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

Newspaper Reports, 1740

Saturday 23 February 1740

Colchester, Feb. 15. On Monday last in open Court, at the Moot-Hall in this Town, it was desir’d by the Free-Burgesses then present, that Mr. George Grey, Plumber and Glasier, and one of the Aldermen of this Borough, should be removed from his said Office of Alderman, by Reason of his having been convicted of sodomitical Practices at the last Assizes for the County of Essex: Upon which, the Mayor ordered Notice to be given to the said Mr. Grey to appear at the Hall the Wednesday following, to shew Cause why he should not be removed; publick Notice was also ordered to be given in the several Wards of the Town by the Common Cryer, for the Free-Burgesses to attend on Wednesday, in order to proceed against the said Alderman, which was accordingly done on Monday; and on Wednesday the Mayor, Aldermen, Assistants, Common-Council, &c. met at the Hall, and Mr. Grey appearing, it was insisted on in his Behalf, that the Court had not a Power to exclude him from his Office of Alderman; and desired the Charter might be produced and read: Accordingly, the Clause in the Charter which impower’d the Court to displace any Officer for Misbehaviour, was read in the Original, and runs thus:

“Furthermore we Will, and by these Presents, for Us, Our Heirs, and Successors, do grant unto the aforesaid Mayor and Commonalty, and their Successors, that from henceforth for ever, it shall and may be lawful for the said Mayor, Aldermen, Assistants, and Common-Council for the Time being, and other Burgesses of the same Borough, or the greater Part of them, so often as need shall require, every or any of the Aldermen, Assistants, Common-Council, and every Recorder of the same Borough, by these Presents constituted, or by Force of these Presents hereafter in Manner in these Presents afore-specified to be chosen, for evilly behaving themselves in their Office of Alerman, Assistants, Commo-Council, or Recorder of the said Borough, or FOR ANY JUST OR REASONABLE CAUSE, from the same his Office to remove.”

          Then Copies of the Records of the Indictments against Mr. Grey at the last Assizes, were read: After which, Mr. Alderman Duffeild, in the Name of the Free-Burgesses, exhibited Articles against the said Mr. Grey, a Copy whereof was ordered him by the Mayor, and Saturday appointed for him to give in his Answer thereunto: To which Day, at Eleven o’Clock in the Forenoon, the Court was adjourn’d. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 3 May 1740

From the Colchester Journal.
Colchester, May 2. We hear, his Majesty hath been pleased to grant his most gracious Pardon to Mr. George Gray, (late Alderman of this Corporation) and Mr. Thomas Francis, convicted of sodomitical Practices at the Midsummer Assizes for the county of Essex, 1740. And that the said Pardon clears them of all Misdemeanours committed before the 25th of April, 1740. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 18 October 1740

Yesterday came on before the Justices at the Quarter-Sessions for the City and liberty of Westminster a Trial, being an Indictment preferr’d by a certain Baronet against Andrew Husband, Footman to the Lady Preston of Chelsea, for endeavouring, as alleged, to extort a large Sum of Money from him, under Pretence of assaulting the Defendant with an Intent to commit Sodomy; and after hearing Counsel, and examining Witnesses on both Sides, which lasted five Hours, the Jury, without going out of Court, Acquitted the Defendant. (Ipswich Journal)

Thursday 30 October 1740

LONDON, Oct. 25.
Francis Dixon the younger, who was found guilty last Saturday at Hicks’s Hall on an Indictment for a Misdemeanor, by unlawfully obtaining from Mr. John Bocking 130l. under Pretence that he would swear the said Bocking attempted to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy, received his Sentence on Thursday to stand twice in the Pillory, once at Temple-Bar and once at Charing-Cross, to remain in Newgate one Year, and fined a Shilling to be estreated. (Derby mercury)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1740", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 20 Feb. 2015 <>.

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