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

Accusations of Sodomy in the Westminster and Middlesex Quarter Sessions Roles for the 1770s

Compiled by Randolph Trumbach


NOTE: The Westminster Rolls are complete; but 33 rolls are unfit to use for 1770-1779, mainly Middlesex; 1777, 1778, 1779 for Middlesex are okay: 1776 is mostly missing, and parts of 1770-1775 are missing, 1770-1776 are problematic; 1777-1779 are more or less okay. The missing rolls are: 3235, 3236 (August-October 1770); 3238, 3239 (January, February 1771); 3241, 3242 (March 1771); 3244 (1771); 3247 (June 1771); 3253 (May, June 1772); 3256, 3257, 3258, 3259 (July-September 1772); 3265 (May 1773) 3268, 3269, 3270, 3272 (June-November 1773); 3277 (April 1774); 3285 (October-November 1774); 3291, 3292 (1775); 3302, 3304, 3308, 3309, 3310, 3313, 3314, 3315, 3316, 3317 (so, most of 1776 is missing); 3380 (late 1779).

The names in parentheses are those who stood bail for the accused; usually their addresses and occupations are given, from which we may be able to infer the social status of the accused and their place of residence or work. The names of the accused have been highlighted in bold. The 46 cases of accusations for male–male sodomy are numbered for convenience; numbers have not been allocated for two cases of alleged bestiality, one case of apparent male–female sodomy, one case of assault involving calling someone a bugger, and one case of blackmail.

No. of Cases per Year (not persons; some cases have two people)

1770: 6 (involving 7 men)
1771: 3
1772: 3 (involving 4 men)
1773: 6
1774: 3
1775: 0
1776: 5
1777: 9
1778: 8
1779: 3 (involving 4 men)

[Grand totals: 46 cases (involving 49 men); plus 1 case of bestiality, 1 case of heterosexual sodomy and 1 case of blackmail]


1770

London Metropolitan Archive / January 1770-December     MJ/SR

Roll 3221 (January)

1) Recognizance. 440: Christian Van Teijlengen, bona for £20 (John Foster, Piccadilly, coachmaker, £20, Bartholomew Arlett, Bond Street coachmaster), complaint of ——(sic), sodomitical assault – 29 December 1769 – Thomas Kynaston, magistrate.

2) Recognizance. 93: James Runchman, Holborn, Fruiterer, £20, complaint, Alexander Lockey, sodomitical assault (Ralph Rauton, Holborn, Victualler, John Spence, Vere Street, dentist, £10 ea) 12 October 1769 – W. Kelynge, magistrate.

Roll 3225

3) Recogizance. 320; Samuel Drybutter, complaint Samuel Morris for sodomitical assault (James Drybutter, Beauford Buildings, St. Clement Danes, gentleman, £20, Andrew Marks, Maddox Street, St. George Hanover Square, tailor, £20) 23 January 1770 – G. Wright, magistrate.

Roll 3230

4) Call Over July Session, 1770
Samuel Theobald, oath of Samuel Duan, for sodomitcal assault.

5) Recognizance. 27: Josiah Brook, complaint William Hartle for sodomitical assault (Benjamin Senior, at Captain Harperís in the Savoy, £20, Thomas Bidy, Snowís Rents, Westminster, £20) 5 May 1770 – Thomas Kynaston, magistrate.

Roll 3233

6) House of Correction Clerkenwell, (10 September 1770)
Curtis Barnes, commited by John Sherwood [magistrate], oath of Thomas Swinglehurst, on suspicion of being concerned with John Inman in the detestable sin of Sodomy – 6 August – Indicted.

 

1771

Roll 3246

[House of Correction Calendar 1771]
7) Bond. – Thomas Bradford, apprentice to Richard Colstock near Dock Yard, Southwark, waterman, Sarah Barter, of the Great Garden Street, Catherinis, Thomas Harvey, constable for Blackwall, £40 each, evidence against John Jones for assault for sodomy on Thomas Bradford – 24 July 1771 – John Sherwood, magistrate.

Roll 3248

8) Recognizance. 45; Christopher Irwin, St. Martinís Lane, £20, complaint of John Hill for sodomitical assault (John Gardner, Dukeís Court, St. Martinís Lane, victualler, £10, Elizabeth Bacon, High Street, St. Giles, £10) 13 August 1771 – Thomas Kynaston, magistrate.

Roll 3249

9) Bond. – Terrence Magee, Shadwell Dock, St. Paul Shadwell, ballastman, £20, evidence against William Williams for sodomitical assault – 2 December 1771 – John Sherwood – came and prosecuted.

