard Williamson a Drummer, in order to commit Sodomy with him. (Daily Post)

15 April 1727

A Young Woman that had been Apprentice to a Mantua-maker near Fetter-lane, who afterwards put on Man's Cloaths, going by the Name of Tom Shammy, and became Servant at a Tavern of good Note, within Temple-Bar, near the Gate, was Yesterday se'ennight deliver'd of a Daughter: We hear one of the Midwives that were present at her Labour, declared her to be an Hermaphrodite, grounding her wise Judgment, as is supposed, upon the impudent Creature's being apparelled as a Man.
      Charles Hitchins, Deputy City Marshall, was also try'd, being charg'd with the odious and detestable Sin of Sodomy, committed on the Body of Richard Williamson, and was found guilty of a Misdemeanor.
      The Trials of which being very remarkable, we refer our Readers to the Sessions Paper. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

. . . at the Sessions in the Old-Baily . . . Charles Hitchen, Deputy City Marshal, a very buisy [sic] and active Fellow for promoting the Reformation of Manners, was try'd for Sodomy; but thro' a nice Punctilio it could not sufficiently be prov'd, therefore he was again indicted for an Attempt to commit that detestable Crime, and fuly convicted thereof. (Mist's Weekly Journal)

On Sunday Night last, Charles Hitchin, Esq; Under-Marshal of this City, was committed to Newgate by Justice Hayne, being charged upon Oath with committing Sodomy on the Body of one Richard Williamson. (The British Journal)

17 April 1727

On Saturday last the Sessions ended at the Old Baily . . .
      Charles Hitchin the under City-Marshal convictedof a Misdemeanor for an Assault, in Order to commit Sodomy on the Body of Richard Williamson received Sentence to stand in the Pillory over against Katherine-street in the Strand, to pay a Fine of 20l., to suffer six Months Imprisonment, and to find Security for his good Behaviour for three Years. (Daily Post)

22 April 1727

Charles Hitchin the under City Marshal convicted of a Misdemeanor for an Assault, in order to commit Sodomy on the Body of Richard Williamson, received Sentence to stand in the Pillory over-against Katherine-street in the Strand, to pay a Fine of 20 l. to suffer six Months Imprisonment, and to find Security for his good Behaviour for three Years. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

3 May 1727

Yesterday Charles Hitchin, the Under City-Marshal, stood in the Pillory in the Strand, over against Katharine-street, pursuant to his Sentence at the late Sessions in the Old Baily, for a Misdemeanor, in attempt to commit Sodomy on the Body of Richard Williamson, and was very severely handled by the Populace. (Daily Post)

6 May 1727

Last Tuesday Mr. Hitchen was erected on the Pillory over-against Catherine-street in the Strand. His friends had so barricadoed the Avenues leading to him with Coaches and Carts, as almost render'd the Approaches of the Mob inaccessible: However, the Artillery used in these Occasions, play'd incessantly from all Corners, and a Battery in Catherine-street, conducted by a great Number of Drury-lane Ladies play'd with good Success for Half an Hour. Mr. Curll's Windows suffer'd pretty much by it; and the Constables, endeavouring by a Sally to level that Work, were drove back to the Pillory by a strong Body of the Mob, tho' not without some Blood spilt on both Sides. All Means used by the Peace Officers and Mr. Hitchen's Friends and Brethern to repel the Fury of the Populace proving ineffectual, the Criminal met with the Reward due to his Demerits. He was taken down at the usual Time, and carried back to newgate, almost ready to expire, with the Fatigue he had undergone in the Rostrum, his Night-Gown and Breeches being torn in Pieces from his Body. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

Tuesday Mr. Hitchin, late Under City-Marshal, stood in the Pillory at the End of Catherine-street in the Strand, pursuant to his Sentence at the Old-Baily, for Sodomitical Practices: The Mob treated him so severely, that the Under-Sheriff was obliged to take him down after he had stood little more than half an Hour, to prevent his being murder'd; his Cloaths being torn from his Back, and his Body cruelly beaten. (The London Journal)

20 May 1727

We hear that Mr. Hitchin has brought his Actions against three of the Men who assaulted and wounded him when he stood in the Pillory. (The London Journal) (See also 28 October and 11 November, below.)

