Newspaper Reports, 1813

Monday 8 March 1813

Robert Hean and Patrick Cannon, for having on the 7th of December last, at Portsmouth, wickedly, feloniously, and against the order of nature, been guilty of sodomy – Hean to be imprisoned two years in gaol, and Patrick Cannon one year in gaol. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Monday 8 March 1813

The Lent Assizes commenced on Tuesday, . . . The Criminal Calendar was fuller than had been known for some time. There were 22 causes entered for trial at Nisi Prius. Those possessing most interest, in both Courts, are as follows:–
          Rob. Hean and Patrick Conner, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime. – H. two and C. one year's imprisonment, and once whipped. . . . (Hampshire Telegraph)

Saturday 20 March 1813

At Nottingham assizes, which commenced last Saturday, the following prisoners were tried:– . . . R. King, alias T. Patrick for an unnatural crime, guilty, death; . . . (Leicester Chronicle)

Thursday 25 March 1813

At Nottingham Assizes, William Sylvester, William Bowden, and William Taylor, for horse-stealing; James Barker, Richard Selby, and William Simpson, for bugglary; Robert King alias Thomas Patrick, for sodomy; and Fanny Elliott, for stealing a pair of trowsers and a dimity petticoat, were capitally convicted and received sentence of death, but were all reprieved except Simpson and King, who are left for execution. (Derby Mercury)

Saturday 10 April 1813

At the Assizes at Maidstone, 25 prisoners, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of Death. . . . Godfrey, for an unnatural crime, are doomed to suffer on Thursday next, the 1st of April. (Norfolk Chronicle)

Monday 12 April 1813

On Thursday last was executed on Pennenden Heath, pursuant to their sentences at the last Kent Assizes, . . . and George Godfrey, for an unnatural crime. . . . The day was unusually wet, notwithstanding which thousands of all descriptions attended the execution. The unfortunate men all made confession of their crimes to the Chaplain, and died very penitent. – Godfrey made a most ample confession of those diabolical practices for which he suffered the dreadful sentence of the law. (Hampshire Chronicle)

Saturday 7 August 1813

On Tuesday was committed to the county gaol, by the Rev. E. Griffin, and the Rev. James Old, John Cobley, charged with attempting to commit an unnatural crime at Clipstone. (Northampton Mercury)

Friday 3 September 1813

George Hendrick, clerk, aged 45, charged with having made an assault on Frederic Moult, of Nether Knutsford, barber, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime. (Chester Chronicle)

Monday 6 September 1813

Commitments to our County Gaol. – On Saturday, Wm. Cambourn, by Rd. Haynes, Esq. charged with committing an unnatural crime. (Gloucester Journal)

Friday 17 September 1813

Aged 44, from Hindley, Lancashire, was next put to the bar, charged with an attempt at an offence, as the indictment emphatically mentioned, not fit to be named amongst christians. – The trial occupied from ten o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in the evening, adn as we are prohibited by the Court from entering into the disgusting and unnatural details, we shall abstain from laying the evidence before the public. – We have therefore merely to say, that the evidence was not thought sufficient to conviction, and the prisoner was – Acquitted – The Court was unusually crowded. And here we should deem ourselves guilty of an act of injustice, were we not to say, that the eloquent and affecting address to the Jury, by Mr. Cross, on behalf of the prisoner, was one of the finest speciments of elocution we ever heard in that court, or any where else. (Chester Chronicle)

Tuesday 28 September 1813

The following prisoners were acquitted:– . . . Geo. Hendrick, (a clergyman, from Hindley, in Lancashire) charged with an assault, with an intent to commit an unnatural crime on Frederick Moult, a hair-dresser, at Knutsford. (Chester Courant)

Monday 1 November 1813

DOVER SESSIONS. – On Tuesday and Wednesday, the sessions for Dover, and Liberty of the Cinque Ports, were holden at Dover, when the following prisoners were severally arraigned: . . . At the above Sessions a Bill of Indictment was preferred against the Rev. John Cross Morphew, for an attempt to commit an unnatural crime, when the Grand Jury did ample justice to this gentleman's character by throwing out the bill. Thus determining by the prosecutor's own shewing, that there was not even such an appearance of criminality as should justify their reference of the case to another tribunal. (Sussex Advertiser)

Saturday 13 November 1813

[Letter to the Editor]
MR. COBBETT. Observator writes word that you have justly censured me, for the use of harsh and illiberal language. . . And now, perhapsk, you will also censure him for the use of harsh and illiberal language on his part. Observator has said, that Jesus borrowed his morality from the Ancient Philosophers. Has he proved it? I think, not in the least. . . . As I have said, that Ecce Homo “represents Jesus as a libidinous and debauched character, and vilely insinuates that Jesus was inclined to the most hateful, abominable, and unnatural practices;” I will produce some passages from that work, and leave the readers to judge for themselves. . . . And in page 104, he says, “with respect to John, who was a very fine lad, he became the favourite of his master, and received from him marks of distinguished tenderness.” The book, in my estimation, is perfectly infamous. And here I finish my part of the correspondence. – Yours, &c.
                   G. G. FORDHAM.
                   Sandon, Nov. 8, 1813.
(Cobbett's Weekly Political Register, Vol. 24, No. 20, p. 6, columns 619–20.)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1813", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 6 November 2014 <>.

Return to Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England