 

1772

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1772     MJ/SR

Roll 3251

Recognizance. 186; William Wilford, Tower Hill, gentleman, £40 (John Farrel, Covent Garden, orange merchant, £20, William Moule, King Street, Covent Gardent, vintner, £20) complaint of Elizabeth Jones, for assaulting her with intent to commit sodomitical practices on her body – 4 January 1772 – W. Kelynge, magistrate.

Roll 3352

10) Recognizance. 253: Samuel Biggs, Little Marybone St., Labourer, £20 (George Campbell, Lower Grosvenor Street, upholsterer, £20) complaint Thomas Davis for sodomitical assault – 31 March 1770 (sic – 1772?) – G. Wright, magistrate.

Roll 3255

11) Recognizance. 260: John Blake (John Thorp, Long Lane, St. Georgeís Hanover Square, tanner, Mary Pearce, Jervin Street, Cripplegate, London) complaint James Clark for sodomitical assault – 10 May 1772 – G. Wright, magistrate.

Roll 3360

12) Recogizance. — : Henry Surrey, St. Martinís Street, Leicester Fields, Staymaker, and William Briggs, Off Alley, York Buildings, silk dyer – give evidence against John Chivers and William Murphy for attempting to commit sodomitical acts in each otherís bodies – 28 July 1772 – John Fielding, magistrate.

London Metropolitan Archive / [1772]     MJ/SR

Roll 3360

12) Recognizance. 184: John Chivers (Charles Turner, Cateaton Street, St. Lawrence Jewry, London, carpenter, Joseph Rowe, Church Passage, of same, painter) for sodomitical assault on William Murphy – 22 July 1772 – Samuel Wright, magistrate.

1773

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1773     MJ/SR

Roll 3264

Bond. – Henry Wright, Tothill Fields, victualler, £20, evidence against Drew Deadman for buggery with a cow – 24 March 1773 – W. Kelynge, magistrate – came and prosecuted.

Bridewell Call Out: April 1773
#34. Drew Deadman, committed by Sir John Fielding on the oath of Henry Wright for attempting to commit the crime of buggery with a cow – 19 March.

13) – Henry Formes, Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, gentleman, evidence against John Grant for sodomitical assault – 24 March 1773 – W. Kelynge, magistrate – came and prosecuted – ignoramus.

14) – John Taylor, Tottenham Court Road, upholsterer, £40, evidence against Edward Fishar, for sodomitical assault – 6 February 1773 – John Fielding, magistrate – came and prosecuted – ignoramus.

15) – Ralph Williams, gentleman and high constable Westminster, £20, John Spence, St Jamesís counstable, £20, evidence against Thomas Smith for sodomitical assault on Spence – 17 February 1773 – John Fielding, magistrate – came and prosecuted.

Roll 3266

16) Recognizance. 256: John Batten, complaint Godfrey Walley, attempt to seduce Godfrey to sodomitical practices, intending to commit with him the detestable sin of sodomy, and putting his private parts into the hands of Godfrey (John Ellis, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, sadler; John Thomas, John Street, Clerkenwell, bricklayer, £40 each) – 26 April 1773 – W Kelynge, magistrate.

London Metropolitan Archive / [1773]     MJ/SR

Roll 3273

Bonds

17) – George Watson at Mr. Cookís, Queen Ann Street, Marylebone, victualler, a minor, Thomas Pickering, of same, chairman, Edward Thomas of same, cordwainer, evidence against Robert Goodchild for assaulting and several times attempting sodomy on George Watson – 26 October, 1772 – George Mercer – made default, esp. sine die.

18) – John Gerard, Litchfield Street, St. Annís, gentleman, Jane Lever, of the Poorhouse, St. Annís, widow, Elizabeth Crahan, of same, widow, evidence against David Faulkner for sodomitical assault on John Bourne – 1 November 1773 – Saunders Welch, magistrate – came and prosecuted.

 

1774

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1774     MJ/SR

Roll 3276

19) – Richard Gurney, William Penryfeather, James Bartlett, of New Brentford, shoemaker, £100 each – evidence against Thomas Plater for sodomy on the body of Richard Gurney, his apprentice, eighteen months ago, and for assaulting him this day – 2 April 1774 – John Drinkwater, magistrate.

19)a) Daniel Saunders New Brentford, Middlesex, shoemaker, evidence against Thomas Plater, for sodomy on the body of Richard Gurney, about eighteen months ago, and also for assaulting Gurney this day – 2 April 1774 – John Drinkwater, magistrate.

