The Barley Mow Club-Room, 1825

23 August 1825

BOW-STREET. – This morning 19 individuals, chargedwith a misdemeanour of a most abominable description, were examined. – They were apprehended last night, at about ten o'clock, at the Barley Mow public-house, near Exeter 'Change, by two of the Bow-street Patrol, who had received information of their abominable practices. – The neighbourhood of Bow-street was thronged with persons during the examination, the particulars of which are of course totally unfit for publication. – The result was, that seven of them, whose names are Thomas Grange, the landlord of the Barley Mow, Robert Watson Armstrong, William M'Donald, John Lewis, Alexander Gurtz, John Brady, and Williamj Powell, were ordered to find bai, which, not being able to do, they were locked up. (Exeter Flying Post)

22 August 1825

Business commenced at the office this morning, as early as ten o'clock, in consequence of a number of persons having been apprehended last night by Perry and Taunton, and a posse of officers, at the Barley Mow public-house, Strand, on suspicion of meeting at that house for the purpose of committing an abominable offence.
          The officers, in consequence of information that had been received, apprehended the whole of the persons they found in a room on the first floor of the Barley Mow public-house, and conveyed them to Covent-garden watch-house. This morning, at an early hour, they were brought to the Grapes public-house, Bow-street, in order to prevent them from being molested by the crowd. By nine o'clock this morning, a great number of persons had assembled in front of the office and the public-house where the prisoners were, and testified their opinion of the prisoners by various epithets, and loud and repeated hootings and yellings.
          Sir Richard Birnie on taking his seat on the bench, directed the landlord of the Barley-Mow to be brought before him previous to the examination of the other prisoners.
          He said his name was Grange, that he had been formerly waiter at the Angel Inn, St. Clement's, the tap of whch house he kept for some time before taking the house of which he is at present the landlord. The room on the first floor of his house was opened on Sunday and Monday night for the accommodation of company; a select party of "gentlemen" also met there every Sunday. He did not inow the names of more than half a dozen of them; he was seldom in the room, on account of his being obliged to attend the bar. He had one child and was a married man; any liquor which might be ordered by the gentlemen up stairs was taken to them by the servant girl. He had no idea that they met for any criminal purpose, and he was afraid it would be the ruin of his house.
          Sir R. Birnie – But how could you be so careless as to let a party of this kind assemble at your house?
          Thistleton, a patrol, said that he had been several times in the house; the landlord used to sit in a chair in the room, and observed what was going on.
          Sir R. Birnie remarked, that it was a very unusual thing to have a sofa in the room of a public-house.
          Deane, another patrole [sic], said, that a gentleman who went into the room on Friday last, came down stairs, and said he had seen such a sight, that he would not stop another moment in the house.
          A young man, named Morgan, who was the person who gave the first information at this office, of what occurred at the Barlow-Mow, was here introduced.
          Sir Richard Birnie, addressing the prisoner, said, "Do you know this person?"
          Prisoner – No.
          Morgan said that he well knew the prisoner. One night he used expressions which led him to suppose he must have known what was going on.
          Sir Richard now ordered all the prisoners to be brought into the office; they were nineteen in number, and Sir Richard called over their names one by one, and questioned them as to what they were.
          The first prisoner was a porter to a pipe-maker, who said he had never been in the house before. The prisoner not being known by the officers was immediately discharged.
          John Lewis, a tailor, being recognised as a constant frequenter of the house, was put within the bar.
          Another was discharged.
          A proprietor of a chop-house, being proved to have only been in the house once, was also discharged.
          A journeyman tailor, who had worked at a place which he named, for five years, was discharged.
          Another tailor had been seen several times at the house, but Sir Richard discharged him, remarking at the time that he could not think of blasting any person's character for ever, without having very strong evidence.
          John Brady, who described himself as an independent man, was ordered to stand within the bar.
          Alexander Groves is a horse-doctor, and lives at Chelsea. The prisoner having been seen frequently at the house, was put within the bar.
          An usher at a school was discharged. Thomas Jones was also discharged.
          Thomas Distance was placed within the bar.
          John Riley, an whitesmith, w as also placed within the bar.
          Wm. M'Donald, a youth, was placed within the bar.
          A carpenter was discharged.
          Wm. Powell was placed within the bar.
          Robert Watson Armstrong was also placed within the bar.
          A person of most gentlemanly appearance was discharged.
          John Lewis, Alex. Groves, John Brady, Thos. Distance, John Riley, Wm. M'Donald, Wm. Powell, Rob. Armstrong, and John Grange, the landlord, now being the only remaining prisoners, Sir Richard Birnie began to take the depositions of the witnesses against them.
          George Thistleton, the patrol, was the first witness. He deposed, that by direction of Sir R. Birnie, he went on the 24th of July, in company with Dean, another patrol. There were a number of persons in the room on the first floor; they were acting and using very different language to that which is usually made use of by men to one another. He spoke to some indecencies and suspicious circumstances, which are not fit to meet the public eye, implicating Brady, Powell and M'Donald, who was the object of the indecencies of the others.
          John Henry Morgan was next sworn – He corroborated the evidence of 'Thistleton, and spoke to the prisoners Armstrong and lewis, as acting in a similar way to the prisoners Brady and Powell.
          Dean's evidence was principally in corroboration of the evidence of the other witnesses.
          The witnesses not being able to swear to either Riley or Distance as being criminally concerned in the business, Sir R. Birnie discharged them, after giving them a suitable admonition not to be seen again in such company.
          The prisoners contented themselves with denying the charge, and Grange, the landlord of the Barley-Mow, said, How can the witnesses tell such abominable lies? – I never did anything of the kind.
          Perry, the officer who took the prisoners, said that a ladder was placed at the back of the public-house for the purpose of facilitating the escape of the prisoners, but they were prevented by the officers who accompanied him.
          Grance said that the ladder was always standing there.
          Sir R. Birnie said that he should commit them all for trial; it was a bailable offence, but he should require them to produce good sureties to a heavy amount.
          The whole array of prisoners was shorty afterwards brought back and again placed at the bar, in order to enable an officer, who attended from Marlborough-street, to identify one or two of the prisoners. He immediately stated, that Macdonald and two others, whom he pointed out, were well known to him as characters who paraded the streets at all hours of the night, notoriously for purposes similar to these now charged upon them. He also mentioned a man of the name of George, a gentleman's servant out of place, who had long been notorious in the streets.
          The landlord of the Barley Mow persisted in declaring his ignorance of the practices charged upon the frequenters of his house. – Sir RICHARD BIRNIE assured him that in a case of this kind he felt great reluctance in sending a man to his trial, the result of which might be indelible disgrace and ruin. He did not, however, feel that he ought to hesitate for one moment on the present occasion. The house in which the prisoners had been apprehended had for many weeks been under the surveillance of the police; and it had not originally attracted the attention of the Magistrates from any anonymous intelligence, but from the information of the most respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood. As to the evidence upon which the present proceedintgs of the office rested, it was not of a nature upon which any doubt could be raised. The witnesses were not all police officers; and it was to observed, that this was not a case in which any reward was given for apprehension. – There was no such thing as blood money here. As to the landlord being implicated in the charge, it appeared on the face of the evidence that he possessed a guilty knowledge of what was going on in his house, at the least. He should, therefore, give him an opportunity of clearing his character before a Jury of Englishmen.
          The landlord (Grange) declared that he was as innocent as the child unborn.
          Sir R. BIRNIE: You are committed, nevertheless. After the evidence given, it is impossible to believe your assertion.
          The prisoners were again removed, and kept in safe custody.
          Sir R. BIRNIE desired the Clerk to let him know who those persons were who should happen to offer themselves as bail.
          The prisoner M'Donald is not more than 18 years of age. – The other prisoners appear to be between thirty and forty years of age.
          It was intended to remove the prisoners in the new caravan to be tried for the first time. The crowd about the office amounted to thousands.
          At half past two-o'clock the crowd had become so dense, and appeared to be so much on the increase, that it was deemed advisable to remove the men without any further delay. For this purpose two hackney coaches were drawn up to the door, and the prisoners immediately placed in them, amidst the hootings and loud execrations of the assembled multitude. It was with great difficulty that they were got, without personal injury, down the steps of the office into the vehicles. When there, every species of obstruction was offered to their further progress. The horses were forcibly held back for a considerable time, and the doors of one coach were several times forced open, and nothing but the exertions of a strong body of officers preserved the wretched offenders from an immediate punishment. The coach drove to Clerkenwell Prison. (Morning Chronicle)

