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

Newspaper Reports, 1788–89

Friday 4 July 1788

The following prisoners are to take their trials at Oakham this day:– William Walker, aged 31, charged with stealing a quantity of lead from the parish church at Liddington, in that county; John Barnard, aged 41, and Watts Atkins, aged 17, for unnatural crimes, committed at Uppingham. (Lincoln, Rutland, and Stamford Mercury)

from Thursday 10 July to Thursday 17 July 1788

At the Assizes for the County of Rutland, . . . No Bills were found against John Barnard and Watts Atkins, for being concerned in unnatural Crimes. (Derby Mercury)

Monday 21 July 1788

At the quarter sessions for this county, held last week at Warminster, . . . Silas Brown, for an attempt to commit sodomy, to be imprisoned 12 months in the cells, and find sureties for three years. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal)

Saturday 7 March 1789

At the Assizes for this county on Thursday the 19th inst. the following prisoners will take their trials:– . . . Wm. West and James Lake, for an unnatural crime. . . . (Norfolk Chronicle)

Monday 17 April 1789

The General Quarter-Sessions of the Peace for this county began on Tuesday last at our Castle . . .
          Thomas Griffiths, for an assault on Benjamin Adey, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime, was found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned in a solitary cell eighteen months, and to be once privately whipt during the last six months. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Monday 22 June 1789

Thursday a man was committed to prison, to take his trial for an unnatural crime. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Saturday 27 June 1789

Tuesday evening a Divine was brought before Wm. Addington, Esq. sitting magistrate at Bow-street, on a charge of attempting to commit an unnatural crime on a young man; the fact being clearly proved by two others persons, he was committed to Tothill-fields Bridewell, not being able to find bail, and the parties were bound over to prosecute at the next sessions for Westminster. He is a genteel man, and a near relation to a noble Earl. (Ipswich Journal)

Friday 31 July 1789

On Friday last came on to be tried at Chelmsford, the traverse of an indictment, the King against Lewis Disney Ffytche, Esq. for an assault upon William Ford, a waiter at the Cock and Bell, at Romford. The indictment consisted of two counts; one charging the defendant with an unnatural attempt, the other with a simple assault. The jury, which was special, returned a verdict not guilty of the first, but guilty of the second count. Mr. Ffytche will receive judgment next term at the court of King's Bench. (Stamford Mercury)

Saturday 21 November 1789

This day judgment was given in the Court of King's Bench, in the case of Lewis Disney Fytche [sic], Esq. for an assault found against him at the last assizes at Chelmsford, when the court, without reading the Lord Chief Baron's report, or the testimonies to Mr. Disney Fytche's character, ordered him to pay a fine of 100l. (Ipswich Journal)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1788–89", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 20 September 2014 <>.

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