Newspaper Reports, 1810

1 January 1810

On Tuesday morning Mr. Nehemiah Taylor, surgeon of his Majesty's ship Jamaica, was executed at the yard arm of that ship, for a detestable offence. This unfortunate gentleman was about 37 years of age, eighteen of which he had been a surgeon in the royal navy. He had very respectably allied connections. His crime he confessed, with sincere repentance and contrition. (Hampshire Chronicle)

1 January 1810

On Saturday morning last, the warrant for the execution of Mr. James Nehemiah Taylor, surgeon of his Majesty's ship Jamaica, sentenced to suffer death for an abominable crime, was received. – Capt. Hall, of his Majesty's ship Puissant, on board which ship the Prisoner was confined, soon afterwards called on the Rev. Mr. Howell, Chaplain of that ship, and they both proceeded on board the Puissant.
          On their arrival, Captain Hall informed the officer of the ship and that the warrant was arrived for the executionn of the prisoner, and wished them all to be present when he broke it to him. He then sent a message to the prisoner by the Provost-Marshall, that he (Capt. Hall) wished to have an interview with him, and that he would come to him as soon as he (the prisoner) was ready to receive him. – After a few minutes, a message came from the prisoner that he was ready to receive Captain H.'s commands. The Captain immediately went down to the wardroom, attended by the Commissioned Officers of the ship, the Officers of Marines, and Mr. Howell. – The door of the cabin, which was the first on the starboard side, was opened by the Provost-Marshal, and Captain H. entered the cabin – Mr. Howell followed, ad the Officers of the ship came close to the door of the cabin. The prisoner, who was sitting in an arm chair, immediately rose up and made a respectful bow. Capt. H. then addressed him, with saying – "that he felt himself extremely hurt in being obliged to communicate to him unpleasant tidings, but that as he had had so much time attended him since his condemnation, he trusted that he was sufficiently prepared to receive them. He then informed him, in a very solemn and impressive tone of voice, that the warrant was come down to the Admiral's Office for his execution, and that it was to take place on Tuesday morning." The prisoner then made another bow, and said – that the intelligence was by no means unexpected, that he had made up his mind to his fate, and had come to receive it with resignation. Captain H. then turning to Mr. Howell, said, "This is Mr. Howell, the Chaplain of this ship, he will feel himself extremely happy if he shall be able to alleviate your misfortune by administering to you the only considerations you can now received – thos of religion." The Captain and Officers then withdrew, and the prisoner, turning himself to Mr. H. said – that he should feel great comfort in his attendance; that he was not unknown to him; that he had heard him preach at St. John's Chapel; then he enquired after Mr. H. but was informed that he resided in the country; that he was fearful of intruding too much on his time, and subjecting him to inconvenience, or that he should have before requested his attendance on him. Mr. H. replied, that he considered it his duty to devote his whole time and attention to his service; that he should have before offered his assistance, but that he was informed it was his wish to have another Clergyman; that on receiving his request, he had applied to Sir Roger Curtis for permission, who had granted it; that he understood Mr. Dusatoy had been twice with him, and he made no doubt he had received both consolation and instruction from his visits. Mr. H. then said, "Captain Hall intends to have Divine Service performed in the ward-room, and could wish, if you do not feel any great repugnance to it, that he would attend, he is desirous, with myself, to make your unhappy fate as serviceable as possible to the ship's company; at the same time, if you feel that it would disturb your mind, or too much agitate you, he leaves it to your own discretion?" He replied – "that he bowed with great submission to Captain H.'s wishes, but that he had been much indisposed in his bowels during the night, and was so at that moment; that if the Captain would permit him to remain in the cabin, he could join in the service, and should feel himself obliged by the indulgence." Mr. H. then took his leave of him, by saying, "that after the service he should consider his time entirely at his disposal, and hoped that God Almighty would assist the sincere desire he felt of bringing him to a real sense of the dreadfulprecipice on which he stood, and of reconciling him to God, through the blood of a Redeemer." – Mr. H. immediately waited on the Captain and informed him of the prisoner's wish, to which Captain H. assented. Divine Service was then performed, and a Sermon on the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorah immediately followed. The ship's company were extremely serious, and when the prayers of the Congregation were desired for a prisoner under sentence of Death, it seemed to make a strong impression on them. The prisoner joined in the whole of the service with great fervour and devotion,a nd was particularly attentive during the Sermon. A few minutes after the service was finished the Provost Master came to inform Mr. Howell that the prisoner was desirous of seeing him, he immediately went to him, and on his entering the cabin, he said, "I feel myself now Sir, perfectly prepared to receive any instruction you may think proper to bestow upon me; this world is disappearing before me, and another is arising to my view which demands all my attention." – Mr. He. replied he was glad to find him in so composed a state of mind, and that he would thank him before he commenced his important task, if he would inform him what his present noitions of the Supreme Being were and what expectations he entertained with respect to his future state. He then begn by saying, "That he believed in One Great and Supreme Being, the Creator and Governor of all things – that he considered man a free agent sent into this world as a probationer for eterminty – that he looked on the Deity as a merciful Being, who would make allowance for human frailty, and not be severe in punishing for the indulgence of passions which were implanted in our nature and constitution – that he considered moral honesty as the great chain by which men were bound together in society, and civil and religious liberty the greatest blessing they could enjoy – that he did not look upon himself as a notorious sinner – that he had his infirmities and frailties like other men – that he had been an honest man, and in many respects a useful member of society – that he had endeavoured to discharge his social duties to the best of his abilities – that he had supported an only sister who was entirely dependent on him, in as comfortable a manner as his circumstances would admit of – and that he trusted God would pardon such parts of his conduct as had been faulty, in consideration of his having performed some worthy actions – that with respect to the crime for which he was about to suffer, and which he had been repeatedly pressed to confess, he thought he should be highly culpable were he to acknowledge himself guilty of – a great many things had been imputed to him – that a variety of reports had been circulated which had not the smallest foundation in truth – and that the witnesses who appeared against him were instigated by revenge, and had sworn things which were false – that he should fall a victim to their malice – that his Lot was cast – and that he must submit." – As he seemd to make a pause in this place, Mr. Howell told him before they proceeded further, he thought it necessary to inform him that he had read the Minutes of his Court Martial with great attention, and that he was so thoroughly convinced of his guilt, and so perfectly satisfied that the charge had been fully brought home to him, that had it been left to his own option to sign an order for his death, or to grant him a reprieve, he should