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

Newspaper Reports, 1732


Thursday 10 January 1732

Wye's Letter Verbatim, London, Jan. 4.

'Tis buzz'd about, that a certain Common Council man of this City [London] has lately been detected in the detestable Sin of Sodomy; but as he is a Man otherwise respected, and has a Wife and three Children, 'tis supposed the Matter will by some Means or other be accommodated. (Caledonian Mercury)

Thursday, 13 January 1732

Friday, Jan. 7.   Last wednesday died at Weybridge in Surrey, Jonathan Beesaiz, Esq; and has left 5000 l. by his will to a private Centinel of the foot guards. (Grub-street Journal)

Thursday, 3 February 1732

The latter end of last week died at his lodgings near Lancaster-Court in the Strand, Capt. Stephens. He has left, by his will, 1000 l. to a poor Cobbler in Southwark. DJ.— If this Cobler [sic] buy a Place, civil or military, it will make him a Gentleman. (Grub-street Journal)

Thursday, 17 February 1732

Friday, Feb. 11. Yesterday morning died Tho. Howard, Esq; a Gentleman of a plentiful fortune, and has left 2000 l. to one Stephens, a Journeyman Shoe-maker. DJ. — Will not this legacy make Crispin an Esquire? (Grub-street Journal)

Thursday 28 February 1732

LONDON.

On Saturday 3 Gentlemen were taken in Custody by the Centinels in St. James's Park, for Sodomitical Practices.
       On Sunday Morning two Men were detected in the abominable Sin of Sodomy in Hedge lane, near Licester [sic] Fields, and committed. (Caledonian Mercury)

Friday 7 March 1732

LONDON

On Monday last, at the Sessions held at Hicks hall for the County of Middlesex, a Frenchman was fully convicted of attempting to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy, on a young Gentleman who innocently came into his Company: And he was ordered to hard Labour for a Month in Bridwell [sic]. (Caledonian Mercury)

Thursday, 9 March 1732

Thursday, March 2. On monday last, at the Sessions at Hicks’s-Hall, a French man was try’d for attempting to commit the detestable sin of Sodomy, on a young Gentleman, who by accident came into his company; the Jury brought him in guilty, and he was ordered to be sent to Bridewell to hard labour for a month. D. J. — This Frenchman pretended to teach Italian. (Grub-street Journal)

Friday, 28 July 1732

Yesterday Morning, after a long Examination, a Man was committed to Newgate, by Sir John Gonson and Justice De Veil, being charged with Sodomitical Practices. And Information upon Oath hath been given to the said Magistrates, of a Club or Society of Sodomites, who meet together Weekly, in several Parts of the Town, in Masquerade Habits, many of them in Womens Apparel, the better to carry on their vile and detestable Practices; and that Warrants are issued out to apprehend several of these Wretches. (The Daily Journal)

Wednesday, 2 August 1732

Last Night a young Man about 18 Years of Age, was committed to the Gatehouse by Justice De Veil, for Sodomitical Practices: He was under Examination near three Hours, and has impeach’d a great many of the Gang, and Warrants were issued out for apprehending of them accordingly. (The Daily Journal)

3 August 1732

Friday, July 28.   Yesterday morning Will. Bishop was committed to Newgate by Sir John Gonson, for an assault on Will. Curtis, with an intent to commit the horrid and detestable sin of Sodomy, &c. DP. — An information upon oath hath been given of a club or society of Sodomites, who meet together weekly, in several parts of the town, in masquerade habits, many of them in women’s apparel, the better to carry on their vile and detestable practises; and that Warrants are issued out to apprehend several of those wretches. DJ.— I take this to be a reflection upon masquerades, by some disaffected person. (Grub-street Journal)

Saturday, 5 August 1732

Last Tuesday Night a young Man about 18 Years of Age, was committed to the Gatehouse by Justice De Veil, for Sodomitical Pratices: He was under Examination near three Hours, and has impeach’d a great many of the Gang, and Warrants were issued out for apprehending of them accordingly. (Read’s Weekly Journal; or, British-Gazetteer)

10 August 1732

Saturday, August 5.   Yesterday Hen. Catten, one of the persons taken up for sodomitical practices, was by Justice De Veil committed to the Gatehouse; and Geo. Cadogan, alias Beho, was also taken up, and admitted to bail by Just. Bere of Hammersmith, &c. DP. — He is since committed likewise to the Gatehouse. – By the name Cadogan and Catten, this seems to be Irish unnatural caterwauling. (Grub-street Journal)

