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

Newspaper Reports, 1773


Saturday 9 January 1773

LETTER/ADVERTISEMENT
                                    JANUARY 3, 1773.
WHEREAS I, FRANCIS WOODS, Bargeman, of the City of Oxford, have unlawfully scandalized John Betteris, of the same Place, by profanely swearing, and accusing him in a sinister Manner of an unnatural Crime; This is to certify to the Public, that the Accusation is as false as it is scandalous and that I think myself obliged to the said John Betteris, for his stopping a Prosecution at Law, on Condition of my asking his Pardon in this Public and Humble Manner.
                        The X Mark of FRANCIS WOODS.
Witness, JOHN KING.
                        (Oxford Journal)

16-19 January 1773

Tuesday, January 19. Stamford, who sent several letters to Mr. Church of Gray’s Inn, with a view to extort money, on pretence of not charging him with a destable crime, was on Saturday tried at Hicks’s-hall, convicted, and sentenced to transportation for seven years. (London Evening Post. The identical report appeared in the Morning Chronicle for 19 January.)

26 January 1773

Sunday evening a woman dressed in mens cloaths got into a gentleman's house at Kensington, where there was only a maid servant at home, whom she knocked down with the key of the street door, but her cries alarmed the neighbours, and the female adventurer was secured by Mr. Powel and others, who forced their entry into the house on hearing the cry of murder and thieves, &c. It is said that the person in custody is the wife of a Barber in Kensington, and that she was dressed in a suit of her husband's cloaths. (Morning Chronicle)

Tuesday 23 February 1773

Tuesday Mr. Williams, High Constable, attended by several Peace Officers, apprehended a number of gamesters, vagrants, common prostitutes, and other loose, idle, and disorderly persons in St. James's Park, who were all brought to Bow-street and dealt with according to law. Among the nuisances detected that night in the Park, was one of those detestable wretches called Sodomites, who frequent the Bird-cage-walk: This fellow had the assurance to pick up the High Constable, who immediately seized him by the collar and delivered him up to Justice; he was bound over to prosecute him. (Leeds Intelligencer)

23–25 March 1773

Yesterday, at the Public-office in Bow-street, Henry Forbes charged John Grant with an attempt to commit an unnatural crime in St. James's Park, and was bound to prosecute at the Westminster sessions. (Middlesex Journal)

Tuesday, 4 May 1773

On Monday last George Brochell, for an Attempt to commit an unnatural Crime, was placed in the Pillory at Bradford, pursuant to his Sentence at the last Quarter Sessions for the County of Wilts. He stood an Hour; but when taken out, was scarcely sensible, having received such severe Discipline from the Mob, who pelted him with Bones, Dirt, Stones, &c. that it is expected he will not survive. (Public Advertiser)


Friday, 18 June 1773

The 19th of October, 1767, Simon Stratford was committed to Clerkenwell Bridewell for an unnatural Crime, and the 9th of November escaped from the said Prison, and last Week was taken at Hoxton; a Reward of 50l. was offered by the Parish, and 20 Guineas by the late Keeper, who was murdered, for his apprehension. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday, 19 June 1773

The 19th of October, 1767, Simon Stratford was committed to Clerkenwall Bridewell, for an unnatural crime, and the 9th of November escaped from the said prison, and last week was taken at Hoxton; a reward of fifty pounds was offered by the parish, and twenty guineas by the late keeper, who was murdered[,] for his apprehension. (Oxford Journal)

Tuesday, 13 July 1773

On Sunday died in Newgate, Leonard Gillett, charged with an unnatural Crime, for which he was to have been tried yesterday (Daily Advertiser)

Friday, 16 July 1773

As the apprentice to S—d [i.e. Stratford] the apothecary, now in Newgate, on whom he was said to have committed an unnatural cxrime, is since dead, the prisoner now only remains in custody to be tried for breaking out of gaol. (Morning Chronicle)

Monday 19 July 1773

DIED. . . . Friday, . . . in Newgate, Leonard Gillet, charged with an unnatural crime, for which he was to have been tried yesterday. (Reading Mercury)

19–21 July 1773

Last night died, at his apartment in Clerkenwell Bridewell, Mr. Stratford, an Apothecary, who was committed to that prison formerly, charged with an unnatural crime, but made his escape, and was lately re-taken; and this day his body was removed from thence in a hearse. (Lloyd's Evening Post)

20–22 July 1773

Thursday, July 22. Died. ... Tuesday ... The same day, in Clerkenwell Bridewell, Mr. Stratford, the apothecary, formerly committed for an unnatural crime, but had made his escape, and was lately retaken. (London Evening Post)

Friday, 30 July 1773

Tuesday Night died at his Apartment in Clerkenwell Bridewell, Mr. Stratford, an Apothecary, who was committed to that Prison formerly, charged with an unnatural Crime, but made his Escape and has since been re-taken; and Yesterday his Body was removed from thence in a Hearse. (Derby Mercury)


17-20 July 1773

Tuesday, July 20. Yesterday one John Smith was committed to the Poultry Compter by Sir William Stephenson, on the oath of Joseph Bridgeman, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime on him, at the Plough, in Fore-street. (London Evening Post)

25–28 September 1773

Tuesday, Sept. 28. Yesterday a man was committed to the Poultry Compter by the Lord Mayor, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime in a meeting-house in this city; the clergyman belonging to the meeting was a material evidence against him. (London Evening Post)

29–31 July 1773

At Huntingdon assizes, . . . Francis Rawlin, for an attempt to commit an unnatural crime, was odered to stand in the pillory, and suffer three months imprisonment. (London Evening Post)

Monday, 2 August 1773

Friday a Gentleman upon 'Change was accosted by a Fellow rather meanly dressed, who charged him with an unnatural Crime; but the Gentleman had Resolution enough to cane him heartily, and then called six Porters, to whom he gave a Guinea to share among them to take him down to the Thames and duck him, which Sentence they compleated. (Public Advertiser)

Tuesday, 28 September 1773

Yesterday a Man was committed to the Poultry Compter by the Lord-Mayor, for attempting to commit an unnatural Crime in a Meeting-House in this City; the Clergyman belonging to the Meeting was a material Evidence against him. (Daily Advertiser)

Saturday, 27 November 1773

Yesterday a Man stood in the Pillory, facing the Plough in Fore-Street, for being guilty of an unnatural Crime, and was severely pelted by the Populace, particularly by some Women, who got upon the Pillory and treated him in a very indecent Manner. (Daily Advertiser)

30 November – 2 December 1773

Last night was committed to Wood-street Compter, on suspicion of an unnatural crime, James Newland, and in the night he hanged himself with his garter. (London Evening Post)

2–4 December 1773

Wednesday Night a Man of genteel Appearance was taken up for an Attempt of an unnatural Nature, and sent to Wood Street Compter, but Yesterday Morning he was found dead, having hanged himself. (St. James's Chronicle)


CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1773", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 3 March 2005, updated 16 June 2005, enlarged 7 Dec. 2015, 2 Feb. 2016, 6 Feb. 2021 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1773news.htm>.


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