not have hesitated a single moment in determining to carry the sentence pronounced on him into execution. In speaking these words, Mr. H. observed the prisoner's eyes fixed on him, with great stedfastness, and he continued, "I am aware that the frankness with which I feel it my duty to act towards you, may have the appearance of harshness, but I am satisfied that your own heart, if you would but acknowledge its dictates, is at this moment in perfect unison with the sentiments I have expressed, and if you can not be brought to make a confession of your guilt, I have to request, at least, that all asseverations respecting your innocence may be suppressed, as they can be of no service to you; and will only induce me to suppose that you entertain an idea of imposing upon my understanding; let us therefore leave this part of the business for the present, and have the goodness to lend me your attention, while I endeavour to lead your mind to a subject you seem to have but little, if any, knowledge of – I mean that of Reveaed Religionl Mr. H. then explained to him the nature, evidences, and benefits of the Christian Religion, which he heard with the most serious attention for nearly two hours, occasionally making very pertinent remarks. Mr. H. then left him, saying, should he wish to ask him any questions arising out of his conversation with him, he would endeavour to satisfy his mind. Mr. H. offered to stay with him all night, but this he declined. However, he soon lamented the absence of his instructor, for during the night, his mind was restless and disturbed, though, at intervals, he prayed with great fervour and correctness. The next morning Mr. H. again visited him. – He found his mind more expanded, and he manifested a dispositon to be acquainted with the truths of the Christian Religion. He said he felt some difficulties with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity: he could not comprehend it. – Mr. H. appealed to his own understanding, as a professional man, whether it was surprising that he should not comprehend the Deity, since we did not understand the formation of our own frame. Mr. H. then entered into an explanation of the doctrine, and he said he was satisfied. Mr. H. found he had been reading Venn's Whole Duty of Man, which the Provost Marshal (the Minister at Arms of H.M.S. Royal William) had lent him, and which Mr. H. recommended most strongly to his perusal, and pointed out the particular parts of it most suited to his case. On the afternoon of that day Mr. H. again visited him. – He found a most wonderful change in him. His language and manner evinced the strongest contrition and repentance. He said he had been made to believe, most firmly, the truths of Christianity, and noticed, that he understood the Scripture phrase Regeneration to mean, a total change of heart and mind; and if ever a total change did take place, he said he had experienced it. The crime which for many years he had been guilty of, he now abhorred, and it was more detestable in his sight than he could possibly describe it. Should he obtain a pardon, which he did not wish, he should never thing of living any but a life of seclusion from society, and a penitence towards God. After he had used these expressions, and many others, which shewed the sincerity of his belief and repentance, he said, now Sir, I am willing to make a disclosure of all my sins, for I feel I must unburden my heart and mind of them. I will tell you with whom I have been concerned in this hateful crime, which I have practised so long and so often, and who are the persons that have tended to bring me into this baneful practice. – Sir, this crime is more general then you are aware of – there is a Society formed for the practice of it! and belonging to it are some men whom the public look up to. – He was preoceeding to make this painful and disgustful disclosure, when Mr. H. desired he would not mention any names, as, in his present situation, it could be of no service, and the recollection of the circumstances might only tend to ruffle his mind, and break off his communications with the Deity, which, above all things, he should endeavour to preserve. He proceeded: – in London, in France, and in the Mediterranean he had seen the crime committed, and it was not considered a crime; that having taken up with the baneful opinion, that he had a right to do with himself as he pleased, and was not accountable to God, he had frequently committed it, and so powerful was the influence of the vice over him, that when objects did not present themselves to him, he sought them. He now loathed himself, he saw its detestable nature, and cried unto God for a pardon of all his sins; and he hoped, and believed, that, through Christ, he should obtain it. His subsequent conversation and prayers were most pious, scriptural, pathetic, and affecting. The night before his execution he asked if he might receive the sacrament. Mr. H. could not for a moment deny it to him; for so satisfied was Mr. H. of the total change of heart and mind the prisoner had experienced, that he said to him, "I conceive your present situation, with all your crime upon your head, in your present apparent state of mind, preferable to that of the most righteous man, in his own estimation, who should reject God's method of saving the world." When the prisoner requested to be shaved, it was apprended (as he had twice done before) that he would attempt to destroy himself, and when it was told him, he said, "were I alone in this cabin, and it was filled with instruments of death, I would not attempt to do that which the law is about to do for me; for why should I, feeling as I do, I hope, reconcilation with God." When he was about to be removed from the Puissant to the Jamaica (on the morning of the execution) he said to Mr. H. "could the curtain of life drop here, in this cabin, I should meet it with satisfaction and composure, resting as I do, on the mercy of God through the Saviour. But should you perceive me flurried or discomposed, in my last moments, do not attribute it to any thing but that awfulness, which it is impossible not to feel; from the scene of the boats round the ship, and the preparations made to make an example of my end. When the boat arrived alongside the Jamaica, he turned to Mr. H. and exclaimed – "This is indeed, Sir, a most awful moment." He continued in prayer for some time, in the Gun Room of the Jamaica, and said twice or thrice "he was ready," though the hour appointed for his execxution (11 o'clock) had not arrived, yet his wishes were complied with. He walked to the place of execution, praying all the time, and was joined most fervently by the Provost-Marshal, a man of superior mind. He was so composed, as to correct the Provost-Marshal twice, in reading the warrant for his execution; and when, putting on the cap, it being too small, the Provost-Marshal said he wished it had come down over the whole of his face, he said "never mind." Mr. H. now said to him, "Here I must leave you, my feelings will not allow me to remain with you longer; I will go into the cabin and pray for you." – Shaking Mr. H. most affectionately by the hand, he replied, "Do, do! God bless you!" – These were the last words he uttered, and a few minutes before eleven he was launched into eterminty. He apparently suffered very little; in three or four minutes his struggles were ended. The last three days of this unfortunate gentleman's life, if fully before the pulic, would be a most impressive lesson to many classes of society. He was a man of a good education, strong natural abilities, and very extensive reading; but his principal reading, as he said, was in Voltaire, Bolingbroke, and other infidel authors. His manners were easy and courteous, and his quick flow of observations, upon almost every subject, shewed a well store dmind. He was 38 years of age, 19 years of which he was a surgeon in the navy. He was son of the late Mr. Taylor, Dispenser of the Royal Hospital at Haslar [Gosport]. His body was landed, and interred last night at Alverstoke [near Gosport]. (Hampshire Telegraph)