Saturday, 12 August 1732

Maidstone, Aug. 4. This Day the Assizes ended here for the County of Kent …. Henry Shepherd was found guilty of threatning to swear Sodomy against People, in order to extort Money from them, and was sentenced to stand once in the Pillory, to suffer two Years Imprisonment, fined five Marks, and to find Security for his good Behaviour. … (Read’s Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)

Saturday, 12 August 1732

On Monday last George Cadogan (who was lately taken up on the Information of William Curtis, for Sodomitical Practices, and was admitted to Bail by Justice Bere of Hammersmith) was committed to the Gatehouse, Westminster, his Bail having surrender’d him up. (Read’s Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)

Saturday, 2 September 1732

Last Tuesday Bills of Indictment were found at Hicks’s-Hall against George Cadogan, William Bishop and Henry Catten, for Sodomitical Practices, on the Oath of William Curtis, &c. (Read’s Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)

Monday, 4 September 1732

On Saturday last an Irishman came to Mr. Zounsby, a Linen-Draper in Clare Market, and pretended to buy Holland for Shirts, but not agreeing, he wanting Credit, he afterwards went to a publick House, and sent two Letters and a Messenger, desiring to speak with Mr. Zounsby, who accordingly went to know his Business, which was to extort Money from him, threatning, if he refused, to swear Sodomy against him; upon which Mr. Zounsby caused him to be secured, and carried before the Justices who were then sitting at St. Clement’s Vestry, who committed him to the Gatehouse. (Daily Journal)

Wednesday, 6 September 1732

This Day begins the Sessions at the Old Baily, and it is reckon’d it will be the largest that ever was known at this Time of the Year, there being about twenty Persons to be try’d for Robberies on the Highway; five or six for Murder; two for sending threatning Letters; two or three for Sodomy; one for a Rape, and an Attorney for forging the Mark of a Person to a Letter of Attorney; also a Person for drinking Damnation to his Most Sacred Majesty; and many others. (The Daily Post)

Thursday, 7 September 1732

Yesterday the Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex met at Hicks’s Hall, pursuant to their Adjournment, when William Bishop was try’d on an Indictment for an Assault with an Intent to commit Sodomy on William Curtis, and after a Tryal of about three Hours the Jury acquitted him. (Daily Journal)

Saturday, 9 September 1732

Last Thursday at the Sessions at Hicks’s-Hall, George Cadogan, was tried on an Indictment for an Assault, with Intent to commit Sodomy with William Curtis, but the Jury acquitted him. (Read’s Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)

Saturday, 16 September 1732

London, September 16.   Monday Night the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey, when the Nineteen following persons received Sentence of Death, viz. … Edward Dalton and Richard Griffiths, for the Murder of John Waller in the Pillory at the Seven Dials. On Saturday John Ayshford [sic], formerly a Bookseller in Westminster-Hall, was try’d at the said Sessions for Sodomy, on the Oath chiefly of William Curtis; but the said Curtis having made an Affidavit before Sir John Gonson and Justice De Veil, of Sodomitical Practices with Bishop, Cadogan, Catten and others, and did not then name Ayshford, the Court did not give any Credit to his Evidence; tho’ Curtis would have excus’d it, by saying Ayshford gave him Money not to accuse him; but several Witnesses appearing to his Character, upon the whole the Jury acquitted him; and the Court order’d him a Copy of his Indictment. (The Country Journal: or, The Craftsman)

Saturday, 16 September 1732

Monday the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey …. At the said Sessions came on the Trial of John Ayshford, (charged on the Oath of William Curtis) for the detestable Sin of Sodomy; the Trial lasted about an Hour, when the Prisoner was honourably acquitted; the said Curtis, by his own Confession, was notoriously perjured, and ordered to remain in Court till the Jury had brought in their Verdict, when a Copy of the Indictment was granted the Prisoner. Several Persons of Credit and Reputation appeared in Behalf of Mr. Ayshford, but the Case appeared so very plain to the Court, only three were examined. It is remarkable, this was the third Person tried on Curtis’s Evidence, and all acquitted. (Read’s Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)


CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1732", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 27 January 2006, updated 17 November 2011 <http://www.rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1732news.htm>.


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