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

Newspaper Reports, 1775

Tuesday 4 April 1775

On Wednesday last the Assizes for this county ended . . . David Mersey, charged with an attempt to commit Sodomy, pleaded guilty to four indictments, fined for each 6s. 8d. and to be imprisoned two years in York Castle. (Leeds Intelligencer)

8 May 1775

James Cross was found guilty of a sodomitical Attempt on Benjamin Banting, and sentenced for the same to be put twice in the pillory, for one hour each time, viz. on Monday the 3d, in which city, and on Wednesday the 17th at Andover. (Salisbury and Winchesteer Journal)

15 May 1775

James Cross, who stood on the pillory, on Wednesday se'nnight, for a sodomitical attempt on Benjamin Banting, as mentioned in our last, was very severely pelted by the mob, for full a quarter of an hour, not only with rotten eggs, apples, &c. but also large flint stones, with which he was so cut and bruised about the head, that had not the Mayor interfered, and with proper officers caused them to desist, 'tis thought they would have murdered him: if he recovers, and is well enough, he is to be set on the pillory again this day, at Andover, for the last time, where he ought to suffer his proper punishment, by standing an hour on the pillory, but is not to be stoned to death. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

22 May 1775

On Saturday the 13th instant James Cross stood on the pillory at Andover one hour, pursuant to his sentence at the last quarter sessions, for a sodomitical attempt, but had nothing thrown at him during the whole time, for which he was very thankful to the mob when he came down. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

Friday, 16 June 1775

Wednesday Evening a Person was taken up, in the King's-Bench Walks in the Temple, for an unnatural Attempt upon a Gentleman's Servant. The Number of these Miscreants, who now infest all public Places, is a Reproach to human Nature; but it is hoped, that the present laudable Endeavour of the above learned Society, to clear their Jurisdiction of all Nuisances, will be followed by others, to the ridding the Streets of this Capital, of the many various Pests to Morality, which have long destroyed the Repose and good Order of it. (Public Advertiser)

Saturday, 22 July 1775

Yesterday two soldiers belonging to the first regiment of Foot Guards in the Savoy Barracks had a conspiracy against a young country gentleman, who had been standing near the water side thereabout, and both swore they would accuse him of a sodomitical attempt if he refused giving them money; the young gentleman did foolishly give them two shillings, but they still wanting more, he refused, and resisted their charge, took one of them prisoner, and, by complaint to the Commanding Officer, had him secured in the Savoy gaol; the other had made off in the scuffle with the gentleman's gold-headed cane, but he was soon after apprehended, and this morning the gentleman is either to appear before a civil magistrate and prosecute them, or let them remain in the Savoy prison to be tried at a Court Martial. (Morning Chronicle)

Wednesday, 9 August 1775

A young fellow was, on Monday last, committed to one of the Compters by the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, charged with attempting to commit an unnatural crime on an apprentice to a tradesman near Moorfields last Sunday night. (Morning Chronicle)

Wednesday, 30 August 1775

A gentleman just arrived from Holland, informs us, that a Burgess of the town of Gronique, a few weeks since, had executed on him the punishment inflicted by the laws of the Republic on conviction of a most unnatural crime. Their mode of proceeding is this: – The parties are privatelky brought before three of their Magistrates, and if the evidence is deemed full, the criminals are sentenced to be conveyed with secrecy to the sea and tied up in a sack with a weight sufficient to sink it. The reason assigned for taking this method is, that it prevents the enquiries usually made by women and children when an offender is publickly executed, and that in these cases they might be the means of increasing a vice by exciting a dangerous curiosity in tender minds. (Morning Chronicle)

28–30 September 1775

The Middlesex address which is now signing [after the opening of the Sessions], asserting that, in the present reign, "Justice has been administered with an impartiality unknown to former times," a correspondent has taken the pains to collect the following undoubted proofs of this impartiality, which must put the ministerial writers, if any thing can, to the blush:
          Andrews convicted of Sodomy – Pardoned.
          A Verger of St. Paul's, ditto – ditto.
          . . . Captain Jones, – Sodomy – Transported. , , , (Middlesex Journal)

Wednesday, 4 October 1775

In the Public Advertiser of Saturday last was inserted the following Line:
          "A Verger of St. Paul's ditto ditto," which, in common Construction, must mean that a Verger of St. Paul's was convicted of Sodomy and pardoned. Now this Matter appears to be strangely misrepresented to serve the public Purpose of reflecting on his Majesty and his Servants. The Man here alluded to was named Shann. He was not a Verger of St. Paul's, but had been a Chinaman in Cheapside. He made a very indecent Attempt on a Tradesman in that Neighbourhood, for which he was tried, and sentenced to stand in the Pillory at Cheapside Conduit, and was so severely treated by the Populace, that his Life was apprehended to be in Danger. He was not capitally convicted, nor pardoned, as the Paragraph affirms. (Public Advertiser)

11–14 November 1775

A gentleman's servant was charged with an attempt to commit an unnatural crime, in St. James's Park, he was committed to Bridewell. (Middlesex Journal)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1775", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 20 February 2015, enlarged 28 July 2019 <>.

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