Saturday 6 January 1810

CONFESSION. – Taylor, the surgeon of the Jamaica, who was lately executed on board that ship, for an unnatural crime, made a most shocking disclosure of his guilt to Mr. Howell, the Chaplain of the Puissant, in which he stated as follows:– “I will tell you with whom I have been concerned in this hateful crime, which I have practised so long and so often, and who are the persons, that have tended to bring me into this baneful practice. Sir, this crime is more general than you are aware of – there is a Society formed for the practice of it! and, belonging to it, are some men whom the public look up to.” Mr. H. desired he would not mention any names. His manners were easy and courteous, and his quick flow of observations, upon almost every subject, shewed a well-stored mind. He was 38 years of age, 19 years of which he had been a surgeon in the navy. (Norfolk Chronicle)

Saturday 6 January 1810

The Portsmouth Paper, received yesterday, contains a long narrative of the confession and execution of Taylor, the Surgeon, for an unnatural crime, which we have already briefly mentioned. It appears he made a most shocking disclosure of his guilt to the Rev. Mr. Howell, the Chaplain of the Puissant, in which he stated as follows:– “I will tell you with whom I have been concerned in this hateful crime, which I have practised so long and so often, and who are the person that have tended to bring me into this baneful practice. Sir, this crime is more general than you are aware of – there is a society formed for the practice of it! and belonging to it are some men whom the public look up to.” – He was proceeding to make this painful and disgusting disclosure, when Mr. Howell desired he would not mention any names, as, in his present situation, it could be of no service, and the recollection of the circumstances might only tend to ruffle his mind, and break off his communications with the Deity, which, above all things, he should endeavour to preserve. He proceeded – “In London, in France, in the Mediterranean, he had seen the act committed, and it was not considered a crime; that having taken up the vile and baneful opinion, that he had a right to do with himself as he pleased, and was not accountable to God, he had frequently committed it; and so powerful was the influence of this vice over him, that when objects did not present themselves to him he sought them. He now loathed himself, he saw its detestable nature, and cried unto God for a pardon of all sins, and he hoped and believed that through Christ he should obtain it.” He died apparently a most sincere convert to the truths of the Christian religion, of which he appeared to have had previously but a very slight knowledge. He was a man of good education, strong natural abilities, and very extensive reading; but his principal reading, as he said, was in Voltaire, Bolingbroke, and other infidel authors. His manner was easy and courteous, and his quick flow of observations upon almost every object shewed a well-stored mind. He was 33 years of age, 19 of which he had been a surgeon in the navy. (Northampton Mercury)

Tuesday 9 January 1810

Tuesday se'nnight James N. Taylor, late surgeon of His Majesty's ship Jamaica, was executed at Portsmouth, pursuant to his sentence, for sodomy. – He died a true penitent, and with a lively hope of pardon, through the means of the Christian religion, to a proper sense of the truths of which he was brought by the affectionate labours of the Rev. Mr. Howell, chaplain of the Puissant. To this gentleman he confessed that he had long been addicted to the detestable practice for which he suffered. That in London, France, and in the Mediterranean, he had seen the act committed, and that it was not considered a crime; that in this country there is a society [formed] for the practice of it! and belonging to it, are some men to whom the public look up. He was proceeding to mention names, when Mr. H. stopped him, as, in his present situation, it could be of no service. He was 33 years of age, 19 of which he had been a surgeon in the navy, and was a man of great acquirements. (Hull Packet; the Manchester Mercury reprints the same report on 16 January. The Lancaster Gazette for 13 January 1810 gives the date of his execution as 26th December 1809.)

