Newspaper Reports, 1761

Saturday 10 January 1761

LONDON, January 6.
On Saturday last a Warrant under the Hand and Seal of William Clark, Esq; was brought to the New Goal in Southwark, charging Francis Hayes (now in Custody in that Prison) on Oath, and an Information taken in Writing, with violently assaulting Samuel Leveridge, a Lad about twelve Years of Age, and committing on him the detestable Sin of Sodomy, and giving him the foul Disease. Hayes has stood twice in the Pillory in the Borough since May last, for attempting to ravish two Children, pursuant to his Conviction and Sentence at last Kingston Assize. The Prisoner is a Watchmaker by Trade, and used to employ the poor Lad as an Errand-Boy. (Oxford Journal)

Saturday 24 January 1761

IPSWICH, January 23. – At the County Sessions held at this Town on Friday the 16th Instant, William Adkison and Thomas Wright were tried for and convicted of Sodomitical Practices, and sentenced by the Court to suffer three Months Imprisonment each, and upon the Thursday in the last Week of their Imprisonment, to stand in the Pillory at Stowmarked for one Hour each, viz. Adkison from Twelve to One, Wright from One to Two in the Afternoon. (Ipswich Journal)

Monday 26 January 1761

LONDON, Jan. 19. – Yesterday at the Quarter Sessions held at Hicks's-Hall, for the County of Middlesex, Pallas March, a Shopkeeper at Clerkenwell, was tried and found guilty of assaulting a Butcher's Servant in that Neighbourhood, with an Intent to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy on him. The Court sentenced him to be imprisoned six Months in newgate, and during that Time to be set in the Pillory on Clerkenwell Green. (Sussex Advertiser; name given as "Philip Marsh" in the Dublin Courier for 23 Jan. 1761, and in the London Evening Post for 15–17 Jan.)

Tuesday, 17 March 1761

March 6, 1761.
WHEREAS I JOHN CARR, of Bond-street, Journeyman Cutler, did on the 9th Day of July 1760, at the Request of Thomas Oakes and Thomas Day, two other journeymen-Cutlers living in the same Street, go out with them, late in the Evening, into Albemarle-street in that Neighbourhood, on pretence of apprehending Sodomites; and, upon a Watch-word being given by the said Oakes, did, jointly wiht Day, assist him to seize upon and most violently assault, beat, and ill-treat the Rev. Mr. William Tolley, for a pretended Attempt of that Nature, on the Person of the said Oakes; and whereas the said Oakes, conscious (as I suppose) of his own Guilt, hath asconded fromhis Bail, upon a Prosecutdion which the said Mr. Tolley hath justly commenced against me, Oakes and Day, for the said Offence; but upon the earnest, voluntaruy, and repeated Intreaties of myself and Friends, and from a tender and compassionate Regard of the said Mr. Tolley to my Wife and Infants, hath vouchsafed to wave the said Prosecutdion, on my making this public Acknowledgment of my Offence, I therefore do hereby most solemny declare, that I sincerely believe the said Mr. Tolley entirely innocent of the above Crime laid to his Charge; and do, in the most humble and sincere Manner, beg Pardon of the Public in general, and of the said Mr. Tolley in particular, for the great Offence I have been guilty of, and promise never to offend in the like Manner for the futgure: And, in order that this may be a proper Caution to others, not to be guilty of so barbarous an Act, as that of wantonly or from any lucrative Views, depriving honest Men of their Reputation and good Name, I declare this my Acknowledgment may be published in such Papers, and as often as the said Mr. Tolley and hs Friends may approve of.
                                        JOHN CARR.
Witness Joseph Moore, in Oxford-Road near Bond street; Thomas Pinnell.
N.B. The above-mentioned Thomas Day is not yet apprehended. (Public Advertiser)

17–19 March 1761

Yesterday a Man stood in the Pillory at Clerkenwell, for Sodomy, and was so severely handled by the Populace that he hardly escaped with Life. (Whitehall Evening Post)