Roll 3278

20) Recognizance. 194: Francis Hays, complaint Charles Gordon, for sodomitical assault (Thomas Brown, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, chandler, Thomas Carter, Great Russell St., Covent Gardent, chairman, £20 each) – 17 June 1774 – W. Kelynge, magistrate.

Roll 3280

20)a) Bond. – Charles Gordon, Angel Court, Strand, labourer, give evidence against Francis Hayes, for sodomitical assault – 15 June 1774 – Sampson Wright, magistrate – made default.

21) Recognizance. 359: Samuel Drybutter, of Bridge St. Westminster, gentleman, £100, complaint of Junius Simms, of sodomitical assault (David White, Princes Street, Red Lion Square, silkmercer, £50; Frances Pierpoint, Godfrey Row, Lambeth Marsh, exchange broker, £50) – 6 July 1774 – Sampson Wright, magistrate.

 

1775

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1775     MJ/SR

No sodomy cases

 

1776

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1776     MJ/SR

Roll 3303

22) Recognizance. 407: James Franklin, Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, £40 (Cuthbert Heron, Salisbury Court, victualler, £20, Samuel Hatton, One Tun, Strand, victualler, £20) complaint of Thomas Turner of assault for buggery – 11 December 1775 – T. Treslove, magistrate.

Roll 3312

23) Recognizance. 345: Samuel Foote, Esq., Great Suffolk Street, Charing Cross, £200 (William Jewell, Brompton, Mdx, Gentleman, £80, James Canter, Vine Street, Piccadilly, painter, £80) Complaint John Laugiter, for sodomitical practices, to wit, taking hold of the private parts of the said John Laugiter and using great indecencies therewith – 6 May 1776 – Sampson Wright, & John Fielding, magistrates.

Roll 3319

24) Bond. – Thomas Horton, 1st Reg Foot Guards, at the Horns in Brewer Street, evidence against Thomas Curry, of assault to commit buggery – 9 July 1776 – T. Treslove, magistrate.

25) Recognizance. 177: David Withington, al[ia]s Wilmot (David Davis, 6 Great Marybone Street, smith, £40; Dove Ash, High Street, Marybone, Grocer, £40) complaint of John Stacey for sodomitical assault – 8 July 1776 – Jonathan Durden, magistrate.

London Metropolitan Archive / [1776]     MJ/SR

Roll 3321

26) Recognizance. 334: Thomas Pair, at Hicks Hall, complaint of Michael Hall and others for assaulting him with attempt to commit sodomy on Hall – 11 November 1776 – (2 sureties on a victualler, £40 each).

 

1777

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1777     MJ/SR

Roll 3322

27) Tothill Fields Bridewell Callover, January 1777 # 27. James Othwell, complaint of Anthony Loome for assaulting him for sodomitical practices, 2 December.

Roll 3324

28) Recognizance. 33: John Farley, Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, Labourer, for the appearance of his son Joseph; Ava Reynolds of Henry Street, Old Street, widow – to give evidence against William Slater for attempting buggery – 10 December 1776 – J. Wilmot, magistrate - Indicted.

29) Recognizance 12: John Morgan at Mrs. Billingtonís, Drury Lane, plumber; William Wigstead at Mr. Deviantsí, Great Wyld Street, St Giles; Thomas Forbler, the corner of Ragged Staff Court, Drury Lane, baker – to give evidence against Thomas Johnson for sodomitical assault on John Morgan – 9 December 1776 – John Croft, magistrate – Indicted.

30) Recognizance. 11: Thomas Easton, 2 Pontman Mews, St. Marylebone, painter; and John Slade, of same, silkman – to give evidence against Benjamin Godfrey for sodomitical assault on Eaton – 14 December 1776 – J. Hubbard, magistrate – made default.

Roll 3328

31) Bridewell Call Over (Tothill Fields), April 1777 # 28. Joseph Lane, committed by C Martin, on oath of William Lewis, for sodomitical assault – 17 March.

32) Bond. – William Hodges, at Col. Arnoldís, Grafton St., St. George Hanover Square – to give evidence against John Weston for sodomitical assault at St. George Hanover Square Parish – 20 March 1777 – Jan. Mackin, magistrate – to be estreated.

Roll 3330

Recognizance. 163: William Smith, of Hammersmith, gardner, £20 (William Church of Acton, farmer, £40) Complaint of Edmond Cal [zed Esq.?] for assaulting, threatening to beat him, and calling him a bugger – 1 March 1777 – Henry Lamb, magistrate.

Roll 3337

33) Bond. Joseph Hennings, High Street, St. Giles, £20, labourer, to give evidence against —— (sic), for sodomitical attempt – James Barrett – 10 September 1777 – M. Addington, magistrate.

