Newspaper Reports, 1751

Saturday 26 January 1751

We have an Account from Gloucester, that a [series of] Informations were made before the Mayor of that City, against several Persons there, for Sodomitical Practices, who were all thereupon apprehended; among whom is a Person of Dignity, and several respectable Tradesmen. Those who were able to give Bail were released, and the rest were sent to the City Goal, in order to take their Trials at the next Lent Assizes. (Ipswich Journal)

Monday 28 January 1751

On Tuesday Night a Man, genteely dressed, picked up a young Lad, Apprentice to a Working silvesmith in the Strand, and began to exercise some Sodomitical Practices; but the Boy being better inclined called out, and caused him to be taken. He was carried before a Justice, and gave Bail in 1000 l. for his Appearance. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

Saturday 2 February 1751

Last Saturday one Steuart stood on the Pillory at Chairing-Cross for Sodomitical Practices, with one Stringer, who died in Newgate some Time since. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 16 March 1751

On Sunday Evening a Man very genteely dressed, attempted to commit Sodomy upon a Soldier in St. James's Park; but the Soldier had him secured, and he was confin'd in the Round-House, and in the Morning he was found dead, having hang'd himself in his Handkerchief. (Ipswich Journal)

24–31 May 1751

LONDON, May 28.
On Saturday Seventeen Prisoners were tried at the Old Bailey; two were capitally convicted, viz. Robert Damsel, for a Robbery on the Highway, near Hounslow Heath, and Michael Levi, a Jew, who kept a Toyshop near the Baptist-Head in Holborn, for Sodomy; there were four Boys about thirteen or fourteen Years of Age, appeared in Court, upon whom he had made Attempts. Two were cast for Transportation, and thirteen acquitted. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 25 May 1751

The Jew that was committed to Newgate last Week for Sodomitical Practices, was this Afternoon capitally convicted for the same at the Old Bailey. (Newcastle Courant)

Saturday 15 June 1751

His Majesty was pleased to pardon Capt. Henry Byton, for Forgery; . . . The Report of Michael Levi, a Jew, for Sodomy, was suspended. (Ipswich Journal)

Monday 24 June 1751

On Tuesday Night one Lambeth, a Prisoner in the Fleet, prevail'd on one Isted, a Farmer, who was likewise a Prisoner there for Smuggling, after drinking to great Excess, to commit the Act of Sodomy, in which they were detected by another Prisoner, and taken into Custody; and about Three o'Clock Yesterday Morning, the Farmer reflecting on the Heinousness of his Crime, cut his Throat, and died in about two Hours, after acknowledging the Fact. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

Monday 1 July 1751

They write from Aberdeen, that on Friday se'n-night, at 5 o'Clock in the Morning, Alexander Geddes was executed and burnt at the Castlehill, according to Sentence of last Circuit, for the unnatural Crime of Bestiality: He confessed his Guilt, and the Justice of his Sentence; and both in Prison and at the Place of Execution, behaved in a Manner becoming his melancholy Circumstances, and died in a truly penitent Manner. (Caledonian Mercury)

5–12 July 1751

LONDON, July 6.
Yesterday came on at the Court of King's-Bench in Westminster-Hall, before the Lord Chief Justice Lee, a Trial against Mess. Alexander, Dixon, and two others, for a Conspiracy in swearing Sodomy against the Hon. Edward Walpole, Esq; in order to extort Money from him; when, after a long Hearing, they were all four found guilty. Alexander, who acted as Attorney for the others, was committed Prisoner to the King's-Bench, and is to receive his Sentence next Term. Dixon absconded before the Jury brought in their Verdict, and the two others never appeared. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 20 July 1751

About a Week ago, a young Gentleman, in order to avoid the Shame consequent on an enormous Crime, found Means to put an End to his Life by hanging himself. He was detected, it seems, in a Tavern in the Strand, as he was about to commit the beastly Sin of Sodomy, was carried to the Round-House, and from thence before a Justice; but the Evidence not being clear he was dismissed, not without the strongest Suspicion of his being guilty. Whether stung by a Consciousness of the Enormity of his Offence, or shocked by the Conduct of those towards him, who believed him guilty, it cannot be determined; but it is certain, that he thought Existence under such a Load of Infamy, not worth holding, and committed Violence on his own Life; a Punishment not unnatural for such a Crime, for they who can thus debase their Nature, ought not to be allowed to mix in the Society of Men. (Ipswich Journal)

Monday 22 July 1751

A few Days since a young Gentleman, in order to avoid the Shame consequient on an enormous Crime found Means to put an End to his Existence by a Rope. He was detected it seems, at a Tavern in the Strand, as he was about to commit the bestial Sin of Sodomy, and being carried to the Round-House, was from thence convey'd before a Justice; but the Evidence not being clear he was dismissed, not without the strongest Suspicion, however, of his being guilty. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

4–11 October 1751

Yesterday two Men were detected in Sodomitical Practices in a Stable near Hyde-Park, one of whom was committed to the Gatehouse, and the other to New-Prison. (Derby Mercury)

22–29 November 1751

On Friday Night a Servant to Mr. Wilson of Crooked Lane, was accosted at the End of Birchin-Lane in Lombard-street, one of whom d—n'd him, and said he would take him before Mr. Alderman Ironside, and charge him with Sodomy, if he did not give them his Money; which the Man refusing, he was knocked down; but a Person passing by, secured one of them, and carried him before the Lord Mayor, who committed him to Newgate.
          He proved to be one Richard Noke, a notorious Miscreant, who stood in the Pillory some Time ago for Perjury. He had the Impudence, when taken for this new Fact, to declare, that many reputable Tentlemen near the Royal Exchange would give him a good Character; but it unfortunately happened, that the only one to whom he then referred, assured the Person who took him, that he was a dangerous Villain, capable of any Wickedness, and that it would be doing great Service to Society to punish him according to her Deserts. (Derby Mercury)

29 November – 5 December 1751

Thursday last John Cather, Patrick Kane, and Daniel Alexander the Attorney, were brought into the Court of King's-Bench in Westminster-Hall, and received Judgment for being concerned in a most wicked Conspiracy against the Hon. Edward Walpole, Esq; in endeavouring to extort a large Sum of Money under Pretence of swearing Sodomy; when Cather was ordered to stand three times on the Pillory, viz. once at charing-Cross, once at the End of Chancery-Lane, and the third Time at the Royal-Exchange; after which he is to be sent to Clerkenwell Bridewell for four Years, there to be kept to hard Labour; then to give Security himself, in 40l. and two Securities in 20l. each, for his good Behaviour for three Years more. Kane was sentenced to stand on the Pillory once at Charing-Cross, and afterwards to be sent to Clerkenwell Bridewell to hard Labour for two Years, and to give Security for his good Behaviour for five Years, himself in 40l. and two Securities in 20l. each. And Alexander was sentenced to stand once on the Pillory at Charing-Cross, to pay a Fine of 50l. to suffer two Years Imprisonment in the King's-Bench Prison, and to give Security for his good Behaviour for three Years more, himself in 200l. and two Securities in 100l. each. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 7 December 1751

On Monday two Bills of Indictment were preferred by the Grand Jury at Guildhall against Richard Noke, who was committed to Newgate a few Days since, for assaulting a Man at the End of Birchin Lane in Lombard street, under the Pretence of charging him with Sodomy: and this Day it is expected his Trial will come on at the Old Baily. (Ipswich Journal)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1751", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 17 Jan. 2012, enlarged 31 Aug. 2014, 7 Dec. 2015 <>.

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