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

Newspaper Reports

The Dutch Purge of Homosexuals


The major anti-gay purge of the eighteenth century occurred in the Netherlands. In April 1730 some men were arrested in Utrecht; they incriminated others, and on 21 July the States of Holland issued a Placat, posted in every town, that set off wide-scale persecution. The document began with the customary warnings about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, then lamented that no laws had heretofore been provided to punish "this execrable crime of sodomy", and concluded with its measures for obliterating this evil: that sodomy be punished by death, that those who offer their homes for its commission also die, that their corpses be burned to ashes and thrown into the sea "or exposed as unworthy of burial", that the names of the convicted — including the fugitives — be publicly posted, and that the magistrates be specially authorised to investigate thoroughly any suspicions, particularly against those who mysteriously flee the province.

Some 250 men were summoned before the authorities; 91 faced decrees of exile for not appearing. At least 60 men were sentenced to death. For example: In Amsterdam, Pieter Marteyn Janes Sohn and Johannes Keep, decorator, were strangled and burnt, 24 June 1730; Maurits van Eeden, house servant, and Cornelis Boes, age 18, Keep's servant, were each immersed alive in a barrel of water and drowned, 24 June; Laurens Hospuijn, Chief of Detectives in the Navy, was strangled and thrown into the water with a 100-pound weight, 16 September. At The Hague, Frans Verheyden, Cornelis Wassemaar, milkman, Pieter Styn, embroiderer of coats, Dirk van Royen, and Herman Mouilliont, servant, were hanged and afterwards thrown into the sea at Scheveningen with 50-pound weights, 12 June; Pieter van der Hal, grain carrier, Adriaen Kuyleman, glove launderer, David Muntslager, agent, and Willem la Feber, tavern keeper, were hanged and thrown into the sea with 100-pound weights, 21 July. In Kampen: Jan Westhoff and Steven Klok, soldiers, were strangled on the scaffold and buried under the gallows, 29 June. In Rotterdam, Leendert de Haas, age 60, candlemaker, Casper Schroder, distiller, Huibert v. Borselen, gentleman's servant, were strangled, burnt, and their ashes carried in an ash cart out of the city and then by ship to the sea and thrown overboard, 17 July. And at Zuidhorn, at least twenty-two men were executed on 24 September 1731, including Gerrit Loer, age 48, farmer; Hendrik Berents, age 32; Jan Berents, age 19 — all scorched while alive and then strangled and burnt to ashes; twelve others aged 20-45 were strangled and burnt; and eight youths aged 16-19 were strangled and burnt, including Jan Ides, age 18, who said upon hearing his sentence: "I forgive you for the sin which you have committed against me."

It seems as though most of the men were literally "guilty" of being homosexual, that is, this is properly described as a pogrom or a reign of terror, rather than a hysterical witch-hunt which rounded up "innocent" people falsely accused of being witches. The astonishing purges of 1730 were widely reported in the English newspapers (mainly in June and July), and probably sent men running for cover even in England. The English news reports also state that many Dutch sodomites fled to England — where they unfortunately were not accorded the same reception as refugees from religious persecution. One of these men was probably Peter Vivian whose trial I reproduce on another page. Hendrick Froomcliff arrested in London in June was also probably a Dutch refugee. Early in July the Dutch Government persuaded the British Government to suppress reports in the English press.

(Note: European countries adopted the Gregorian or New Style calendar long before Britain, with the result that reports from the Hague dated "N.S." are eleven days "ahead of" Britain. This is why some reports from the Hague are dated the same day or even a day later than the British newspaper they were published in, despite requiring time to reach Britain overseas.
The reports related to this Dutch purge are grouped together, followed by gay-relevant reports from the British press.)

Rictor Norton

6 June 1730

Hague, June 6.   There is a miserable Scene of Iniquity lately open'd in these Countries. It is about a Fortnight since the Court of Holland have had under Prosecution Seven young Persons for the detestable Sin of Sodomy, formerly unknown in these Parts, and confined to the South Side of the Alps: Several have been seized upon this Score at Leyden, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Campen, and in short in almost all the Provinces. Men talk of a List of 5 or 600 of these unnatural Wretches. (London Journal)

8 June 1730

We hear by the last Mail from Holland, that seven Persons convicted for Sodomy had been executed at the Hague, and that 13 others were to be executed at Amsterdam; and that several Persons of Distinction, accused of the like Crime, absconded, and among them some eminent Merchants. (The Daily Journal. The identical report was reprinted verbatim in several newspapers, e.g. Fog's Weekly Journal for 13 June; and The Country Journal, or the Craftsman for 13 June.)