23 August 1825

. . . The other prisoners protested that they were innocent, and that the charge made against them were wholly without foundation.
          Sir R. Birnie said he was bound to believe the accusers on their oaths, and he certainly felt it his duty to send the prisoners for trial by a Jury of their countrymen. At their trial they would have an opportunity of bringing forward any testimony that they were prepared with either as to character or facts, and, if they could, of clearing themselves from the foul imputations which at present rested upon them. The charge was not supported by the evidence of Police Officers alone, or, in the minds of some prejudiced persons, it might be disbelieved; but there was no reward, no "blood-money" to be obtained by the successful prosecution of persons for crimes of this description; and what motive, therefore, could any human being possibly have for making an accusation of such a kind, that the bare mention of it made one's heart's blood curdle in the veins. The information came first from respectable quarters, and the Officers had only done their bare duty, under the orders of the Magistrate, in endeavouring to procure detection.
          The prisoners were then ordered to be locked up, to give notice of bail, and the witnesses were all bound over to prosecute. At a quarter past two in the afternoon, the crowd in the street had increased greatly, and there being some apprehension that it would be out of the power of the Police to protect the prisoners from popular fury, it was determined to send them at once to prison. Two coaches were called, and the prisoners were brought out handcuffed, four and three together. At this moment the scene outside beggared description – the hootings, hissings, and groanings, were really terrific, and attenpts were made to seize the coaches, but the Police, though small in number, prevented it. A great number of persons followed the coaches, and some pelted them with mud and other missiles.

