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

Newspaper Reports, 1791

Saturday 19 March 1791

At the assizes for Nottingham, a Baronet was, after a trial of 12 hours before Justice Grose, convicted of an unnatural attempt, and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. (Ipswich Journal)

Saturday 19 March 1791

The above assizes [for Nottingham] ended with the trial of Sir George Bromley, Baronet, charged with an unnatural attempt. – After a hearing of twelve hours, the Jury brought in a verdict against him, much to the surprize of many respectable persons who were present during the whole time. – He was sentenced to two years imprisonment. (Northampton Mecury)

Tuesday 22 March 1791

Saturday s'nnight at the assizes for the county of Nottingham, a Barronet, whose name, out of respect to the feelilngs of his afflicted relations, we wish to suppress, was, after a trial of twelve hours, found guilty of an attempt to commit an unnatural crime, and sentenced to two years imprisonment in Nottingham Castle. (Leeds Intelligencer)

Thursday 31 March 1791

At the assizes for this county [Gloucester], which began at Taunton on Monday before Mr. Baron Perryn and Mr. Justice Heath, . . . John Gideon, charged with assaulting James Stannard, with intent to commit an unnatural crime, was convicted of the assault only, and sentenced to one year's imprisonment; . . . (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette

25–27 April 1791

Yesterday John Smith was re-examined, on a charge exhibited against him by W. George, a soldier in the Coldstream Regiment of Guards, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime on him, on Thursday night last, in St. James's Park. He was fully committed, and the soldier ws bound over to prosecute him. (Evening Mail)

Saturday 7 May 1791

WHEREAS JOHN BELL stands charged, on his own Confession, with an unnatural Crime, whoever will apprehend and deliver him to the Constables of Wallingford, Berks, shall received of them a Reward of TEN POUNDS.
          N. B. The said JOHN BELL is a journeman Shoemaker, lately worked at Wallingford, and is supposed to be at Reading or Newbury. – He is a good looking Man about twenty Years of Age, five Feet four or five Inches high, fair Complexion, rather long Faced, picked Nose and Chin, light coloured Hair very thick and reaching down to his Shoulders; is smart in his Dress, walks very quick, and has a remarkable Way of shrugging up his Shoulders as he goes along. (Oxford Journal. This advertisement was published in several newspapers, including the Reading Mercury.)

Saturday 30 July 1791

At the Assizes for this county, which begin on Tuesday next, the following Prisoners are to take their trials, viz. . . . Thomas Manning, charged by Ebenezer Reed, of Wellingborough, on suspicion of having committed an unnatural crime with Fenn Reed, his son. He also stands further charged by the said Ebenezer Reed with attempting to commit the aforesaid crime with Richard Reed, another of his sons. (Northampton Mercury)

Monday 8 August 1791

Atthe assizes for this county, held at Abingdon, on Tuesday last, . . . At this assize a bill for the capital offence of sodomy, was found a true bill, against Robert Arnould, cabinet maker, of Wallingford, who had given bail for his appearance, but had fled from it. Three other bills were also found against him, for similar attempts. Edward Allen, who has confessed himself guilty of unnatural practices, by permitting Robert Arnould to perpetrate them on him, is admitted to bail, till Arnould, shall be retaken; for whose apprehension ten pounds reward is offered by the constables of Wallingford. (Reading Mercury)

Saturday 17 September 1791

ABSCONDED from his Master's Service on Sunday last, – THOMAS WRIGHT, late Waiter at the Hind Inn, accused of divers Attempts to commit an Unnatural Crime. – Whoever will give Informationthat he may be brought to Justice, shall received a Reward.
          Wellingborough, Sept. 14th, 1791. (Northampton Mercury)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1791", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 2 October 2014 <>.

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