Thursday 26 March 1761

London, March 19.
Yesterday Peter Marsh, who in January last was convicted at Hick's-Hall, for an Attempt to commit Sodomy upon a Boy, was pursuant to his Sentence put in the Pillory on Clerkenwell-Green for the Space of an Hour, where he was severely handled by the Populace. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

Saturday 4 April 1761

On Monday about Noon the Assizes ended at Kingston in Surry, when Mr. Justice Dennison passed Sentence on the three condemned Prisoners, viz. John Blundell, for robbing Mr. Solomon the Jew on the Highway near Stretham of Two Guineas; John Johnson for robbing Mr. Nolder on the Highway between Stretham and Mitcham of a Watch and some Silver; and Francis Hayes for Sodomy, committed on hus Errand Boy in the New Jail, Southwark. . . . Hayes was comvicted last Summer on two Indictments, for two different Rapes on two poor little Children of about seven Years old, and giving them the foul Disease; for which he was imprisoned, adn stood twice in the Pillory, and before his Imprisonment was near expired he committed the above Fact on his Errand Boy, of about twelve Years of Age. (Oxford Journal)

Saturday 11 April 1761

Sunday's Post, London, Saturday, April 4.   Yesterday an Order came to the New-Gaol, for the Execution of Francis Hayes, now under Sentence of Death for Sodomy, on Friday next at Kennington-Common. (Ipswich Journal)

17–24 April 1761

LONDON, April 18.   Yesterday Francis Hayes, a Watchmaker, aged 36, who was convicted last Kingston Assizes of committing Sodomy on his Errand Boy, was carried in a Cart from the New Goal (sic), and executed at Kennington Common, pursuant to his Sentence. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 25 April 1761

Sunday's Post. London, Saturday, April 18.   Yesterday at Twelve at Noon Francis Hayes, a Watchmaker, aged 36, who was convicted last Kingston Assize of committing Sodomy on his Errand Boy, was carried in a Cart from the New Gaol, and executed at Kennington-Common, pursuant to his Sentence. This Man, in May and October last, stood in the Pillory for ravishing two Children, the eldest not seven Years of Age. To all outward Appearance he behaved penitently, and at the Gallows desired that all present might take warning by his untimely End, and avoid Idleness, Whoring, Drinking, and Sabbath-breaking. After he had hang[ed] the usual Time, the Body was carried off in a Hearse. (Ipswich Journal)

Thursday 30 April 1761

LONDON, April 23.
Friday last Francis Hayes, convicted of Sodomy at the last Kingston Assize, was executed at Kennington-Common, pursuant to his Sentence. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

Thursday, 23 April 1761

Last Tuesday a Person who kept an Alehouse near West Smithfield, was committed to the Poultry Compter, being charged with Sodomy. (Public Advertiser)

Monday, 27 April 1761

On Tuesday Thomas Andrews, aged 64, was committed to the Poultry Compter by Sir Robert Ladbroke, Knt. being charged on teh Oath of John Finnimore, a Gentleman's Servant, with committing the detestable Crime of Sodomy on his Body. Finnimore, being out of Place, was invited by the Prisoner to be his Bedfellow in the Absence of his Wife, and on Saturday Night last when the Prosecutor was fast asleep, the Prisoner committed this horrid Crime. (Public Advertiser)

Thursday 14 May 1761

Bristol, May 13.

Monday last ended the Assizes for this City and County, before Sir Michael Forster, Knt. our recorder; when William Dillon Sheppard, a Native of Ireland, received Sentence of Death, for the horrid and detestable Crime of Sodomy, on the Body of Charles Stuart, a Child about nine Years of Age. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

8–15 May 1761

Monday's Post, May 9. – Yesterday five Prisoners were tried at the Old Bailey, one of whom was capitally convicted, viz. Thomas Andrews, for the detestable Sin of Sodomy on John Finamore. (Derby Mercury)

Thursday 28 May 1761

Bristol, May 27.

