Newspaper Reports, 1750

27 July – 3 August 1750

On Thursday Night . . . a Soldier of the Guards was committed to Prison, for endeavouring to extort a Sum of Money from a Gentleman, by threatening to swear Sodomy against him. (Derby Mercury)

Monday, 30 July 1750

They write from Paris, that two Men were burnt alive in the Place of the Greve, pursuant to the Sentence of the Parliament, for that unnatural Crime which brought down the immediate Vengeance of Heaven on the five Cities where it had erected its Theatre. (Caledonian Mercury)

3–10 August 1750

On Friday last stood in the Pillory, for the second Time, Robert Fawcet, an old Offender, pursuant to a Sentence pass'd upon him at Hick's-Hall, for extorting Money and swearing Sodomy against a Gentleman: He was farther condemned to suffer three Years Imprisonment, and afterwards to find Security for his future good Behaviour. (Derby Mercury)

7–14 September 1750

LONDON, September 11.   Last Friday a Dancing-Master, and a Fellow, formerly a Soldier, were committed to the Gatehouse by Thomas Lediard, Esq; for Sodomitical Practices; ;they were found in a bye Place in the Green-Park by one of the Keepers. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 22 September 1750

On Saturday came on at Hicks's-Hall the Trial of Alexander Staples, for attempting to commit Sodomy on John Smith, a young Lad. About six Weeks ago as Smith was going over Tower-Hill he was met by Staples, who asked him, if he would go and sup with him at his Lodgings, which Smith readily agreed to; soon after they were in the Room, Staples began to behave very indecently, on which the Boy insisted on his letting him go, which he refused to do, 'till the Boy began to make a Noise, whereupon Staples went out to the Swan Alehouse in Mansfield Street, and called for a Pint of Beer, where the Boy, who had followed him, began to tell the Company in what manner he had been treated, which frightened Staples, who then asked the Landlord for a private Room, that he might talk with the Boy, which being denied, he asked if there was a Back-Door; but the Affair getting Wind, he was presently taken hold of, and carried before Justice Rickets, who committed him to Clerkenwell Bridewell. – The Attempt was so plainly proved to the Court and the Jury, that he was sentenced to suffer one Year's Imprisonment in Newgate, and to stand on the Pillory on Little Tower-Hill, some time within a Month. (Ipswich Journal)

14–21 December 1750

From Cremona in Italy we have an Account, of a tragical Affair that lately happened at Soncino, the Particulars of which are as follows. A young Lady of noble Extraction, but, it seems, not of noble Sentiments, forgot her Rank so far as to fall in Love with one of her Footmen; and the Laws of the Country not being quite so arbitrary as in some other Parts of Italy, to warrant the confiningher to a Cloyster, in order to effect a Cure, the Lady gave Way to her Inclinations so far as to resolve to marry her Servant; than which there cannot be a greater Crime in Italy, it being better to commit Fornication, Sodomy or Bestiality, than to match beneath one's Birth. But the Day before the intended Wedding, the Object of her Love was found murdered in a Ditch; and the young Lady, who seem'd in good Health, died about the same Hour, suddenly, as is supposed, no Marks of Violence being found on her Body. However, as there was sufficient Cause for Suspicion, the Episcopal Court took Cognizance of the Affair, and ordered Enquiryi to be made after the Assassins, who are supposed to be some of the Lady's Kindred; but all Informations were quickly stifled, and in less than a Week there was no more Noise made about the Murder of the Footman, nor of the sudden Death of his intended Bride, who is supposed to have been poisoned, lest she should have brought the Assassins to Justice, or at least cut them off from any Expectations they might have in her Fortune, which was very considerable. (Derby Mercury)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1750", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 31 Aug. 2014, enlarged 7 Dec. 2015 <>.

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