Saturday 31 March 1810

On Thursday, four prisoners were tried, viz.
. . . Adam Brooks, for committing an unnatural crime, at Bolton-le-moors – Guilty; and the Judge passed sentence of Death upon him, in a most impressive manner.
          David |Mercer, 35, for a similar offence, at Stayley Bridge – Acquitted. (Lancaster Gazette)

Saturday 21 April 1810

. . . Thomas Carter, aged 55, and John Wellington, aged 25, for an unnatural crime, were acquitted of the capital part of the charge, and found guilty of a misdemeanor. (Bristol Mirror)

Wednesday 25 April 1810

On Wednesday morning Thomas Carter (a sheriff's officer) and John Wellington, were tried for an unnatural crime, of which they were acquitted, but were on the next morning indicted for the attempt to commit it, and found guilty – sentence deferred. (Hereford Journal)

Thursday 26 April 1810

Thoolmas Carter, (a sheriff's officer), and John Wellington, for an attempt to commit an unnatural crime, to stand in the pillory on Saturday next, and be imprisoned for two years. (Bath Chronicle)

Saturday 28 April 1810

Execution. – On Saturday last, about noon, [were hanged several men, including] Adam Brookes, aged 42, for an unnatural crime; . . . They appeared to be penitent and resigned to their unhappy fate. . . . Brookes was by trade a weaver, and has left a wife and five children. (Lancaster Gazette)

Monday 7 May 1810

The General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for this county, commenced on Monday last, . . .
William Mitchell, for assaulting Thomas Thompson, of Gosport, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime, is ordered to be imprisoned two years. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Sunday 13 May 1810

BRISTOL. – Carter and Wellington, who were found guilty of an unnatural crime at the last Assizes, stood in the pillory last week. Carter had been a thief-taker, and was not very popular with the mob. A bill was posted at the Exchanged, announcing “A grand Exhibition, by Signor Carter and Signora Wellington, two celebrated performers from the city of Sodom.” The moment the two culprits took their station on the pillory, eggs, dead cats, dogs, rats, and other objects of annoyance, were hurled from all directions; and Carter was shockingly cut and bruised about the head. (Bell's Weekly Messenger)

Tuesday 12 June 1810

Yesterday 14 prisoners were tried, . . . [including] J. Goff, and two others, were indicted for robbing J. White of a 1l. note. Mr. Alley stated, that one of them (Goff) had met the prosecutor, who was servant to a lady, and who knew him, in Oxford street; that the prosecutor went into a shop, and after coming out, had occasion to go into a gateway [i.e. to urinate]; that Goff came up, and behaved with considerable indecency towards him, who, with becoming spirit, knocked him down. Next day, the prisoners called on the prosecutor, and took him before a magistrate, where Goff charged him with an assault, with intent to commit an unnatural crime. The prosecutor was accordingly sent to gaol, where he remained a week, till he found bail. A short time after the prisoners called on him, and told him they would settle it, if he would give them 10l.; he said he would do no such thing. They then asked 1l. which he at first refused; but his mistress's bell ringing, he, to get rid of them, gave them a 1l. note. Mr. Alley confessed, that he did not think this could be construed into an act of robbery; but if the Learned Judge concurred with him in opinion, the Jury might acquit them of this charge, and then they might be detained and tried for a conspiracy. The Judge being of the same opinion, the Jury acquitted them accordingly, and they were detained. (Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser)

Wednesday 11 July 1810

The gallant crew of the frigate which fought the late obstinate battle in the Mediterranean against such a superiority of force, may very properly be called the true Spartan boys.
          On Sunday evening three sailor boys arrived in town, by the Liverpool coach, for the purpose of giving evidence against a Captain of a ship, who was sent from Liverpool in irons by another conveyance, to take his trial at the approaching Admiralty Sessions for an unnatural crime committed on the boys at sea. (Morning Advertiser)

Saturday 14 July 1810

FRIDAY, JULY 13. The Court for the trials of Traversers resumed its proceedings this day. . . .
Marmaduke Tubbs was also indicted for an assault, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime.
          The witness was a boy, of the name of Frederick Tongue, who had been lately in the service of the Marquis of Blandford, and his testimony gave sufficient proofs of a most base and filthy disposition in the defendant.
          Several witnesses were called to his character, who stated, that his father and mother had been many years in the service of Mr. Willis, who keeps the Thatched House, St. James's-street, and that until this charge his character was unaspersed. Verdict – Guilty of the assault. Sentence – Three months imprisonment. (Morning Advertiser)

Saturday 14 July 1810

On Sunday night, the Captain of a ship was brought to London in the custody of Mr. Miller, the Superintendant of the Police of Liverpool, and lodged in Newgate, to take his trial at the ensuing Admiralty Sessions, which commence on Saturday, for a most detestable crime with a boy on board his ship while at sea. (York Herald)

Wednesday 25 July 1810

This day William Cane was capitally indicted for a highway robbery, committed on the person of a Mr. Wm. Price, under the threat of charging him with an unnatural crime.
          When called upon for his defence, the prisoner entered into a detail too horrid to mention.
          The RECORDER, in his charge to the Jury, said, that it was impossible to conceive how a man must be affected at having such a monstrous charge preferr3ed against him – it was a charge against which the consciousness of innocence might not be at the moment sufficient to arm the accused; human nature shuddered at it, and though one man might be able to knock down the vile accuser, yet another might be so unmanned and so unnerved by the charge itself, as not to do that which ordinary presence of mind would do to defeat it. The Prisoner had denied all extortions, and said what he got was in free gift from the Prosecutor, but the Officer, Foy, had overheard him saying to Mr. Price, that the two pound note would not do. The Jury, without hesitation, found the Prisoner GUILTY – Death. (Morning Post)