11 June 1730

Twenty-two Persons, convicted of Sodomy, have been publickly executed in Holland, and 'tis believed some Persons who were missing and suspected thereof, have been privately executed. (The Daily Journal)

13 June 1730

Hague, June 13.   On the 6th I wrote you some Account of the Progress the detestable Sin of Sodomy had lately made in these Countries; and that there were Seven young Persons under Prosecution for the same: I hinted at the same time, that if any of them were found Guilty, they would meet with a Fate in some measure adequate to their Crime. Now this serves to acquaint you, that Yesterday Seven of those vile Wretches were, after Conviction, publickly executed here, though if Money could have been of any Use to them, (I am sorry to say it) none would perhaps have been wanting to commute the Punishment: But, to the immortal Honour of the Courts of Justice in these Provinces, there is no Respect of Persons in such Cases. The Seven first Persons above-mentioned were first hanged, then Two of them burnt, and the other Five carried to Scheveling, and thrown into the Sea. (London Journal)

13 June 1730

Twenty two Persons, convicted of Sodomy, have been publickly executed in Holland; and ’tis believed some Persons, who were missing and suspected thereof, have been privately executed. (London Journal)

17 June 1730 [Wednesday]

On Thursday last, betimes in the Morning, it was observed by the Populace at Amsterdam, that 16 Coffins were carried from their City-House, or Guildhall, which Coffins were supposed to contain Bodies that had been privately executed for Sodomy, of the richer Sort of People; and that Morning about 29 Persons, of mean Extraction, were to have been publickly executed for the like Crime, but the Populace arising in Arms, and demanding publick Execution of the Rich as well as of the Poor, (there then being about 300 of all Ranks in Prison in that City, accused of that Crime, and some of them of great Note and Substance) the Magistrates were oblig'd to send to the Hague for Assistance to quell this Mob, which was very outrageous; upon which 1000 Soldiers were sent to their Assistance. A List is published of those vile Wretches that are now in Custody. Several Gentlemen that were gone to their Country Seats, were returned to their Places of Abode, partly to take Care of their own Affairs, in this dangerous Time, and partly to convince People of their being free from any Fear or Apprehension. The same Cause had occasioned the like Tumults at the Hague, Rotterdam, &c. We hear, that, hoping to appease the People, the Magistrates promised a Number of Persons of Distinction should be publickly executed as Tomorrow, on which Day a Parson was to be burnt alive at Rotterdam. (The Daily Journal. The identical report was reprinted verbatim in other newspapers, e.g. The Weekly Journal, or The British Gazeteer for 20 June; and The Country Journal, or the Craftsman for 20 June.)

19 June 1730

They write from Holland, that on the 7th of June, N.S. by Order of the High Court of Holland, the following Persons were publickly cited to appear before them on Monday the 3d of July following, on Pain of Banishment and Confiscation of their Estates, to answer to such Crimes as should be laid to their Charge, viz.

Mr. Jacob Cornelise Backer, Sheriff of Buuren.
Ockeze, Lord of Schonewal.
Johan van Meeuwen, of Hynsburg.
Mr. Jacob van Wouw, High Officer of Delft.
Gerrit de Witte, Ensign in the Foot Guards.
Cornelis Simonis.
Petrus de Vos, of the Hospital by the English Church.
Pieter Schoute.
Boudewyn, late a Servant.
Abraham Lapeer, a Mat-Seller.
Duziroo, a Peruke-Maker.
Gerrit Stronk.
Maatys, late a Servant.
Jan Degenaar, alias Ruytie.
Samuel Cohen de Wallenzo, alias Belgrado, a Portuguese Jew.
(The Daily Journal)

20 June 1730

By Yesterday's Holland Mail we learn, that the Common People were pretty well appeased, some more Sodomites having been publickly executed, and being assured there will be no more suffer in private. (The Daily Journal)

20 June 1730

We are informed, that some of the Sodomites who lately made their Escape from Holland, are safely arrived here; but, however, they have taken up their Quarters in a certain End of this vertuous Town, where they will hardly be able to corrupt their Neighbours. (Fog's Weekly Journal. This report was reprinted on 25 June in The Grub-street Journal, with their own editorial comment: "I am of opinion, that all Ends are very secure.")

