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

Newspaper Reports, 1730–1731


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)

18–25 April 1730

From Stajley's News-Letter, April 23.
This Day one Nicholas Ellis, alias Hill, stood in the Pillory in Gracechurch Street, for sending Letters to a Person in the said Street, threatning if he gave him not 10 Guineas, to swear Sodomy against him, and during the whole Hour that he stood he was pelted with rotten Eggs, Dirt, &c. to such a Degree, that it is matter of Question whether he will survive this Chastisement. (Ipswich 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. Martinís-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 tryíd . . . 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)

22–30 May 1730

From Stanley's News-Letter, May 26.
Yesterday Isaac Broderick the School-Master stood in the Pillory at Ratcliff Cross, for attempting to commit Sodomy on two of his Scholars, and was severely treated by the Populace, notwithstanding there was a Party of the Foot Guards there, to prevent Disorders.
          Also the same Morning Isaac Broderick attempted to cut his Throat in Newgate, but missed his Windpipe. (Ipswich 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)

7 July 1730

We hear that Emanuel Russel, committed last Monday for Sodomy, has since impeached several of his wretched Accomplices, some whereof have since been taken up, and diligent Search is making after the rest. It is said this Gang consists of 30 or 40 of those vile Wretches. (Caledonian Mercury)

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.]

Thursday, 1 October 1730

Canterbury, Sept. 23.   On Monday last Abraham Hayward, an Hostler at the Mermaid in this City, and one Ralh Holdbrook, were close confined in the West-gate, for committing with each other the detestable Sin of Sodomy. They were suspected by both being lock'd into the House of Office together; and 'tis said that the Boy being strictly examined, made Confession of the same, as also the Man, and signed them. (Caledonian Mercury)

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. Paulís 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 Yearís 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. Paulís, stood in the Pillory in St. Paulís 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)

19 January 1731

This Day John Bambridge stood in the Pillory at Palace Yard, Westminster, pursuant to his Sentence, being convicted of Sodomitical Practices; and was immediately after discharged. (Caledonian Mercury)

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. Paulís; 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)

11 November 1731

On Saturday Mr. Maynard, formerly a Shoemaker on Ludgate Hill, stood in the Pillory at the End of Ormond-street, pursuant to his Sentence at Hicks's-Hall, for a Misdemeanor, in threatning to swear Sodomy against a Footman, and by that means extorting Money from him; he is also to suffer six Months Imprisonment. (Stamford Mercury)

7 December 1731

We see in a Post-Boy, an OVERTURE (said to be made by an eminment Gentleman of the Kingdom of Ireland) to the Legislature, for Castrating, in stead of hanging all Thieves, Robbers, &c. Among the various plausible Reasons furnish'd by the Author, for this Proceeding, are these following, viz. That Castration is no where prohibited in the Holy Writ. That among the Ancients, several Eunuchs have made a very considereable Figure; and that some of them have been advanced to be Ministers of State in the Eastern Countries. That from the dying Speeches of most Criminals of that Sort, it appears that they have been led into these wicked Practices by lewd Women. That frequently, on Trials of Robbers, Jurymen are tender and timorous in their Verdict, so that they bring it in Ignoramus, even when the Proof is pretty clear; and when they are Transported as Felons, they seldom fail to return, greater Rogues that before: Whereas, if Castration only were to be inflicted, the Jury would more readily bring in, Guilty. Castration would also effectually prevent all Fears of any Issue from these Wretches, whose Posterity rarely incline to follow any other way of Living that that of their Forefathers. That if this Overture were pass'd into a Lqw, Mothers, Nurses, and other Guardians of Youth, would (for proper Reasons) take special Care to check and punish the most trifling Beginnings of Thieving, &c. in order to prevent anirretrievable Loss. That as eunuchs are distinguishe'd for their fine Voices, much Money might be saved by the Castration of Felons, that is now thrown away upon Italian and other Foreign Musicians. That Eunuchs would be the best Guardians of our Wives, Daughters, &c. Castration would be likewise effectually preventive of the abominable and unnatural Crimes of Rape and Sodomy, to which these Profligates are generally addicted. Finally, the Author observes, That upon an Insurrection some Time ago in the Island of Barbadoes, the Negroes having got up in Arms against their Masters, were at last reduc'd to Obedience; whereupon it was resolved, (as putting these Mutineers to Death would prove a great Loss) to Castrate them. And tho' this Operation was performed the Surgeons of Ships, who had never seen the like Performance; yet very few (if any) dies of the Cure. And adds, That the Fears of Castration had such Influence on these People, (which seldom the Terrors of Hanging have) that ever since they continued quiet and peaceable. (Caledonian Mercury)


CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1731", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 23 July 2018 <http://www.rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1731news.htm>.


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