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

Newspaper Reports, 1745

Saturday 9 February 1745

Extract of a Letter from PORTSMOUTH, February 5.
Last Week, a Court Martial was held on board the Dutch Admiral's Ship at Spithead, for the Trial of the First Lieutenant of one of their Men of War, for committing the detestible [sic] Sin of Sodomy on the Boatswain's Son of the said Ship; who was found guilty, and ordered to be tied up in a Sack, with a large Weight fasten'd to it, and flung overboard at High Water; (which is the usual Punishment inflicted by the Dutch for Crimes of the like Nature committed at Sea) but his Life was spared at the Intercession of some Gentlemen; so that his Sentence was chang'd into a Whipping, after which he was stripp'd of his Clothes, and set on Shore at Gosport, with only an old Jacket and Trowsers on, in order to shift for himself. The Dutch Admiral immediately dispatch'd a Tender to Holland, with an Account of his Proceedings to the States General, in order for the confiscating the Delinquent's Estate and Effects, which are worth 500 l. per Annum, English Money. (Newcastle Courant; this was very widely reported)

Thursday 14 February 1745

The Dutch have made a Demand, That the Auxiliary Fleet at Spithead may return home, thinking they may be employed to better Purpose at home, than they have been on our Coasts; and 'tis generally thought we can dispense with them. – The Dutch Lieutenant, convicted last Monday of Sodomy at Portsmouth, thereby forfeits to the Republic an Estate of 600 l. Sterling a-year. (Caledonian Mercury)

Monday, 15 April 1745

A noted Surgeon, aged 70, is lately gone Abroad, on Account of Sodomitical Practices. (Daily Gazetteer)

Saturday 27 April 1745

LONDON, April 25.
Within these few Days several Persons of Fortune have absconded, who are charged witih Sodomitical Practices, Informations having been laid against them for that detestible Crime. (Newcastle Courant)

Tuesday, 21 May 1745

Notwithstanding the repeated Advertisements in this Paper, to deter Villlains from the Practice of sending anonymous Letters ot Extortion to Gentlemen, under the Pretence of stigmatizing them with the infamous and scandalous Act of Sodomy, threatening to asperse their Characters should they not comply with their Demands, yet as they persist in the same, this is therefore finally to acquaint such Emissaries,that unless they personally make appear those (as yet pretended) Facts, that their Intimidations will be fruitless, but on contrary, if they will discover themselves, they shall not fail of being awarded equal to their Merit.
          Note, A Reward ot Ten Guineas will be given to any Person or Persons that shall detect any one in conveying such Letters. (Daily Advertiser)

Saturday, 22 June 1745

Yesterday John Twyford was committed to Newgate by Siur Thomas De Veil, on the Oath of Mr. John Mullins, for assaulting him in Bed, and committing the detestable Sin of Sodomy upon his Body, which awakening him, he seiz'd the Prisoner in the very Fact. (Daily Post)

Wednesday, 26 June 1745

Yesterday Samuel Goupil was committed to the Poultry-Compter, by Mr. Alderman Arnold, for assaulting James Jordan, Apprentice to John Biffell, a Carver in Camomile-street,with an intent to commit Sodomy. (General Advertiser)

Thursday 27 June 1745

Yesterday John Twyford was committed to Newgate by Sir Thomas De Veil, upon an Information against him by Mr. John Mullins: It seems they were both in a Bed together, and the said Twyford surprizing him in his Sleep, committed the detestable Sin of Sodomy upon him before he could help himself, having almost strangled the said Mullins, who, as soon as he could recover, beat Twyford in a terrible Manner, and call'd all the People of the House to his Assistance. (Stamford Mercury)

Friday, 12 July 1745

John Twyford was Tried for Sodomy, committed upon John Mullins, and Acquitted, but gave Bail for his Appearance at the Old Baily next Sessions. (General Advertiser)

Thursday 18 July 1745

On Thursday the Sessions ended at the Old Baily, . . . John Twyford was tried for committing Sodomy upon John Mullins, and Acquitted. (Stamford Mercury. See his trial.)

Friday, 23 August 1745

Last Wednesday Night one Nelson, a Soldier belonging to the First Regiment of Foot Guards, discovering two Persons committing Sodomy as he was on Duty at the Iron Gate, Queen Square, in St. James's Park, endeavour'd to secure them; on which one of them seiz'd his Piece, and shot him through the Knee. He was afterwards carried to the Infirmary at Westminster, where his Leg was cut off. (Daily Gazetteer)

7–10 Septembere 1745

Yesterday a Grocer who lives in Spital-fiuelds, (who had been married about six Weeks) was tried at Guildhall, for Sodomitical Practices on a Carver's Apprentice, and being found Guilty, was fined 20l. ordered to be imprison'd, and to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for the future. (General Evening Post)

Monday, 16 September 1745

On Saturday Night about 10 o'Clock, a Fellow was detected in offering to commit Sodomy with a Boy on London Bridge, which soon rais'd the Populace, who imemdiately carried him to an Inn in th Borough, and gave him the Discipline of the Horsepond. (General Advertiser)

Thursday 19 September 1745

Friday John Stocker was committed to the Gatehouse by Sir Thomas De Veil, for assaulting Peter Dayley, with an Intent to commit upon him the detestable Sin of Sodomy, and actually using several Sodomitical Practices towards him before he could have him apprehended. (Stamford Mercury)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1745", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 24 Feb. 2015, updated 2 January 2023 <>.

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