Hague, June 27. N.S. [The Dutch calendar differed from the British calendar.] The prosecution of the Sodomites here is carried on with a rigour in some sort answerable to the heinousness of their crime; the guilty being made most terrible examples, without respect of persons. Beside the 7 formerly mentioned, 2 have been burnt, and 2 publicly drowned on a scaffold at Amsterdam. All the towns seem to be infected with this unnatural sin. The prisons are full at Leyden, Delft, Rotterdam, here, and at Amsterdam. In short, all ranks are infected to that degree, that the magistrates are almost at a loss, how to extinguish this infernal heat. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

27 June 1730

Rotterdam, July 5. N.S. The Prosecution of the Sodomites is carried on with the utmost Rigour (The Daily Journal)

4 July 1730

Hague, July 7.   The Baron Van Renswoude, First Noble of the Province of Utrecht, does not yet appear, but is said to be gone to Venice. Be that as it will, he has been formally divested of all his Employs, and was charged home by several of the Wretches executed both at the Hague and at Utrecht, who gave him the horrid Appellation of Bougre Bougrissimo [Greatest of all Buggers]. This is the more extraordinary, because he is on the wrong Side of 70. At Amsterdam there has been a sort of Decimation introduced; Four of those detested Criminals have been publickly executed there, Two of them were half strangled, then burnt with Straw; and the other Two cast into large Tons [tuns, barrels], and drown’d upon a Stage. After this, they were all Four carry’d and thrown into the Zuyder Zee, where 30 others were drown’d in Sacks a few Days before, with Cannon Bullets at their Feet. The second Citations against some that disappear, were expected the 3d or 4th Instant, but were postponed, as it is presumed, till the State has made a more severe Law against that abominable Vice. (London Journal)

8 July 1730

Some Persons have lately been executed in Holland for the detestable Crime of Sodomy, to wit, seven at the Hague, and four at Amsterdam, and some are still under Prosecution; but we are credibly inform'd that this Affair has been very much misrepresented and magnified: And that the Particulars in the Paragraph in this Paper of June the 17th, and in several other Papers in the Article of London, relating to the Prosecution and Punishment of some Persons at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague, are entirely false and groundless, and seem to have been calculated and designed to give a bad Impression of the Magistrates, and of the good Inhabitants of the principal Towns in Holland, of which the Minister of their High Mightinesses at this Court hath made Complaints to the Government, in order to prevent such groundless Stories being inserted in the publick Papers for the future. (The Daily Journal) (A nearly identical 'retraction' was published in the London Journal on 11 July, differing slightly in its closing lines: 'And we are assured, that the Minister of their High Mightinesses at this Court has made Complaints to the Government, in order to have the Authors of such vile Reports discovered and punished. We thought proper to publish this, to discourage News-writers from publishing false Accounts of Affairs, and to undeceive their Readers, whomay have too easily given Credit to these false and groundless Relations.']

9 July 1730

Saturday, July 4. We are credibly informed, that a Paragraph in the S. James's Even. Post, June 18. and one in the D. Journal, June 17. both relating to the prosecution and punishing some persons for Sodomy at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague, is [are] intirely false and groundless, &c. And we are assured, that the Minister of their H. Mightinesses has made complaints to the Government, in order to have the Authors discovered and punished. We thought proper to publish this to discourage News-writers, from publishing false accounts, &c. — We may, no doubt, expect soon an account, either that no such executions, as lately mentioned, have been in Holland, or that they were the punishments of other crimes. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Whitehall Evening Post)

Hague, July 11. N.S. [The Dutch calendar differed from the British calendar.] The States of Holland being informed, that some of the London News-papers had exaggerated the story of the Sodomites in their country; and made mention of disturbances, and other circumstances, for which there was no ground; they proposed to send instructions to Mynheer Hop to complain thereof, that the said persons may be more cautious for the future. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

23 July 1730

Foreign News. July 18. Yesterday three Sodomites were executed at Rotterdam, by being strangled and burnt with straw. There was executed at the same time a man for counterfeiting the coin, who did nothing but deplore his misfortune of dying in such company. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The St. James's Evening Post)

