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

A Well-Hung Blackmailer, 1729

NOTE: John Mitchel was also known as "Nurse Mitchel" and was a member of James Dalton's Gang.

John Mitchel, was indicted for a Misdemeanour, in charging William Cornish with committing Sodomy, and taking 10 s. and 6 d. of him for concealing the said Crime.

William Cornish depos'd, That being in St. James's Park on the 29th of March, near 9 a-Clock at Night, he sat down on a Bench by him, and ask'd him, if he was a Gentleman's Servant? telling him, that he liv'd with his Father, an Upholster in Gerard-Street, and that he, the Prisoner could show 9 Inches; asking the Prosecutor if he could? Upon this, he, the Prosecutor, went away; but he collar'd him, and told him, If he did not give him a Guinea, he would swear Sodomy to him; telling him, he had got so much Money of such a One, and so much of such a One, on the same Account; and that when he wanted Money, he took a Walk in the Park, and got 4 or 5 Guineas a-Night of Gentlemen, because they would not be expos'd; and told the Prosecutor, he would follow him wherever he went; that at length he came to half a Guinea, and he went to a Friend and borrow'd half a Guinea; and 3 Days after the Prisoner came, and wanted to borrow 3 Guineas, saying, he would give him a Note for it, and put the Half Guinea into the Sum; upon this, he procur'd him to be apprehended. The Fact being plainly prov'd, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. And the Court order'd him to stand on the Pillory at Charing-Cross, to suffer 3 Months Imprisonment , and to pay a Fine of 10 l. [See News report for 1729.]

SOURCE: The Proceedings at the Sessions of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer for the City of London: And On the King's Commission of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, for the City of London and County of Middlesex, On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, being the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th, and Monday and Thursday, being the 21st and 24th of April, 1729, in the Second Year of His MAJESTY's Reign.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Well-Hung Blackmailer, 1729", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 4 January 2011 <>.

Return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England