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

Newspaper Reports, 1743

Saturday 22 January 1743

On Tuesday at the Sessions-House in the Old-Bailey, 21 Prisoners were triy'd, when John Deacon, and Tho. Blair, were found Guilty of Sodomitical Practices. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 22 January 1743

LONDON, January 20.
Friday the Sessions began at the Old Baily . . . Yesterday . . . Thomas Deacon and John Blare [sic] were tried on suspicion of Sodomy, and found guilty. They are order'd to stand in the Pillory, and be imprison'd six Months. (Newcastle Courant) (See their trial.)

Thursday 17 February 1743

LONDON, February 15.
Yesterday Blair and Deacon, the two Persons convicted of Sodomy at the last Sessions at the Old Baily, were brought to the Pillory at Cheapside Conduit, and the latter was put into it; but Blair appeared to be so extremly [sic] ill, that he was laid on the Pillory, almost naked, as brought from Newgate, and was so severely pelted, whipp'd and tumbled about by the Populace, that he was carried back quite insensible to the Goal, where he died about Seven o'Clock last Night; Deacon was also treated much in the same manner, but being a strong young Fellow it's believed he will recover. (Stamford Mercury) (See their trial.)

Saturday 19 February 1743

On Saturday at Noon Thomas Noble, convicted at the last Sessions at Guildhall, stood on the Pillory at the Royal Exchange, for threatening (with another Person not taken) Mr. Mansfield, of Sherbourne-Lane, if he did not give him Five Guineas, they would swear Sodomitical Practices upon him. He appear'd at first with an undauted Countenance, which so enraged the Populace, that he met with a severe Treatment from them. He was carried from thence in a Cart to Newgate there to remain six Months, and afterwards to find Security for his Good Behaviour. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 12 March 1743

On Thursday last a Gentleman precipitately set out of Town to avoid being compell'd to appear as principal Evidence in the shocking Scene of a Prosecution lately dropp'd for want of Proof, but newly reviv'd against a Person of Fashion for Sodomitical Practices, not only with his own Species, but even with a Male Brute Beast. – This Discomposure of the Gentleman was occasion'd, 'tis said, by a discharg'd Servant's discovering that his Master had taken Opportunities to be thoroughly convinced of the Facts for the Sake of reproving the Offender. Lond. Ev. Post (Ipswich Journal)

Thursday 25 August 1743

Last Thursday Night a special Warrant from Isaac Ecles, Esq; High Sheriff for the County of Surrey, came to the New-Goal in Southwark, ordering the Execution of the six Malefactors on Thursday next at the Gallows on Kennington Common, viz. . . . James Hunt, and Thomas Collins, for committing together the detestable Sin of Sodomy, in a Boghouse at Pepper-Alley Stairs. (Stamford Mercury) (See the report of their execution.)

Saturday 27 August 1743

Yesterday . . . was committed to Newgate by Col. De Veil, William Parks, actually catch'd with one Edward Neil in the detestable Act of Sodomy, by three Witnesses who saw the whole Affair from the next Room to that in which they carried on that villainous Scene, and have all swore to it. Neil Escaped. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 27 August 1743

LONDON, Friday-Morning, Aug. 26.
Yesterday at Half an Hour after Twelve, James Day and Anne Hazard, for Murder; Richard Keble, for returning from Transportation; Thomas Collins and James Hunt, for Sodomy; and John Harris, for House-breaking, were executed at Kennington Common. Day was carried in a Mourning Coach, and the rest in one Cart. (Ipswich Journal) (See the report of their execution.)

Saturday 3 September 1743

LONDON, August 27.
The Body of Thomas Collins, executed on Kennington-Common for Sodomy, that was carried off by the Surgeons, being, on Examination, found to be infected with the Venereal Disease, was carried back to the Gallows and there left naked. (Ipswich Journal) (See the report of his execution.)

Saturday 12 November 1743

LONDON, November 8.
On Friday Night last a certain Tradesman was committed to Clerkenwell Bridewell by Col. De Veil, on the Oath of Mr. Jones, (and of several other Persons as to circumstantial Proofs) for suddenly assaulting him in one of the Bog-houses of the Temple, in which he rush'd upon him, and by Force and Violence endeavoured to keep him in against his Will and Consent, swearing, and with great Imprecations declaring that unless he immediately gave him a Crown, he would swear Sodomy against him: The young Man, Mr. Jones, had Resolution enough, notwithstanding his Threatnings, to seize him, and to cry out for Assistance; upon which the Offender, being very strong, broke loose, and run away with great Speed, but was taken in his Flight; and several of those who took him knowing him to be a constant Frequenter of those Bog-houses, almost every Night, where such Scenes of Horror and Iniquity are practised as are not fit to be published, he was aforesaid committed, and all Parties bound over to prosecute him. (Ipswich Journal)

Whereas on the 19th of OCTOBER last, being HARWICH FAIR, that in the said Fair, my being disorder'd in Liquor, gave JAMES LILLY, Painter, of IPSWICH, inadvertently, abuseful Language, charging him with Sodomy, &c. This is therefore to acquaint the Publick, that I had no Grounds or Reason so to charge him, and that I do confess it to proceed only from Heat of Liquor and Passion, for which I have paid 1l. 7s. in Consideration of the said Fault.
                    JAMES COOK. (Ipswich Journal)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1743", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 26 Aug. 2014, enlarged 3 Dec. 2015 <>.

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