Hague, July 25. N.S. [The Dutch calendar differed from the British calendar.] This day a Placaert [sic] of the States of Holland and West-Friesland was sent to the Towns to be published, concerning the commission of the detestable sin of Sodomy, and ordering that for the future it shall be openly punish'd with death, &c. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

29 August 1730

Hague, Sept. 1.   Last Week a Dutch Minister at Viana, three Leagues from Utrecht, absconded by Night from that Place, being accused of Sodomy, not only by and with some of those who have been lately executed, but by others whom he has endeavoured to seduce to that unnatural Crime; and ’tis said he was so harden’d in his Iniquity, that he has attempted to prove, from Pasages of Scripture, that it was not only not a Sin, but a Practice more acceptable to the Deity, than the Love of Women! (London Journal)

19 September 1730

Hague, Sept. 19.   The Arch-Hypocrite Mor——n and others accused of the Unnatural Crime of Sodomy have been cited a 2d time, and ’tis thought that on their not appearing for their Justification at the 3d Citation, that they will be condemned to be hanged in Effigie. (London Journal)

26 September 1730

Hague, Sept. 29.   The living Evidences against a Dutch Clergyman, who has been accused of Sodomitical Practices, having absented or been removed by his Interest, (for he is rich,) he came back last Week to his House. He was sent for by the Magistrates, but declin’d going on Account of an Indisposition; whereupon they sent an open Waggon to his House, with Orders to the Officers to bring him, willing or not; and he was accordingly brought in his Night-Gown to the State-House, where he was examined, which Examination is still kept secret, but he was afterwards permitted to return home on Bail. (London Journal)

10 October 1730

Hague, October 10.   Since the Return of the Clergyman belonging to Viana, there have been no less than Twelve Persons executed publickly in Leward in Friseland, for the unnatural Act of Sodomy: and last Friday the Provost of the Cathedral of Utrecht was also executed for the said Crime; but, thro’ the Intercession of his Friends, his Execution was in private, — As several of those that suffer’d have accus’d many others, Yesterday a Council was held on that Occasion. Upon which Two Persons have absented themselves; and an Enquiry is order’d after the others accused. (London Journal)

15 October 1730

Hague, Oct. 30 [N.S.]. Mons. M——n has been cited a 3d time by the Court of Holland, for Sodomy; and the Fiscal has order'd an inventory to be taken of his effects. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

Friday 12 October 1731

Hague, Oct. 9. Since the 5th Inst. we have had a great Number of Sentences affixed up at all the Corners of the Streets and other usual Places, against the Sodomites who are fled abroad; and a List of their Names has been printed by Order of the Court of Justice of Holland. Those Sentences are to the amount of 35; an Extract of one of which I have sent you for a Specimen; and the rather, because it is against one of the richest and most notorious of all that abominable Tribe.
       The court of Holland having seen the Conclusion of the Attorney General of Holland, Zealand and Friesland, taken in the Name of the Sovereignty and County of the said Provinces, against John-Francis de Morin, who lived here at the Hague, and was summoned, but conceals himself in contempt of the Court.
       The said Court having maturely weighed and examined, in full Council, every thing relating to the said Affair, doing Justice in the Name of the Sovereignty and County of Holland, Zealand and Friesland, have, for such his Contempt, verified by the Attorney General, precluded, and by virtue of these Presents they do preclude the said Morin from all Exceptions whatsoever, or other Delays of Justice, which he might have made use of if he had appeared; and also banishes him for ever, for the Crime of Sodomy by him committed, from the Countries of Holland, Zealand, Friesland and Utrecht, whither he is never to return upon Pain of greater Punishment; discharging the Attorney-General of his other conclusions and Demands taken against the said Morin; condemning the said Morin to pay Costs of Suit, as they are taxed by this Court. Done at the Hague the 5th of October, 1731.
           John Thierry Register.
N.B. All those who are included in this Condemnation are banished for ever; but some of them are forbid to return into the Jurisdiction upon Pain of Death; among whom is the famous Poet le Grange. (Caledonian Mercury)

. . . and the rest of the news in England

28 March 1730

On Wednesday Night several Persons were apprehended at an Alehouse by the Seven Dials, on Suspicion of Sodomy; and being examined before a Justice of the Peace, three of them were committed to New-Prison, two were bailed, and the rest discharged. (London Journal)