William March, for writing a Letter to his Master, threatning to swear Sodomy, if he did not send him a Sum of Money, was fined 1 l. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

8 July 1727

Monday last, at the Sessions at Guildhall, one Sice, a Fan-maker, was convicted of Sodomitical Practices, and is to be sentenced next Monday. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

Saturday, 5 August 1727

They write from Bristol, that on Saturday Morning last two of their Turnpikes were found entirely demolished, as have Three others since, by Persons dress'd in Womens Clothes, and long high-crown'd Hats. (London Journal)

Saturday, 5 August 1727

Information being given that a Party of Sodomites had their Tail Quarters at an empty House near the Bowling Green at Marybone, some Constables went thither with proper Attendance on Sunday last in the Evening, and found 8 of them, one of whom made his Escape, but the other 7 were taken and carried before a Justice of Peace, who committed 5 of them to New-Prison, discharged one, and admitted the other to Bail. (Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

Saturday, 5 August 1727

On Sunday last seven Persons were taken by a Constable, at an empty House at Marybone, on information of being guilty of Sodomitical Practices, five were committed to New Prison, one admitted to bail, and one discharged. (The Country Journal: or, The Craftsman, by Caleb D'Anvers)

26 August 1727

On Sunday Morning a Foot Soldier and a Chairman were taken in the very Act of the detestable Crime of Sodomy, upon the Grass in St. James's Park: The former was sent to the Savoy, and the latter to the Gate-House, for further Examination. (Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer; the same report appeared in the London Journal for 26 Aug.)

31 August 1727

Charles Hitchen, one of the Marshalls of the City of London, intends to dispose of his Place, to the first fair Purchaser. He the abovesaid Charles Hitchen is to be spoke with at the Press-yard adjoining to Newgate. (Daily Courant)

2 September 1727

On Monday last . . . at the Sessions at Guildhall, one Joseph Lee was committed by the Court to Newgate, being sentenced to suffer 6 Months Imprisonment; to pay a Fine of 20 Marks, and to stand in the Pillory at the Royal Exchange, for threatning to swear Sodomy against a Person, in order to extort Money from him. (The London Journal. The same report appeared in the Country Journal: or, The Craftsman for 2 September)

Saturday, 9 September 1727

Last Week Henry Wilson and James Crispe were committed to Newgate for Sodomitical Practices. (Country Journal: or, The Craftsman)

9 September 1727

At the Sessions in the Old Baily, Friday 7-Night, ... John Painter and John Green for Sodomitical Practices in Stepney Church-Porch, sentenced to suffer six Months Imprisonment, and to stand in the Pillory at Ratcliff-Cross.
      Yesterday se'nnight a Gentleman and his Footman were committed to Newgate, from St. James's, for Sodomitical Practices. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer) (The report about Stepney was repeated in the Country Journal: or, The Craftsman for 9 Sept.)

7 October 1727

About a Fortnight ago, a Footman was taken up by the Watch at an unseasonable Hour in Womens Apparel, for which, and for creating a Disturbance in the Street, he was carried to the Gate-House, but was discharged the next Day without Bail, by a certain Gentleman who was pleased at the same time to bind over the honest Watchman to Hick's-Hal: However, we are assured a Complaint will be made above of this very extraordinary Piece of Justice. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

21 October 1727

At the Quarter Sessions held for the City and Liberty of Westminster, John Croucher was convicted of Sodomitical Practices, and was sentenced to stand in the Pillory on Wednesday next in New Palace Yard, to suffer six Months Imprisonment, and to find Surety for his good Behaviour. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer) [The same report was repeated verbatim in Brice's Weekly Journal, Exon, for Friday 27 October, and in the London Journal for 21 October. See also 28 Oct below.]

28 October 1727

On Tuesday . . . Charles Hitchin, Deputy-Marshal of this City, having suffer'd 6 Months Imprisonment in Newgate and paid his Fine of 20 l. was carried before the Lord Mayor to give Bail for his Good Behaviour for 3 Years, pursuant to his Sentence at the Old Bailey for Sodomitical Practices. (The London Journal; the same report was published in the British Journal and in the Country Journal: or, The Craftsman on the same day, which was a Saturday.)

Wednesday one John Croucher, late a Coachman to a Gentleman in Westminster stood in the Pillory in New Palace Yard, for Sodomitical Practices, and was very severely treated by the Populace. (The British Journal) [See 21 Oct above.]

11 November 1727

Charles Hitchin, the Under City Marshal, having suffer'd six Months Imprisonment in Newgate, and paid his Fine, pursuant to his Sentence at the Old Bailey, gave, last Wednesday, Securities for his Good Behaviour for three Years, and was discharged. We hear he hath sold his Place for 700 l. (The London Journal); the same report was published in the British Journal on the same day.


SOURCE: Various newspapers, as noted above, throughout the year 1727. Most of these newspapers were published once a week, on Saturdays.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1726," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 29 April 2000; updated 24 February 2005 <http://www.rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1727news.htm>.


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