Thursday 26 July 1810

BOW STREET. – As a young gentleman belonging to the Medical Board, was walking along the King's-road, Chelsea, at night, a fellow snatched his watch from his pocket, and charged him with having committed an unnatural crime. Horror-struck at such an imputation, he gave him all the money he had in his pocket, but at the same time assured him he was mistaken in him (giving his address at the time). The next morning the fellow called on him at the Medical Board, and his threats induced him to give more money; he called again in a day or two after, and offered to restore his watch for 5l. and say no more about the business. The young man met the villain at an appointed place and gave him 5l. but, he said he had forgot to bring the watch. The fellow had the audacity to call again for 50l. to put an end to the business; and the prosecutor appointed to meet him in Berkeley-street for that purpose – but finding himself thus involved, he made some of his friends acquainted with the whole affair, and two officers from this office disguised themselves to be present at the meeting. It was agreed that the money should be paid in Lansdown passage, and that the officers should pass through it at the time in opposite directions. A 2l. note had been marked previously; and on its being paid the prisoner, one of the officers heard him say, “It won't do, I must have 50l.” At this moment the miscreant was apprehended, and the note was taken from him. The prisoner was committed for another examination, to ascertain the extent of his depradations. (Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser)

Saturday 28 July 1810

OLD BAILEY, JULY 27.   Our readers will recollect that when the trial of James Brodie was called on, upon a charge of committing a most detestable crime on board a trading vessel, of which he was the Commander, on the high seas, within the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England, the Court, at its last sitting, allowed it to stand over until this day, on the application of the prisoner. This day it came on, and having heard the testimony of several witnesses, and the whole ably summed up by Mr. Baron GRAHAM, the Jury retired, and brought in a verdict of – Not guilty; but he is to be tried at the next Sessions for the assault. (Morning Advertiser)

Monday 30 July 1810

William Kane, better known about town by the designation of Polly Kane, was indicted for feloniously assaulting William Price on the King's highway, on the 6th of July, putting him in fear, and taking from his person a watch, and seven shillings in silver.
          Mr. Pooley detailed the circumstances, as given in evidence, and commented on them at considerable length.
          William Price was then called: he stated that he was Assistant Surveyor to the medical Board: he resided at No. 16, Queen's place, Golden-square; his brother was acting Physician to the Royal Military Hospital at Chelsea, and resided there. He was accustomed, when his daily avocations were concluded, to visit his brother. On the 6th of July, at nine o'clock in the evening, he set out from hs lodgings for Chelsea; when he arrived at the hospital, not observing light in that part inhabited by his brother, he returned to town: in passing thro' Upper-Eaton-street, opposite Lower Grosvenor-place, about half-past ten, he met the Prisoner, who seemed coming from the King's New Road. Prisoner seized him by the lappells [sic] of his coat, violently; snatched his watch, and then demanded all his money; he gave him seven shillings; prisoner looked very hard at witness, and said, he had seen him before in Parliament-street; and then made a most infamous accusation. – “If,” said the Prisoner, “you do ot promise to behave to me like a gentleman, I will have you in the pillory in less than a week for a detestable crime.” Prisoner then desired witness to meet him next morning in the same place, and give him 5l. Witness promised that he would. Prisoner persisted in his threats, that if witness did not behave to him as a gentleman, he would certainly appear against him for the crime which he had mentioned. The witness then said, his threats would avail him but little, as his character would bear the most minute inquiry, and that his connexions were most respectable; he then told Prisoner his name and employment, and also the situation held by his brother; which the Prisoner would not credit. He then dragged witness by the arm into an adjoining public-house: having called for some liquor, he took a candle from the bar, and examined witness's face very attentively. After having drunk some brandy and water, he handed the glass to witness, who just tasted it: they then went out together, and witness retired home. Witness did not meet the prisoner next morning; but on the Wesnesday following, being informed that some person desired to see him at the Medical Board, he went down stairs and saw the prisoner. He told witness he had broken his appointment, and demanded 5l.: witness said he had not got 5l.: Prisoner then desired witness to meet him at sever o'clock that evening, and to bring him that sum; they were ten minutes talking in the street; before parting, he desired witness to give him a 1l. note.
          The Recorder object to this evidence being gone into; each sum, so extrorted, cosntituting a fresh robbery, which was not mentioned in the indictment.
          Witness continued: He accordingly met prisoner int he eveingm, at the end of Berkeley-street. Prisoner took him into Lansdown-passage, leading from Berkeley-street to Curzon-street; he said to witness, “Sir, have you seen the newspapere, in which there is an account of a number of persons having been taken to Bow-street for a certain crime?”
[See Vere Street reports.] Witness answered, he did. “I do not,” said [Prisoner], “mean to take that advantage of you; and if you will behave like a gentleman, I will never mention your name upon such a subject. Have you brought the 5l.? Witness said he had, and gave it to him. Prisoner then said he had pawned his watch; and told witness he must give him 50l. to enable him to procure his discharge from the Guards, from which he was a deserter. Witness promised to meet him next evening, and to give him 50l. They then parted. Witness then determined to communicate with his brother, Dr. Price,which he immediately did; and a plan was laid for Prisoner's apprehension. His brother having procured two active Officers of Marlborough-street office, made them put their initials on a 2l. note, which he and witness had previously marked. On the evening of Thursday they proceeded, at a little distance from each other, to Berkley-street [sic]. They met the Priosner, who said “Sir, you will hardly know me, I suppose, I am so very smart.” Prisoner was much better dressed than usual. He then took witness into Lansdown passage, and thus addressed him: “Sir, I am a Gentleman, and mean to behave to you as such; pray have you heard, this morning, that a certain Noble Lord (whose name he mentioned) has been obliged to pay a thousand pounds for concealment?” Witness said he had not, “Give me,” continued prisoner, “100l. and I never will trouble you again; that sum will enable me to return to my own country, where I have an estate!” Witness said, the sum was extremely large, and he should not be able to pay it. Prisoner then demanded 20l. and the remainder on the following evening. Witness told hem he had got but 2l. and put into his hand the note which had been preivoiusly marked. The Officers then came up and apprehended him. Witness never received his watch nor any part of his money from the prisoner. Witness repeatedly stated, in the course of his evidence, that he had never seen the prisoner before the night of the 6th inst.; that at each interview, he was in the utmost terror; and that horror and disgust, at the dreadful charge made against him, prevented hiim from disclosing his situation at first. He was extremely weak,having but just recovered from a severe fit of illness.
          Witness having finished his evidenc,e the Prisoner asked him a number of filthy and disgusting questions; which were answered in the negative.
          Craig and Foy, the officers, described te apprehension of the Prisoner on the 13th of July. When Prisoner was asked what he had done with Mr. Price's watch, he answered, that he had given it to him the preceding night; and, when he observed Foy, “Ah! Mr. Foy,” said he, “this is a bad!” He said he lived in St. Giles's, but could not tell the particular house, as he changed his lodgings every night. It was at length discovered, however, that he lived near the Broadway, Westminster, and the house was searched for the purpose of discovering Mr. Price's watch, but the search proved ineffectual.
          Dr. John Price, brother to the first witness, corroborated his testimony, so far as he was concerened.
          The prisoner, in his defence, acknowledged having received the property, but declared it was given as presents. He then told a disgusting, improbable, and totally uncorroborated story, of the same description as his questions.
          The Recorder stated the evidence, pointed out the law of the case, and dwelt forcibly on the horrid nature of the crime.
          The Jury returned a verdict – Guilty – Death. (Saunders's News-Letter)