7 April 1730

Yesterday at the Sessions of Peace for the City of London, held at Guildhall, before the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, &c. one Fell, formerly a Footman, was tried and found guilty on an Indictment for sending several Letters, threatening to swear Sodomy agaisnt a Gentleman living in Gracechurch-street, in order to extort Money from him. (The Daily Journal)

9 April 1730

Tuesday, April 7. Yesterday at the Sessions at Guildhall, one Richard Ellis, alias Rogers, alias John Thomas Hill, was try'd upon an Indictment preferred against him for a misdemeanor, for endeavouring to extort Money from Jeremiah Amet, by threatening to swear Sodomy against him, which was proved, and he was ordered to stand in the Pillory in Gracechurch-street, and to suffer three months Imprisonment. (The Grub-street Journal)

23 April 1730

Saturday, April 18. Yesterday one Isaac Broderick of the Hamlet of Ratcliff and Parish of Stepney, was committed to Newgate by Justice Jones, on the oath of Will. Ham and Edw. Coale, for committing sodomitical practices on their several bodies. He is a school-master, and they his scholars. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Post) (See also reports for 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, and 11 June, and his trial)

30 April 1730

Friday, April 24. Yesterday at noon Richard Ellis, alias Rogers, alias Tho. Hill, who was convicted at the Sessions at Guildhall on the 6th instant, of endeavouring to extort money from Jeremiah Amet, a Woollen draper's journeyman in Gracechurch-street, stood in the pillory in the said street, pursuant to his sentence, and was very ruffly treated by the populace. (The Grub-street Journal)

7 May 1730

Saturday, May 2. Thursday last 2 Persons were taken in the detestable sin of Sodomy, in the Green-park, the back-side of Buckingham-house: one of which found means to make his escape from the person who had him in custody; but the other, whose name is Thom. Dogson, being examined before Justice Cook, was yesterday committed to Newgate. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

9 May 1730

The Beginning of this Week one Tho. Woodcock, a Fruiterer in St. Martin’s-Lane, was committed to New-Prison by Justice Glagney, for threatning to swear Sodomy against Richard Oliver, Footman to the Lady Fitzwalter, if he did not give him Victuals, Drink, and Money, and for endeavouring to rob him of a Silver Watch; and the said Oliver is bound over to prosecute him at the ensuing Sessions at the Old Bailey. (London Journal)

14 May 1730

Yesterday Isaac Broderick, the School-master in Ratcliff, lately committed to Newgate by Tho. Jones, Esq; for sodomitical practices, was carried from Newgate by a Habeas Corpus to Westminster, in order to be admitted to bail, but was brought back again. (The Grub-street Journal) (See also reports for 23 April, 21 May, 28 May, and 11 June, and his trial)

16 May 1730

On Thursday above 20 Malefactors were try’d . . . Isaac Broderick, the Ratcliff Schoolmaster, was found guilty upon two several Indictments, for assaulting two of his Scholars, with an Intent to commit Sodomy with them. (London Journal)

21 May 1730

Friday, May 15. Yesterday . . . Is. Broderick, a school-master, was tried at the Old-Baily, for an assault on 2 of his scholars, with intent to commit the detestable sin of sodomy; and found guilty of both indictments. (The Grub-street Journal) (See also reports for 23 April, 14 May, 28 May, and 11 June, and his trial)

Saturday, May 16. Yesterday . . . Isaac Broderick, the school-master, who was found guilty of a misdemeanor upon 2 indictments of an assault, with an intent to commit sodomy upon 2 boys about 10 years of age, who were his scholars, was sentenced to stand in the pillory twice; once at Charing-cross, and once at Ratcliffe, where the offence was committed; to be imprisoned 3 months, and to pay a fine of 20 nobles. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Journal)

28 May 1730

Tuesday, May 23. Yesterday Is. Broderick the school-master stood in the pillory at Ratcliff-cross, and was severely treated by the populace, notwithstanding there was a party of foot-guards there, to prevent disorders. The same morning he attempted to cut his throat in Newgate; but missed his wind-pipe. (The Grub-street Journal) (See also reports for 23 April, 14 May, 21 May, and 11 June, and his trial)