Monday next William Dillon Sheppard, who is under Sentence of Death for Sodomy, will be executed on St. Michael's Hill. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

Thursday 4 June 1761

Bristol, June 3.

Monday last was executed on St. Michael's Hill, pursuant to his Sentence, William Dillon Sheppard, for Sodomy. He behaved very penitent, and with surprizing Composure. He declared to the Spectators that he was innocent of the Crime for which he was going to suffer. From his first mounting the Cart, to the Time of his execution, (which was about Three o'Clock) was upward of four Hours. He was attended by the Rev. Mr. Roquet, who made an excellent Discourse on the Occasion, and Yesterday Afternoon preached a Funeral Sermon over his dead Body in Newgate. – A few Minutes before he was turned off, he delivered a Letter to a Person who was present: The Contents of which, we are informed, were as follow. –

SIR, — You may put this, if you please, in the Gloucester, Bath, and Exeter Papers, as a Paragraph of News, without any Expence. —
William Dillon Sheppard was born in Ireland in 1729, of reputable parents, whom he left contrary to their Will; from which Act of disobedience to them he derived, he says, all his Misfortunes. He, in his Youth, embraced the Tenets of the Church of Rome, in the Communion of which he died. He was but lately arrived in this City, when he was suspected (from a malicious Report, and some Enemies against him, having, on Account of being a Stranger, no Person either to give a Character, or stand by him) – to be guilty of the Crime for which he was condemn'd. – He was nine Months or more in Newgate, (and scarce a Year in the City in all) during which Time he behaved himself with the strictest Decency and Sobriety, and had the Goodwill and Esteem of all in the Gaol. He acknowledged that a general Disregared to Religion, and especially Drunkenness, were the chief Source of his Misfortunes. He most solemnly disowned the Fact for which he died. He heartily forgave his Enemies. The Night or two before his Execution he most pathetically exhorted his Fellow-Prisoners, who with many Tears received his dying Admonitions, to return from Sin to the Living God. – He seemed to die a true Penitent, and a sincere Christian, not without Hope in the much abused Mercy of God, whose Nature and Property it is to forgive. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

Saturday 11 July 1761

IPSWICH, July 10.   Tuesday Thomas Herd was committed to our Goal [sic], charged on the Oath of Isaac Pratt with an Attempt to commit Sodomy. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 1 August 1761

On Monday were executed on board the Princess Royal at the Nore, a Guernsey Man, and a Boy of between 13 and 14 Years of Age, for Sodomy. The Boy had been quite out of his Mind ever since Wednesday last, when the Death Warrant was read to them. (Oxford Journal)

Thursday 6 August 1761

London, July 30.
Monday were executed on Board the Princess Royal at the Nore, George Newton, a Guernsey Man, and Thomas Finley, for Sodomy. The latter, a Boy of between 13 and 14, had been quite out of his Mind ever since Wednesday last, when the Death Warrant was read to them. On this Occasion, according to the Naval Solemnity, the Broad Pendant on board that Ship, was, the Night before, struck and removed to the Ocean, 'till that Evening. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

21 August 1761

Thomas Andrews, under sentence of death, for Sodomy, received his Majesty's most gracious pardon. (The Yearly Chronicle for M,DCC,LXI, or a Collection of the most interesting and striking Essays, Letters, &c. which appeared in the St. James's Chronicle for that Year, London, 1762, p. 43)

26 Septembr 1765

BRISTOL, September 21.
Tuesday were also committed David Cummings, a Sailor, born in the County of Kent, aged 35, and John White, late belonging to the Militia for the County of Wilts, aged 20, charged on Oath with having committed the detestable Crime of Sodomy, at a hosue in Marsh Street, in this City. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette)

The following reports relate to the trial of John Lowther.