Saturday 11 August 1810

At Buckingham assizes, John Carey Cole, for an unnatural crime, received sentence of death, and is ordered for execution on the 8th of September. (Northampton Mercury)

Saturday 18 August 1810

Samuel Mounser was convicted of an unnatural crime, and received sentence of death. (Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser)

Tuesday 21 August 1810

A wretch, named Roberts, was examined on a charge of assaulting Mr. James Bradock, a tradesman, in Corporation-row, as also another respectable inhabitant of the City, with intent to commit an unnatural crime. The prisoner was committed for trial. A charge of a similar description was preferred against a man hitherto of some respectability in the City, before the LORD MAYOR. (London Courier and Evening Gazette)

Tuesday 21 August 1810

A wretch. named Roberts, was examined on a charge of assaulting Mr. Bradock, a very respectable tradesman in Corporation-row, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime. A similar charge was preferred agianst him by another respectable inhabitant of the City. The circumstances of his detestable conduct were too disgusting to admit of detail. He was committed for trial.
          At Marlborough-street Police Office, yesterday, a person who is a butler, in Devonshire-place, was committed for an assault on a servant in Norton-street, with intent to commit a detestable offence. The defendant had repeated his disgraceful conduct to the complainant several times, when the latter gave information, and an Office detected the fellow in the fact of assaulting the prosecutor. (Morning Advertiser)

Saturday 25 August 1810

Matthew Dexter, a lace and stocking manufacturer, and a preacher at a Baptist Meeting in this city, was arraigned on three indictments, for the attempt to commit an unnatural crime, on the persons of three boys, of the names of Simmons, Teadsdell, and Whall, all of whom lived, at the time of the attempt, May, 1807, with the prisoner. From the evidence of the prosecutor, Whall, (now 19 years of age) it appeared that the offence was committed on the evening of the 27th of May, 1807, but was not disclosed till the 1st of June, when the father of the boy had an interview with the prisoner, who offered the lads 50 each to conceal the circumstances. This part of the case was corroborated by a Mr. Heasod, who resided with the prisoner at the same period, and has since succeeded to the office of officiating minister of the chapel. Not being able to effect a compromise, the prisoner left Norwich and went to Ireland, from when he returned, after the lapse of a year, to claim a considerable property, in the hands of the assignees of Sir Roger Kerrison, deceased, when he was apprehended. Mr. Cooper, for the prisoner, addressed the Jury in an impressive speech of two hours length; and produced a variety of evidence and letters to shew that the witnesses were actuated by interested motives, throughout the whole transaction. Heasod, who had come from Birmingham, in distressed circumstances, was relieved by the prisoner, and taken into his house, and had repaid the kindness of his benefactor, by promoting the present charge, with a view to obtain possession of his chapel, and the emoluments arising from it. – In the testimony of Whall, given at a former examination, before Sir Roger Kerrison, it was stated that the prisoner had frequently repeated his abominable conduct: but in the evidence of to-day, he had positively sworn that not till the 17th of May, and never since, had Dexter behaved ill to him. This contradiction had great weight with the Judge, who, in a most impartial manner summed up the whole evidence, stating, that Whall had sworn to two different statements, and that Heasod was a witness that no Jury could credit; that Whall's evidence had not been confirmed by any other proof, but it had by the witnesses for the defendant been contradicted, and who also brought up persons to speak in his favour. His Lordship said, recently we had seen many instances where men were accused of this diabolical crime to extort money. This appeared to him to be the case now, and he thought it a wicked and a foul conspiracy, that Heasod might get the chapel, and if a doubt remained in the minds of a Jury, in all criminal cases, the prisoner should have the benefits arising from that doubt. – The defendant was acquitted of this particular charge, and the two other indictments were not brought forward. the trial lasted nearly six hours. (Suiffolk Chronicle)