11 June 1730

Saturday, June 6. This day at noon Is. Broderick stood in the Pillory at Charing-cross for attempting to commit Sodomy. (St. James's Evening Post). He was severely pelted by the Mob, several women amongst them shewing their resentment by throwing eggs and dirt at him. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Evening Post) (See also reports for 23 April, 14 May, 21 May, and 28 May, and his trial)

13 June 1730

On Saturday last Isaac Broderick stood in the Pillory at Charing-Cross, and was severely pelted by the Populace.
         The same Day William Black and Hendrick Froomcliff were committed to Newgate by Justice Webster for Sodomitical Practices, on the Oath of Jabez Barton. (London Journal) [Hendrick Froomcliff was presumably a refugee from the purges in Holland.]
         Last Saturday ... William Black and Hendrick Froomcliff were committed to Newgate by John Webster, Esq; on the Oath of Jabez Barton, for Sodomitical Practices; and the said Barton is confined in Tothill-Fields Bridewell. (The Weekly Journal: or, The British-Gazetteer)

22 June 1730

Late on Friday Night last James Groves and William George were taken by the Centinel in the Privy Gardens, they being charged with Sodomitical Practices: And being the next Day examined before Justice Blackerby and Justice Lawson, they were both committed to the Gate-house. (The Daily Journal)

2 July 1730

Wednesday, July 1. We hear, that Emanuel Russel, committed to Newgate a monday last, for Sodomitical Practices, has impeach'd several of his wretched Accomplices, some of whom have been taken up. It is said the Gang consists of between 30 and 40. P. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Post-Boy)

15 July 1730

Yesterday a Person charged with committing the detestable Sin of Sodomy, was committed to Newgate by Sr Wm. Billers. (Daily Journal)

16 July 1730

Wednesday, July 15. Gilb. Lawrence was committed to Newgate on the oath of Paul Oliver, for committing the unnatural sin of Sodomy with him against his consent. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Post, adding: Paul Oliver a lad of 15, citing The Daily Courant)

30 July 1730

Thursday, July 23. Yesterday one Hays was committed to the New Gaol in Southwark for sodomy; and we hear, he has impeached 7 of his accomplices. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Journal)

1 August 1730

On Monday . . . Peter Vivian was committed to Newgate by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, on the Oath of John Brainsford, for assaulting him in the Street, with an intent to commit Sodomy with him. (London Journal) [See his trial.]

3 September 1730

Monday, Aug. 31. On saturday last at the sessions in the Old Bailey, the following Malefactors were capitally convicted, viz. Gilbert Laurence, on the oath of Paul Oliver, for forcibly committing with him the unnatural sin of Sodomy; Andrew Dalton, for stealing from John Rawlings a horse, a gold headed cane, and other things; Nicholas Gilbourne, for robbing John Hall, near Paddington, of 40 yards of silk and 4 pair of stockings. (he Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Courant and The Daily Post) [Laurence was hanged at Tyburn on Wednesday 7 October.]

5 September 1730

Tuesday night the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey, when 11 Malefactors received Sentence of Death, viz. Gilbert Laurence, for Sodomy . . . [and others for other felonies]. (London Journal) [See his trial.]

19 September 1730

On Thursday Marmaduke Hart, Butler to the Right Hon. the Lord Colerain, was committed by his Lordship and Ralph Harwood, Esq; to New Prison, for attempting the detestable Sin of Sodomy on a Corn-Factor of Thames-street. (London Journal) [Also reported in the Grub-streeet Journal on 24 September.]

10 October 1730

On Wednesday the 5 following Malefactors were executed at Tyburn, viz. . . . Gilbert Lawrence . . . [and four others]. (London Journal) [See his trial.]

16 October 1730

We hear from Woodbridge in Suffolk, that one Clark, a Victualler, was to stand in the Pillory there this Day, for an Attempt to commit Sodomy. (The Daily Journal)

Tuesday 17 October 1730

LONDON, October 20.

On Saturday one Hart, Butler to the Lord Colerane, was try'd at Hick's-Hall, on an Indictment found against him, for an Assault committed by him on the Body of Mr. John Watson of Islington, with an Intent to commit Sodomy: It appeared by the Evidence, that Mr. Watson lay at the Lord's House, in an Apartment appointed for him; and some Time after he was in Bed, the Prisoner came to Bed to him and discovered his beastly Intentions, which he resisted, and raising the Family had him secured. The Tryal lasted near four Hours, and the Evidence appearing very clear and strong against him, he was found guilty of the Indictment. (Ipswich Journal. His sentence is given here.)

