Newspaper Reports, 1810

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, from 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 boad 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, hee 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 buit 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 yars, 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 biy 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)

Tuesday 2 October 1810

On Saturday week, nine of those abominable wretches, denominated the Vere-street club, were indicted at the Clerkenwell sessions, for committing divers vile and unnatural crimes. They were all found guilty, and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, and some of them to the pillory. Mr. Gurney attended as counsel for the landlord of the house, who was also implicated, but observed, that the testimony was so clear, consistent, and uncontradicted against them, as to leave no ground of palliation, upon which to make an appeal to the jury, and which went to excite the idea, that the horrors of Sodom and Gomorrah were revived in London. Four other wretches, unconnected with the above, were also found guilty on similar charges. (Chester Courant) [I have a separate page giving full details of the Vere Street trials.]

Wednesday 3 October 1810

Further particulars of the Vere-street Club.
Six of those nefarious wretches, who were found guilty at the Clerkenwell Sessions, on Saturday last, of assembling together at the White Swan public-house in Vere-street, for the purpose of perpetrating the most detestable crimes, were yesterday, pursuant to their sentence, taken in an open vehicle,usually appropriated to the removal of transports, from the Old Bailey, through Fleet-street and the Strand, to teh Haymarket, there to stand in the pillory for the space of one hour. The names of these infamous malefactors were– James Cooke, the landlord of the White Swan; Philip Ilett, his waiter; James Amos, alias Fox, a wretch long practised in such iniquities; William Thompson, who had been waiter at Richardson's Hotel, Covent-garden; Richard Francis, a soldier in the Guards; and James Dean, a waiter out of place.
          The rumours of the intended exhibition having been very generally circulated, the town, at an early hour, was a scene of bustle and expectation. About eleven o'clock, the shopkeepers of Fleet-street and the Strand, judging from the immense number of persons who were assembling, that their shop-windows would in all probability be destroyed, took the precaution of putting up their shutters. Many thousands of persons were, indeed, in motion – some pressing towards the Old Bailey, others, in a contrary direction, towards the Hay-market. A vast number of carts and waggons were stationed along the streets; they were crowded with men and women of the lower order, alleager to shower their filthy vengeance on the devoted heads of those contemners of every law, divine and human. The windows were also filled with persons desirous of beholding the sight which the metropolis never before exhibited; the transit of six ruffians, whose flagitious crimes are disgraceful to the name of manhood! A sstranger would have imagined, from the general appearance of the streets, that some grand pageant was expected to pass through the city.
          About twenty minutes before one, the prisoners departed from Newgate. The caravan in which they were was surrounded by a great body of peace-officeres on horseback; the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, and the City Marshals, also attended. The appearance of the cavalcade was the signal for a general shout, which shook the welkin; and the street dirt and filth of every description, which the mobility had employed themselves during the morning in collecting, were poured into the caravan from all quarters; the prisoners instantly bent their bodies, but this meanoeuvre availed very little; for, in spite of the force which surrounded the vehicle, the mob rushed to its very sides, and saluted the faces of these wretches with every species of filth and defilement. The disgusting wretches were fastened in such a manner, that they could not lie down; which, doubtless, they would have done had it been in their power. By the time they had reached the end of Ludgate-street, altuough the caravan went at a very smart pace, no vestige of “the human face divine” was perceptible. But the delicacies with which they had been hitherto treated, dwindled into the insignificance, when contrasted with the shower which assailed them at the end of Fleet-market. A number of butchers' boys had stationed themselves in a cart close by the footway, and severla others had clambered to the top of the linen-drapers' shops which stand in the front of the marekt: to those depots they had transferred all the filth, garbage, animal and vegetable, which the market afforded; and, from their pround eminence, they overwhelmed the prisoners with a deluge of Hotentot ornaments; the entrails of sheep and of oxen, of fowls and of fish, came down with a horrid stench; and, instantaneously, the vehicle assumed the appearance of an offal cart. During their progress through Fleet-street and the Strand, they were received with the same marks of hatred and detestation. The mud had been previously collected by the populace, and formed into balls of considerable size, which though thrown from all sides, terminated generally in one common centre. Occasionally, however, the mud and dirt missed the intended object, and bespattered those who approached too near the scene of action. The cavalcade, in the first instance,proceeded to St. Martin's watch-house, where two of the prisoner, Cooke and Amos, were deposited, while their companions in infamy, Ilett, Doan, Francis, and Thompson, were taken to the Haymarket, “to fret and fume their hour upon the” pillory! The machine was fixed near the top of the Haymarket, and a multitude of the lowest order of women had stationed themselves as near to it as possible, being determined, as many of them expressed it,
          “To make those wretches remember
          The 27th of September!”
          Many of those Amazonian trulls begged earnestly of the Gentlemen, whose curiosity had led them there, for a few halfpence, to afford them a little gin, that they might go through their task with spirit; a requesat whiuch not a few complied with. – At that end of the street next to Piccadilly, a great number of carts and carriages were assembled, and many persons padi a stipulated sum for permission to mount of them; but no sooner had they taken their situations, than the mob in the rear, whose view of the passing scene they intercepted, attacked them with mud and stones, and drove them from their places.