Friday 7 September 1810

CANTERBURY, September 7.
Yesterday, William Bellenger was committed to Westgate gaol, by the Major of this city, charged with having on the 24th of August last, committed a violent assaualt on the person of Charles Britiffe Smith, an infant of the age of thirteen years, with intent to commit an unnatural crime on his person, in the parish of St. Mary Northgate. The prisoner, who is a French emigrant, has been employed in several families, and at some of the public seminaries in this city and neighbourhood as a teacher of the French language for many years, and, until this complaint was made against him by one of his pupils, was generally respected; the evidence adduced against him on his examination, was of the most detestable and degrading description. (Kentish Weekly Post)

Wednesday 12 September 1810

At Haverfordwest Assizes, there was only one prisoner, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime, who was sentenced to a fine of 10, six months' imprisonment, and to find securities for his good behaviour for three years. (Hereford Journal)

15 September 1810

Cardiff Assizes concluded on Friday last, . . . – An action was brought by Mr. David Evans, of Merthyr, against Henry James,for defamation,the defendant having accused the plaintiff of beastly propensities. The damages were laid at 500l. and the Judge expressed his indignation of the words spoken; but at the recommendation of the Court a verdict with nominal damages was entered for the plaintiff, in consideration of the defendant openly disavowing all grounds for the accusation, and consenting to pay all costs as between attorney and client; to which the plaintiff acceded, having the establishment of his character only in view. (The Cambrian)

Tuesday 18 September 1810

A miscreant, named Joshua Wyguss, who described himself as a tide-waiter at the Custom-house, was indicted for assaulting Abrin. Henning, with intent to commit an unnatural crime. On the evidence of the prosecutor, (which decency, of course, prevents us from entering into) as well as that of Staunton, the officer, who apprehended him, he was found Guilty, and sentenced to suffer 12 months imprisonment in Newgate, and to stand in the pillory one hour in Prince's-street, near the Bank. The Recorder said, that in consequence of the unexampled frequency of this worst of all possible vices during the last year or two, it was the determination of the Court to visit its conviction with the most exemplary punishment in its power, in order (if punishment shall be able to effect it) to deter others from such monstrous propensities. (Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser)

Saturday 22 September 1810

On Tuesday next Joshua Viguers, who was convicted of an assault with intent to commit an unnatural crime, at the London Sessions, on Monday last, will stand in the pillory from twelve to one, in the Princes-street, Walbrook. He will go from Newgate in an open cart. (Morning Advertiser)

Wednesday 26 September 1810

Yesterday Joshua Vigurs, the miscreant who was found guilty, at the last London Sessions, of an assault, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime, stood on the pillory, from twelve o'clock till one, at the bottom of Cornhill, and fronting the Bank. He was conveyed from Newgate in an open cart; and, long before he arrived at the place of exhibition, the justly-incensed multitude had so completely plaistered him over with mud, rotten eggs, and all sorts of filth and garbage, that it was difficult to trace in him the slightest resemblance to the shape of a human being. After standing his hour, he was conveyed back in the same cart, but was so exhausted as to be obliged to lie down in the bottom of it; and when arrived at the felons'-door, in Newgate, it was as much as the Sheriffs, Under Sheriffs, City Marshals, and a whole host of Constables could effect to keep off the populace, although they pulled him out of the cart in an instant. It was with difficulty he was able to walk up the steps into the prison. – An unfortunate accident occurred during the exhibition of this wretch: A number of persons having climbed up on the balustrades which are placed on the west wall that encloses the court-yard of the Mansion-house, the pilastres gave way with their weight, and a number of persons were precipitated to the ground, with large fragments of the ruins above them. One man, said to be a banker's clerk, was killed; five were carried, almost dead, on shutters to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and a vast number severely bruised and wounded: some, with broken legs and arms, were carried into the Mansion-house. In consequence of the excessive crowd, all the shops in the vicinity were shut up. – We would recommend in future that Moorfields should be adopted as the place for exhibiting such atrocious wretches, not only as it is spacious, free from carriages, and less liable to interrupt the general course of business; but as being a grand haunt, or rendezvous, for wretches practising this most abominable vice.
          Yesterday, a gentleman passing along the Poultry at the time the above culprit was being taken back to Newgate, had his pocket picked of bills of exchange to the amount of 250l. and stamps to the value of 25l. (Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser)

Wednesday 26 September 1810

Yesterday JOSHUA VIGOURS, the miscreant convicted at the last Sessions for London of an assault, with intent to commit an unnatural crime, was placed in the pillory, pursuant to his sentence, at the end of Princes-street, in Cornhill, whither he was conveyed in a cart. The moment he was put in the cart a shower of mud fell on him from every quarter. The Sheriffs, City Marshals, and Constables, conducted him to the pillory, which he mounted exactly at twelve o'clock. He was meanly dressed, with trowsers, and a black crape over his face; but the mud and filth, which had been thrown on him before his arrival at the place of punishment, prevented the spectators from seeing what cloaths he had put on. the mob collected on the occasion must have exceeded 30,000. A total stop was put to business in the Poultry and avenues to Cornhill; all the shops were shut up, and a sort of holiday was observed by the lower classes of people throughout the City.
          At the instant the offender was exhibited the Constables made a ring round the pillory, within which the City Marshals and Sheriffs took their station; but a body of females burst through the Peace Officers, and formed a complete ring between them and the pillory; they had brought in their aprons large quantities of offal; others were furnished with rotten eggs, a dead cat, horse dung, turfs of grass, and mud. In a few seconds he was one crust of mud and filth. The mob in general threw apples and hard substances, which struck the object of their resentment, for whom no person expressed the least pity. Having stood one hour, the executioner took him down. He then appeared to be insensible, and was thrown on his back in the cart, his face covered with blood, and his whole person one mass of mud. The cart hurried to Newgate, followed by the mob, which continued throwing mud till he was carried into the gaol almost dead. A surgeon went to him soon after, when he was considered not likely to survive.

