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

and Other News Reports, 1729

Saturday, 8 March 1729

On Wednesday the Sessions ended at the Old-Bailey, ... Henry Hambleton, for an Attempt to commit Sodomy, was fined 5 Marks, and order’d three Months Imprisonment, and to find Security for his good Behaviour for a Year. (London Journal)

8 March 1729

Wednesday last the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey . . . Henry Hamilton, for an Attempt to commit Sodomy, fin’d 5 Marks, 3 Months Imprisonment, and to find Security for his good Behaviour for a Year. (The Flying-Post)

Thursday 17 April 1729

On Friday Night last, as one William Cornish was sitting upon a Bench in St. James's Park, John Mitchel, an old Offender, sate down by him, and after beginning some Discourse, (not fit to be mention'd) the said Cornish rose from his Seat, with an Intent to avoid his Company, but Mitchel took hold of him, and swore if he did not give him half a Guinea immediately, he would swear Sodomy agaisnt him, and charge him in Custody of the Centinel; so that the other thro' Fear (not having the Money about him) took him to his House in Drury-lane, where he gave him the Half Guiinea. The next Day the said Mitchel went to his House in the same threatening Manner, demanding three Guineas, which Sum Cornish not being able to raise, immediately offered his Note, and appointed him to come for the Money last Tuesday; in the mean Time he acquainted a Justice of the Peace with the whole Affair, who granted him a Warrant, and he provided a Constable, so that when Mitchel went to receive the three guineas he was secured, and committed on Tuesday to the Gatehouse. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday, 17 May 1729

On Thursday ... one John Mitchell stood in the Pillory at Charing Cross, for charging William Cornish with Sodomy, and taking 10s. 6d. of him for concealing the same. And as one Mrs Sunderland, a Midwife in Downing Street, Westminster, was standing to see him in the Pillory, she had her Pocket pick’d of 10 Guineas. (London Journal) [This is "Nurse Mitchel", a member of James Dalton's gang. See report of his trial.]

Saturday, 31 May 1729

On Saturday last ... the Trial of John Price, a Gentleman’s Servant, came on at Hicks’s Hall on an Indictment for an Attempt to commit Sodomy, and was acquitted. (London Journal)

Sunday 5 June 1729


Yesterday one John Price, a Gentleman's Footman, was committed to New Prison by Geo. Cooke and Jacob Blagny, Esqs. for attempting to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy with one John Ayliffe, Son to a Glasier in Berwick-Street, St. Anne's, and for saying there was more Pleasure in that Crime than in lying with the finest Woman in the World; or Words to that Effect. (Derby Mercury)

12 July 1729

I should have added to my last, but being late could not, that the Sessions ended at the Old Baily on Saturday Night, . . . At the said Sessions Mr. Rowland a Clergyman was try'd, but had not the lead Evidence to prove the Accusation against the two Justices of Peace, as mention'd in our last; it appearing that Justice Ryalton was not present when the Sodomites were brought before the meeting of the Justices, which consisted of 12 or 14 Justices besides Mr. Blackeryviz. seven were committed, three of which were hanged and four Pillored [sic]; he being often called upon to produce Evidence to his Character, could not produce one, adn the jury found him Guilty of writing and publishing a scandalous Libel against the said Justice,and received Sentence accordingly, to stand in the Pillory before the Royal Exchange and Chancery Lane End, and suffer 6 Months Imprisonment. (Ipswich Journal)

Tuesday 15 July 1729

The Grand Jury at the Old Baily, among many other Bills, found one of Indictment brought by Nathaniel Blackerby and Francis Raylton, Esqs. against Mr. Rouland a Justice of the Peace, of having acquitted 12 Sodomites which were brought before them; for which the said Mr. Rouland is to be tried this Session: And 'tis expected they will find a Bill against Bambrige. (Caledonian Mercury)

Thursday 17 July 1729

Yesterday the Grand Jury of London found a Bill of Indictment against Bacon Morris, Esq; and Richard Bullock, for attempting to commit Sodomy. Their Trial is put off till next Sessions. (Caledonian Mercury)

Thursday 17 July 1729

This Day the Rev. Mr. Rowland was tried upon the Indictments mentioned in our last; and it appeared by many Evidences, that Justice Ryalton was not at the Meeting, therefore had no Hand in acquitting the Sodomites. And as to Mr. Justice Blankenberg, it appeared that there was no less than 12 other Justices present, in order to examine these Sodomites; and that 5 of them were then committed, and they against whom there was no Evidence were discharged: So that Mr. Rowland was found guilty. (Caledonian Mercury)

Saturday, 9 August 1729

On Tuesday William Rowland, a poor Clergyman (convicted the last Sessions at the Old Bailey, of writing and publishing a false and scandalous Libel, signed Sodomastix, directed to the Rt. Hon. the Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, containing several scandalous expressions against Thomas Raylton and Nathanael Blackerby, Esqrs; two Gentlemen in the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex, in regard to the Execution of their Office, as to their letting several Persons escape that were brought before them for Sodomitical Practices, insinuated, that it was done either for the sake of Gold, or some other personal Views) stood in the Pillory at the Royal Exchange, in his Canonical Habit, for one Hour, most of which Time he employ’d in reflecting on the Recorder, who pass’d Sentence on him, and on the Justices on whose Account he suffer’d. The People who were drawn together on this Occasion were generally concern’d for him, and several Women as well as Men gave him Money. He was by many thought to be disorder’d in his Senses. He is likewise to stand in the Pillory at Chancery-Lane End, and to suffer six Months Imprisonment. (London Journal)

Thursday 21 August 1729

At the Assizes last Week at Worcester, five Persons received Sentence of Death, viz. Thomas Chance, for Sodomy; . . . [and was] order'd for Execution. (Stamford Mercury)

SOURCE: Newspapers, as noted above. The London Journal was published once a week, on Saturdays.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Sodomastix and Other News Reports, 1728," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 3 March 2005, updated 10 December 2014, 2 September 2020 <>.

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