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

Newspaper Reports, 1744

Monday, 9 January 1744

On Friday a Person was taken up and committed to the Gatehouse by Justice Manley, for attempting to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy with a Centinel in St James's Park. (Daily Advertiser)

Thursday 26 January 1744

On Tuesday last a Man was convicted at the Sessions at Guildhall, for demanding a Sum of Money from Mr Wilmer, an Apothecary near Bishopsgate, and threatening him, in case he did not comply, that he would swear Sodomy against him. He was sentenced to stand on the Pillory, and suffer Imprisonment for a certain Term; the former of which Punishment he will undergo next Monday in the same Street. (Stamford Mercury)

13-15 February 1744

On Wednesday last as one Harold, a Taylor was playing at Cards with a Weaver, in a Publick House near Bartholomew’s Hospital, some Dispute arose about their Game, and the latter called the former a Molly, on which he gave the Weaver a Slap on the Face, which provoked him so that he took a large Candlestick and struck him so violently with the Edge of it on the Nose, that he cut it off; he was immediately carried to the hospital, where all imaginable Care was taken of him, but he died Sunday Morning; and the other is gone off. (The Penny London Morning Advertiser)

1-3 March 1744

On Tuesday Night eleven Persons were taken up at a lone House, near St. James's Park Wall, between St. George's Hospital and Pimlico, where they were in Masquerade Dresses, and were found in very obscene Postures, several of them (being all Men) were in Womens Habits: There were upwards of twenty in the House, but the others made their Escape, and the above eleven were carried to the Watch-house in Dover-Street, and secur'd on Suspicion of their committing Sodomitical Practices, and were Yesterday carried before the Justices at the Vestry-Room of St. George in Hanover-Square, who committed several of them to Bridewell. (London Evening Post, Issue 2546)

Saturday, 3 March 1744

Yesterday Eleven Persons who were taken up at a House in Pimlico, near Buckingham-House, on Suspicion of committing Sodomy, were examin'd by one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, in the Vestry-Room of St. George's, Hanover-Square; and order'd to be continued in Custody, for further Examination. (London Daily Post)

Monday 5 March 1744

The Person who kept the House near Pimlico, who was taken up for having disorderly Company there, is committed to Tothill-Fields-Bridewell; the other ten Persons are admitted to Bail. They used to hold what they call'd Mock-Masquerades there, for which they paid One Shilling each, and this was for the Benefit of one of the Fraternity. The Company were all Men, but half of them dress'd in Womens Habits, and a Person was among them who personated a Clergyman, married the Couples, who had likewise a Room to Bed together. There was another Room, where they were accommodated with Coffee, Tea, Jellies and Sweetmeats. About a Month ago there were near two hundred Persons at a Benefit. (Daily Advertiser)

14–16 March 1744

It is reported, that a Bill will speedly [sic] be brought into Parliament for the better preventing the detestable Sin of Sodomy, by making all Practices of that Sort Transportation.
          And we likewise hear that such Criminals as shall be convicted upon this Statute, will be consign'd to the Hudson's Bay Company, in order to be sent to their Settlemens in the Frozen Zone, where it is hop'd the Cimate will contributre to their Reformation. (Penny London Morning Advertiser)

Tuesday, 24 April 1744

Haskins and Field, charg'd with the detestable Sin of Sodomy, were, for Want of Evidence (who absconded) discharg'd. (General Advertiser)

Friday 13 July 1744

Derby, July 19. We hear from Nottingham, that at the Assizes held there on Friday and Saturday last, before Mr. Baron Carter and Mr. Justice Dennison, one Blasdale, a Stocking-Maker of the said Town, receiv'd Sentence of Death for the unnatural Crime of Sodomy, committed upon his Apprentice, a Boy about 16 Years of Age; and what is still a greater Aggravation of his Crime, he has a young Wife and two or three Children. (Derby Mercury)

1–3 August 1744

On Monday last a Domestick belonging to a Gentleman of his Majesty's Board of Works, was discharg'd his Service, for attempting to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy. (Penny London Morning Advertiser)

Monday, 31 December 1744

This Day is published,
The Proceedings on the Kings Commissions of the Peace Oyer and Terminer, held for the City of London and County of Middlesex, before the Right Hon Henry Marshall, Esq; . . . on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th Instant.
Wherein are contained the Trials of . . .
David Shadows, James Ruggles, John Smith, Thomas Cheworth, Christopher Jackson, and Robert Pinkey, six Soldiers belonging to the Foot-Guards, for robbing Mr. Church of a Watch, &c. in St. James's Park; and three other Robberies committed in the same Place, on Persons who endeavoured (according to the Evidence of the Accomplice) to be concern'd with them in Sodomitical Practices. (General Adevertiser)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1744", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 18 June 2005, expanded 26 Aug. 2013, 26 Aug. 2014, 4 Dec. 2015, 4 Jan. 2021, 1 Jan. 2023. <>.

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