34) Bond. – John Allen (a minor) at Mrs. Frostsí, Charlotte Street, St. Pancras, upon pain of imprisonment, Jonathan Allen at Mr. Stockís, John Street, St. Pancras £20 – to give evidence against George Bennett for sodomitical assault on John Allen at St. Pancras – 24 July 1777 – John Cox, magistrate – respited sine die.

Roll 3340

35) Recognizance. 264: Lewis Lambert, 120 Strand, in the Savoy Precinct, stationer, £40, complaint of William Miller, on 26 August, of sodomitical attempt (John Christie, Northumberland Street, St. Martinís, carpenter £20; Thomas Feltiem, 49 Strand, St. Martin, Glassgrinder, £20) – 27 August 1777 – John Machin, magistrate.

 

1778

London Metropolitan Archive / January-December 1778     MJ/SR

Roll 3347

36) Recognizance. 225: James Nichols, King Street, Drury Lane, victualler, £40 – complaints of Michael Connor, for sodomitical assault – 4 February 1778 – Addington, magistrate.

Roll 3353

Call Over July Session, 1778

37) #49. Thomas Stockwell, oath of William Powell, for sodomitical assault.

38) #50. William Williams, oath of John Philips, for sodomitical assault.

Roll 3355

39) Recognizance. 346: Christopher Irwine, complaint of William Armstead for attempting sodomy (Thomas Hogg, Bare Street, Leicester Fields, chandler, £20, William Bupen, Berwick Street, St. James, silk dyer, £20) – 17 June 1778 – Robert Elliot, magistrate.

Roll 3360

40) Recognizance. 421: John Ware, complaint of George Welch for assault and indecently seizing hold of his private parts (David Spiers, Peter Street, Westminster, coachmaker, £20; James Wood, Red Lion, Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, victualer, £20) 2 October 1778 – Jonathan Durden, magistrate.

41) Recognizance. 347: Thomas Johnson, on complaints of Timothy Sotheran, for sodomitical attempt; Johnson at 3 Portland Street, Marylebone, gentleman £80 (David Findlay, 6 Crown Court, Russell St, Covent Garden, Gentleman £40, Henry Eccleston, Great Newport Street, victualler £40) – 24 August 1778.

42) Recognizance. 333: Charles Taylor, 29 Marybone St. Piccadilly, gentleman, £100, complaint of William Williams, for attempting sodomy (William Hancock, 132 Oxford Street, yeomean in the Guards, £50; Simon Houston, Marybon Street, apothecary, £50) – 7 October 1778.

Roll 3363

39) Recognizance. 118: John Weston, complaint of Robert Armstrong, for thrusting his hand into Armstrongís breeches, with intent to commit sodomitical practices on his body (Edward Kent, Paul Street, Grosvenor Square, coal merchant, £40; William Whitroe, Strutton Ground, Westminster, cabinetmaker, £40) – 2 November 1778 – Jonathan Durden, magistrate.

 

1779

Roll 3368        [Blackmail]

Tothill Fields Bridewell Call Over, April 1779
a) James Pollard, and William Lessington, committed by J Reid, on oath of Stephen Parsons, for obtaining several sums of money by threatening to charge him with sodomy – 23 January 14.

Bond
b) Stephen Parsons, at the Workhouse, Lambeth, Surry, £40, give evidence against James Pollard, who got £10 by threatening to swear sodomy – 23 January 1779.

c) Stephen Parsons, give evidence against William Lessingham and James Pollard – they got £13 by threats to swear sodomy against him – 23 January 1779 – J. Reid, magistrate.

d) Parsons £40 (surety £40) against Wm Lessington – 40 shillings – threats to swear sodomy – 23 January 1779 – Geo Reid, magistrate.

Roll 3370

44) Bond. – James Staines of Hackney, Ann Clay of Bethnal Green, £40 each, give evidence against Sargent Pearson and Thomas Custis, for sodomitical practices – 19 March 1779 – Charles Shippard, magistrate.

Roll 3379

Bonds

45) – William Newton, of General Graigís Company, First Guards, £20, evidence against Joseph Saxton – for sodomitical assault – 19 July 1779.

46) – William Allen of Coldstream Reg. of Footguards, soldier £20 – give evidence against John Moore for assaulting him whilst in bed with the said William Allen and behaving indecently with his privities – 29 September 1779.


CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Randolph Trumbach (Comp.), "Accusations of Sodomy in the Westminster and Middlesex Quarter Sessions Rolls for the 1770s", at Rictor Norton (Ed.), Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 15 July 2013 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1770s.htm>.


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