Thursday, 8 October 1761

Yesterday the Sessions were held at Guildhall, when in the forenoon, a trial came on, by way of indictment, against a Tradesman, charged with assaulting a young man, apprentice to a Cabinet maker in this City, in a Court in Lombard Street, one night last May, and attempting to commit the horrid crime of sodomy. The arguments of the Counsel, and examining Witnesses on both sides, lasted till near five in the afternoon; when the Recorder summed up the evidence to the Jury, who withdrew for about half an hour, and brought in the prisoner, guilty. He immediately received sentence to stand in the pillory, once within a month at the Royal Exchange, to suffer three months imprisonment in Newgate, and to pay a fine of 20l. (Lloyd s Evening Post, 7-9 October 1761. The same report appeared in the London Evening Post for 6-8 October 1761)
     Postscript. Friday next is the day appointed for a certain Tradesman in Cornhill, lately convicted of a crime too bad to be named, to stand upon the pillory near the Royal Exchange. (Lloyd s Evening Post, 7-9 October 1761.

Thursday, 8 October 1761

Yesterday came on at Guildhall by Adjournment, the Trial of a Woollen-Draper late of Cornhill, for the abominable Sin of Sodomy on the Body of a young Man, for which he was found guilty, and received Sentence to stand in the Pillory in Cornhill, to suffer three Months Imprisonment in Newgate, and to pay a Fine of Twenty Pounds. (Public Advertiser)

Monday, 12 October 1761

Wednesday next the Man convicted at Guildhall for Sodomy will stand on the Pillory at the Royal Exchange. (Public Advertiser)

Friday, 16 October 1761

Yesterday the Constables in the several Wards of this City were summoned to attend this Day at Noon at the Royal Exchange, to prevent Mobs, Tumults, &c. whilst Lowther, the Woollen-Draper stands in the Pillory, pursuant to his Sentence at Guildhall the 7th Instant. (Public Advertiser)

14-16 October 1761

This day [i.e. Friday 16 Oct.], between twelve and one o'clock, the Woollen-draper in Cornhill stood in the pillory, pursuant to his sentence; and notwithstanding the great number of peace officers that surrounded the pillory, the populace pelted him very severely, cut his breeches down, and tore his clothes off his back. There was the greatest concourse of people ever known on such an occasion. A child was killed in the crowd. (Lloyd s Evenign Post. The same report report was published in the London Chronicle for 15-17 October 1761. The same report appeared in the Public Advertiser for 15-17 October 1761, which adds that the time he was on the pillory was "between twelve and one o-clock".)

Friday 16 October 1761

Mr L—, a young woolen-draper in Cornhill, stood on the pillory there for a sodomitical attempt, committed on a boy in a Court in Lombard-street, and, notwithstanding, advertisements were previously published in the papers to intimidate the populace, and that a greater number of peace-officers were got together to prevent his being pelted, than ever were known on the like occasion; yet the resentment of the people was so great against him, and the officers that had the care of him were obliged to lodge him in the compter, till the mob dispersed. (Gentleman s Magazine, October 1761, Historical Chronicle, p. 477)

Saturday, 17 October 1761

Yesterday the Woollen-Draper in Cornhill stood on the Pillory pursuant to his Sentence. For the first Half-Hour he received very little Inquiry from the Populace, the Pillory being surrounded with a great Number of Peace and Sheriff's Officers; but at length the Mob over-powered them, and drove most of them away: Then some of them got on the Pillory, and tore his Great-Coat, and almost all his Cloaths off his Back; and one Fellow turned him round in the Pillory so violently, that had not the Board over his Head been loose, his Neck must have been brake: He fell down, and lay for some Time as dead; but they reared him up, and set him on again, where, covered with Filth of all Kinds, he remained some Time, and then jumped down amongst the Mob, who presently lifted him in again; and when the Time was expired, he was pulled down by them, and walked to the Poultry Compter, the most miserable Object imaginable. The Concourse of People on this Occasion was the greatest ever known: The Windows and Balconies were full of Spectators, and there were some Hundreds of People on the Top of the Exchange, who paid Six-pence each, to gratify their Curiosity. The Treatment this unhappy Person met with, will, it is to be hoped, have such an Effect upon those Wretches, who are an Ignominy to the Human Species, as this may be the last Spectacle of the Kind in the City. A Boy was killed in the Crowd. (St. James s Chronicle, 15-17 October 1761. The same report appeared in the London Evening Post for 15-17 October.)

