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

Newspaper Reports, 1745

Thursday 10 January 1745

On Monday Night last two Men went into the Mermaid Inn in Great Carter-Lane, and ask'd for a Room, telling the Woman of the House they had a little Business to transact, which would soon be over. In some little Time the Woman went into the Room, to ask if they chose to have a Fire made, which they refus'd, on which she came out again; but having observ'd some extraordinary Indecency between them, she acquainted some Gentlemen that were in the Hosue therewith, who thereupon took an Opportunity to observe them thro' a Window on the Stairs, from whence they saw enough to give them Cause to secure them both for that Night; and on Tuesday they were carried before the sitting Alderman at Guildhall, who committed them both; one, whose name was Manning, to Newgate; and the other, nam'd David, to Woodstreet Compter, for Sodomitical Practices. (Stamford Mercury. See their subsequent trial.)

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)

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)

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)

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.)

Thursday 19 September 1745

Friday John Stooker [?] 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, enlarged 4 Dec. 2015 <>.

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