Soon after the prisoner had been placed in the pillory, the anxiety to see him induced many persons to climb up the side of the Mansion House next Charlotte-row, where they hung by the stone ballustrade, until the whole, which was old and decayed, suddenly gave way and fell with the stone parapet on the unfortunate persons below. Many of the stones weighed a hundred weight, and a number of men, women, and children, were dangerously wounded. Some had their legs, thighs, arms, and backs broken, and many received slight bruises.
          Those badly wounded were taken into the Mansion-House, and conveyed from thence in coaches to Bartholomew Hospital. We did not understand that any person was killed. At the Hospital five men, some boys, and one woman, were taken into the soldiers, sailors, and Queen's Wards. The woman's legs were broken, and the others were in a dangerous state. Exclusive of those we have mentioned, many were taken to Surgeon Young's, and to their homes, slightly wounded. (Morning Advertiser)

Wednesday 26 September 1810

The Middlesex Sessions ended yesterday, and the business was not of much moment. Two fellows, Walker and Macnamara, charged with unnatural crimes, were brought up for judgment, and were ordered to be imprisoned in the Bastile, Coldbath-fields. The confinement we hope will be solitary, in the fullest meaning of the word. – Maley, and Catman, on a similar charge, received a similar sentence. . . .
          At Marlborough-street Police Office, yesterday, another of those miscreants who disgrace society, whose name is Allen, and who was lately a Linen-draper's shopman in Bond-street, was charged with a detestable assault, for which he was committed. (Morning Advertiser)

Friday 5 October 1810

On Wednesday last was committed to Dover jail William Morgan, (a miscreant from London) for an attempt to commit an unnatural crime on the body of John Cobb, a young lad of Margate. (Kentish Weekly Post)

Monday 8 October 1810

Tuesday a court-martial was held on board the Salvador del Mundo, in Hamoaze, for the trial of James Tool, a private marine belonging to the Experiment, at Falmouth, for committing an unnatural crime with Charles Williams, a boy belonging to the same ship. The prisoner was found guilty on the clearest evidence, and sentenced to be hanged, on board such ship, and at such time, as the Lords of the Admiralty shall be pleased to direct. It appears that this detestable wretch used force with the boy, to accomplish his diabolical purpose. The prevalence of this most abominable of all crimes (which is not, however, of British growth), among all classes of society, presents a very melancholy spectacle for the contemplation and reprobation of the moralist. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Friday 12 October 1810

Lewes, Oct. 8. . . . Last Monday an old fellow, whose name, in pity to his connexions, we, at present withold from the public, was taken up, charged with an unnatural crime, with a boy, about 14 years of age, named Penticost, whom he had seduced to his purpose. He on the same day underwent an examination before Lord Sheffield, who fully committed him to Horsham Gaol, to take his trial for the offence at our next assizes. This hoary miscreant had, for some months past, frequented the banks of our river, near Isfield, as an angler! and stated his age at only three years short of four score! (Kentish Gazette)

Tuesday 30 October 1810

A genteel looking young man, of the name of George Rowell, was put to the Bar, upon a charge of attempt to commit an unnatural crime.
          Our Readers will recollect that this defendant was tried at the last Sessions at the Old Bailey on a charge of a capital nature, but the evidence not supporting the indictment, he was acquitted, but ordered to be detained for the misdemeanour, which thus came on.
          The first witness called was a man of the name of Mason (well known in the purlieus of Clerkenwell). He stated, that he caught the defendant in the fields at the back of Gower-street, but that the other person with whom he was associated, on apprehending him, made his escape.
          A watchman, to whom the prosecutor had given the defendant in custody, proved, that he was so given into his custody.
          Mason, the first witness, underwent a long cross-examination by Mr. GURNEY, on the part of the defendant, wherein a great number of inconsistencies certainly apepared. He then addressed the Jury, in a speech wehrein he did not spare Mr. Mason.
          Three Gentlemen of the Bar, Messrs. Const, Arabin, and Adolphus, were called to state their knowledge of the character of Mason, the prosecutor, all of whom swore not only that he was not a person whom they would believe upon his oath, but they also stated facts that came within their own knowledge of the most diabolical wickedness, which, with perjury, he had endeavoured to perpetrate.
          Several most respectable tradesmen, artists, and others gave the defendant a most excellent and unblemished character; and the Chairman, after commenting upon the conduct of Mason, whose evidence was wholly unsupported by any other person whatsoever, observed to the Jury that the defendant could only be effected by whatever credence they might give to the testimony of Mason. But in doing that they would recollect that on the one side (i.e.) the prosecutor's) there was an infamous character; whereas on the other side there was a character unsullied, and till the present moment unimpeached. He made many other strong observations, and the Jury brought in a verdict of Not Guilty. (Morning Advertiser)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1810", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 13 January 2016, updated 19 Feb. 2019 <>.

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