Saturday, 17 October 1761

Yesterday Lowther stood on the Pillory against the Royal Exchange; and the Sheriff s Officers, and Constables, attended to defend him from being pelted; but the Resentment of the Mob was so great, that the Peace Officers, though they were very diligent, could not prevent him from being roughly handled. He appeared in a Blue Duffel Coat over his other Cloaths. After he had been in the Pillory half an Hour a Person jump d up, pull d off the Prisoner s Wig, and immediately forced the Pillory round two or three times in so rapid a manner, that his Legs were taken from the Scaffold, and he dropt down, and was expected to have been killed by the Fall; but that not being the Case, he got up, and his Head was put again in the Pillory, and from that Time to the Expiration of the Hour he was exposed to the whole Resentment of the Populace. (Daily Advertiser)

It is interesting to contrast the preceding reports concerning a gay man in the pillory, with the following reports of a brothel-keeper in the pillory:

Tuesday, 27 October 1761

Yesterday the Sessions ended at the Old-Bailey, when twelve Prisoners were tried, three were cast for Transportation and eight acquitted. William Bailey was found guilty of an Assault, with Intent to commit Sodomy, and received Sentence to stand on the Pillory in Gracechurch Street, near the Cross-Keys Inn, and be imprisoned six Months, and pay a Fine of 40s. (Public Advertiser)

29-31 October 1761
Yesterday at Noon Sarah Thomas stood in the Pillory in the Old Bailey, opposite to Fleet-Lane, for keeping a disorderly House, pursuant to her Sentence at the last Quarter Session in Guildhall. The Mob behaved to her with great Humanity, she standing on the Pillory all the Time drinking Wine, Hot-pot, &c. It was Diversion to her rather than a Punishment. (St. James s Chronicle)

Saturday 31 October 1761

LONDON, October 27.
Yesterday the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey, where twelve Prisoners were tried, three were cast for Transportation and eight acquitted. William Baily was found guilty of an Assault, with Intent to commit Sodomy, and received Sentence to stand in the Pillory in Gracechurch street, near the Cross-Keys Ihnn, and be Imprisoned six Months, and pay a Fine of 40s. (Oxford Journal)

3–5 November 1751

Yesterday a Man stood on the Pillory opposite the Spread Eagle in Gracechurch-Street, for attemtping to commit the detestable Crime of Sodomy. At first the Mob began to pelt him, but a Press-Gang coming up, a smart Skirmish ensued, in which the former were worsted, and the Gang began to pick up some useful Hands, though before they had carried them off, the Mob returned with a Number of Butchers Boys from Leadenhall Market, who fell furiously upon the Sailors, and in a short Time routed them, took the Officer who headed the Gang, Prisoner, and carried him in Triumph to Leadenhall Market, where he was obliged to undergo a severe Discipline under a Pump. By the Time the Fray was all over, the Hour was expired; so that the Man in the Pillory escaped unhurt. Several Persons were wounded in the Fray. (London Evening Post)

5–7 November 1761

On Tuesday Night as a Gentleman was coming into the City, he was accosted by one of the Ladies that ply about Ludgate-hill; but he not being for her Purpose was endeavouring to pass on; upon which she laid hold of him, and insisted upon his going along with her, which he resented by pushing her from him; then she called out a Sodomite, alarmed the Neighbourhood, and had him carried down to the Watch-house at Fleet-Bridge, where she persusted in her Charge, and was backed by another young Lady of the same Stamp; but upon the Gentleman declaring he would do himself Justice, they fell on their Knees, and owned the Accusation was false. – This it seems is a new Method they have of intimidating People. (St. James's Chronicle)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1761", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 8 April 2004; expanded 19 Jan. 2012, 17 July 2013, 29 Dec. 2015, 17 Jan. 2021, 5 Feb. 2022, 11 Aug. 2023 <>.

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