          At twenty minutes after none, Jack Ketch mounted the pillory, with one of the offenders, but which of them it was impossible to discover – from head to foot he was one mass of filth – a perfect-moving dunghill! He was received with a tremendous roar, and the ammunication which had been collected during the morning was plied with great fury. The executioner of the law, in consequence, felt very great inconvenience and difficulty in performing his duty, as he, of course, came in for a full share of the unsavoury presents which were intended for the delinquent. In ten minutes, howeve,r he succeeded in placing the culprits intheir elevated situation, when they commenced their career in a brisk trot, which they kept up during an hour with unabated celerity. The populace, on the othere hand, were not idle – with most persevering industry they plied the culprits, to the latest minute, with rotten eggs, dead cats and dogs, mud, apples, potatoes, nay, even stones; until, a few minutes after two, the term of punishment having expired, the miserable wretches, almost lifeless, were taken down, and placed in the caravan, which drove towards St. martin's watch-house; but the crowd about the watch-house was so excessive, that it was dangerous to attempt placing the prisoners there, they were therefore conveyed, attended by an immense multitude, to Coldbath-fields prison, there to be incarcerated for two years each.
          Cooke and Amos were, a few minutes before two, taken out of the watch-house in St. Martin's-lane. On their appearing in the lane, they received from the poulace a volley of every kind of filth, attended by exclamations which showed the abhorrence in which they held their crime. At that moment a bricklayer's labourer passed by with a hod of mortar on his shoulder, which proved of great advantage to the assailants: the labourer was in a short time eased of his burden, which was safely lodged in the caravan,and disfigured the countenances of the disgraceful objects within. – Before the Sheriff and his assistants could surround the cart, about 20 females, of Billingsgate fame, rushed forward, with their magazines well furnished with mud, &c. which they had stowed in their aprons, in imitation of the sharp shooters. A well-directed volley was given, which had the effect of putting the culprints out of countenance; for that part was completely covered with a mixture more easy to be conceived than described. – Cooke felt offended at this rough treatment, and returned, like a true warrior, the fire of his enraged countrywomen with the ammunition they had put in his possession. This raised the fury of the populace, and we may say, that when those culprits reached the place of their exaltation, they ought to have rejoined; for if they had been obliged to continue their journey a quarter of a mile further, they would in all probability have lost their lives. It was only bh the active assistance and judicious interference of the Police Officers, they escaped. Fox first mounted the stage, and declined addressing the audience; it was not so with Cooke, he came on undismayed, and walked u to the neck-yoke with confidence. He addressed the populace, and declared his innocence. The friends of justice immediately answered, that they would convince him of their opinion in a very short time; he then submitted his neck to the yoke; and John Bull, who is always willing to give his enemies fair play, did not fire a shot until Jack Ketch descended; after which, a regular cannonading took place; some pieces carried soft ammunition, mud, &c.; others hard eggs, potatoes, and apples; and others, more hard-hearted, allowed a brick-bat to slip through their fingers – Those instances were not many; but one of them took the forehead of Cooke, and made an incision from temple to temple, as if it had been pereformed with the assistance of an Indian scalping-knife. – The prisoners appeared to be men of bottom (or gluttons, as it is termed in the pugilistic vocabulary), for they did not give in, but walked merrily round, with the assistance of a person below to turn their neck-handkerchiefs!
          The hour having expired, the pillory was stopped, but the caravan had not arrived from Coldbath-fields Prison, where it went to deposite [sic] the four malefactors who had appeared first on the vehicle of disgrace. They were placed by jack Ketch under the pillory, and the populace, with a true British spirit, ceased to fie. If the loker-on did not iknow they bore the human shape leaving Newgate, he sould have been at a loss to imagine what they were. Suffice it to say, those monsters were punished, we will not say sufficiently, but to such a degree, as, we trust will deter others from similar crimes. They both appeared much exhausted, but Fox was weak to an extreme, and was obliged to be carried off the platform. – Cooke, although he lost a fast deal of blood, appeared to have greater strength, and descended alone.
          At ten minutes after three, Mr. Sheriff Wood, attended b ythe Marshal and Peace Officers, returned with the caravan. They were cheered and greeted by the populace as they passed along. – Although Englishmen love the laws of their country, it was the first time we ever saw those, who, by their official situations were obliged to see its punishment executed, greeted and extolled by the spectators. it does credit to the lower orders of the community, and it shows their detestation and abhorrence of the crime those wretches were so justly punished for. The malefactors were then put in the caravan, but by some means Fox was enabled to get down to the bottom of it; Cooke was therefore obliged to bear the whole of the pelting of the populace, which was violent. – There were several peresons on the top of the front building leading to Northumberland-house in the Strand, who poured a volley of something more hard then mud or lime: he had not lost his feeling, for he cringed from it.
          A little before four o'clock they were lodged in Newgate, and the populace dispersed. We did not hear but of one accident, which took place at the corner of Norris-street and the Haymarket. – A girl, about ten years of age, received a severe crush, and was obliged to be carried off, having fainted; but we are happy to understand that she is not materially injured. We have not a doubt but there were upwards of 30,000 persons in the leading streets from Newgate to the Haymarket. Business completely subsided for the time; and it was not until five o'clock the shops could be ventured to be re-opened.
          We understand that Cooke offered, if that part of his sentence was remitted (standing in the pillory), to divulge the names of several who have been and are considered respectable members of society, who are prone to this worst of vices, and have been guilty of the horrid crime. The offer was rejected. (Saunders's News-Letter; for other reports of this pilloring, see Vere Street pillory in September)

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 18 March 2018 <>.

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