19 October 1730

On Saturday one Hart, Butler to a Nobleman of Ireland, was tried at Hicks's-Hall, on an Indictment for an Assault on the Body of Mr. John Watson of Islington, with an Intent to commit Sodomy: The Trial laster near four Hours, and the Evidence appearing very plain, he was found Guilty. (The Daily Journal)

19 November 1730

Monday Nov. 16. On saturday last John Jones and John Lewis were committed to Newgate by the Lord Mayor, they being charged with extorting money from Mr. Richard Battle, by threatning to swear sodomy against him. (The Grub-street Journal) (See also their trial and two reports for 24 December)

3 December 1730

A person now in Newgate for robbing on the highway has impeached 2 of his accomplices, viz. a woman, who dresses herself in man's cloaths, and a young man about 23 years of age: and several people are gone in pursuit of them into a certain country, where they are gone in order to rob. (The Grub-street Journal)

12 December 1730

Wednesday Night the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey when . . . William Hollowell the Beadle, for attempting to commit Sodomy upon William Huggins in St. Paul’s Church, was sentenced to stand in the Pillory before the said Church, fined 40l. and to suffer six Months, Imprisonment; and William Huggins the Waterman, for permitting the same, to stand in the Pillory, and to suffer eight Months Imprisonment. (London Journal)

12 December 1730

Wednesday John Lewis and John Jones were convicted for extorting 10 Guineas of John Battle, and on Pretence of swearing Sodomy against him, and received Sentence to stand in the Pillory twice, to suffer a Year’s Imiprisonment, and find Securities for their good Behaviour for three Years. (London Journal)

24 December 1730

Yesterday [18 Dec.] John Lewis and John Jones stood on the pillory at the Royal-Exchange, for conspiring to charge John Battle with Sodomy, and extorting money from him on that pretence. They were severely handled by the populace. (The Grub-street Journal) (See also their trial and report for 19 November, and another report below)

Saturday, Dec. 19. This day Will. Halliwell, the old Beadle, and Will. Huggins, the young Waterman stood in the pillory in S. Paul's Church-yard, for sodomitical practices on the great staircase leading to the top of S. Paul's. Halliwell is also to pay 40l. fine, and to suffer 6 months imprisonment, and Huggins to suffer 8. They were severely handled by the Populace, who tore their cloaths off their backs, and then whipt them desperately, and pelted them with mud, rotten eggs, &c. They were taken down 25 minutes before their time was expired, on account they were judg'd to be expiring. Yesterday Hollowell lay at the point of death. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Post, The Daily Journal and The Post-Boy) (See full text of their trial). [He died in prison; see report below for 6 March 1731.]

Tuesday, Dec. 22. Yesterday John Jones and John Lewes stood in the pillory in Crutched-Friars and were so severely treated by the mob, that it is thought they cannot recover. (The Grub-street Journal, citing The Daily Courant, The Daily Post, The Daily Journal and The Post-Boy)

26 December 1730

On Saturday last the Beadle and the young Waterman that were convicted at the late Sessions in the Old Baily, of Sodomitical Practices in the Cathedral of St. Paul’s, stood in the Pillory in St. Paul’s Church-yard, and were very severely used by the Populace. (London Journal)

14 January 1731

One Bambridge, for attempting to commit sodomy, [on 9 January] was sentenced to stand once in the pillory, and to pay a fine of 1s. (Grub-street Journal)

6 March 1731

On Tuesday Night died in Newgate, William Hallowell, the old Beadle of Sadlers Hall: He was tried some time since at the Old Baily, for an Attempt to commit Sodomy with William Huggins, a young Waterman, on the great Stairs in the Cathedral of St. Paul’s; and being found Guilty, received Sentence to pay a Fine of 40l., to stand in the Pillory, and to suffer six Months Imprisonment. (London Journal)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, as noted above. Most of these newspapers were published once a week, on Saturdays, but some were published three times a week.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, The Dutch Purge of Homosexuals, 1730," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. Updated 13 September 2000; reorganized and expanded 21 July 2002; updated 17 November 2011 <>.

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