We regret to state that the infamous particulars of a case similar to that we have been under the painful necessity of detailing above, reached our office. One person is in custody upon a charge which it is expected will implicate the parties concerned in the capital offence. Thje prisoner is a helper in a stable, and his companion, who is not yet taken, is said to be in the same condition in life. The investigationn will take place at Hatton-garden. (Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser)

23 August 1825

. . . It was intended to remove the prisoners in the new caravan, and as this became known the crowd increased round the office till it swelled apparently to thousands. At half past two o'clock it had become so great that further delay was thought unadvisable, and as the caravan was not come, two hackney-coaches were drawn up to the door, and the prisoners immediately placed in them, amidst the hootings and loud execrations of the assembled multitude. It was with great difficulty that they were got without personal injury, down the steps of the office into the vehicles. When there, every species of obstruction was offered to their further progress. The horses were forcibly held back for a considerable time, and the doors of one coach were several times forced open, and nothing but the exertions of a strong body of officers preserved the wretched offenders from an immediate punishment.
          The coach drove to Clerkenwell Prison. (Morning Post)

23 August 1825

BOW-STREET. – About a month ago information was given to Sir RICHARD BIRNIE, by some respectable persons living in the Strand, near Exeter Change, that there was strong reasons to believe that a gang of fellows were in the habit of meeting at the Barley Mow public-house, in the Strand, for purposes that cannot be named in a public journal; and three Chief Magistrate gave orders to two of the patrol, named Thisselton and Deane, to go to the house, and mix with the company, and endeavour to ascertain if there was any ground for the suspicions which were entertained. The patrols on first going to the house in the characters, of course, of mere casual customers, were unable to gain admission to the room up stairs, where it was said the meetings of the filthy gang were held, and they were under the necessity of spending a great deal of time and money, and of making themselves very friendly and familiar with the landlord and his customers, before they were permitted to join "the company up stairs." When they got this permission,, they soon found that the informatino conveyed to the Chief Magistrate was perfectly correct. The regular meeting nights were on Sunday and Monday, and on the latter night the ostensible character of the club was what is called a "Free-and-easy," and some singing was carried on. It was on these nights that scenes of the most horrible kind took place, and the patrol were obliged for some time to be patient witnesses of them, in order to get a sufficient knowledge of the principal actors to enable them to support a case against them. At length it was thought that sufficient proof was obtained, and on Sunday night, Taunton and Perry, who were furnished with a warrant from Sir Richard Birnie, went to the Barley Mow with a strong party of patrol, and apprehended every male person found in the house, the landlord among the rest. Several endeavoured to escape, but were prevented. The number taken into custody was twenty-five, and they were immediatley conveyed in different watch-houses. The matter of ocurse soon got wind, and at a very early hour yesterday morning, the house was surrounded by a large crowd of people, many of whom vented their indignation in an occasional hoot and groan. At one time there appeared to be a strong inclination on the part of the people to assail the house, but that was not done. Nearly two hours before the usual hour for commencing business at this office, the prisoners were brought from the respective watch-houses to the Grapes public-house, in Bow-street, where they remained until ten, when Sir R. Biornie took his seat, and commenced the examination at that early hour, in order to get rid of it if possible before a large crowd had collected. This however was a fruitless endeavour, as the street was filled from one end to the other in a very short time. Several officers were obliged to station themselves at the doors, with their staves, in order to prevent the crowd from rushing in.
          Of the 25 pesons who were in custody, seven only, including the landlord, were, after a short examination, placed at the bar. These were all that the patrol were enabled to identify as being participators in the crimes charged to have been committed. The names of these were John Grange (the landlord), John Lewis, Alexander Gurtz, John Brady, William Macdonald, William Powell, and Robert Watson Armstrong.
          The patrol described various acts of indecency which they had seen practised by the 6 persons last named, and swore that they had seen Grange (the landlord) sitting in the room while these incecencies were going on, and that he made no effort to check them, but, on the contrary, appeared to encourage them.
          Another person, who had first given information at this office, and had come to the room for the purpose of assisting in the detection of the offenders, gave similar testimony.
          Grange denied most positively, and in veyr strong terms, that there was any truth in the assertions of the patrol, as far as concerned him. He said "it was all a lie – a most abominable lie; and that would be proved hereafter."
          Sir R. BIRNIE, after examining the witnesses with great strictness, put some questions to Grange, who, in reply, stated that he was formerly a waiter at the Angel Inn, St. Clement's; that he subsequently kept the tap belonging to that inn, and that he went from there to the Barley Mow. A considerable number of persons, he said, were in the habit of assembling in his club-room, particularly on Sunday and Monday evenings, but he had never the least idea that they had any improper object, or that any thing in the slightest degree approaching to indecency was practised in the room. He was himself a married man, and had one child.
          The other prisoners protested that they were innocent, and that the charges made against them were wholly without foundation. . . . (Morning Advertiser)

24 August 1825

Sir Richard Birnie gave strict orders on Monday, after the examination of the fellows who were taken up at the Barley Mow, in the Strand, that the most rigid enquiry should be made into the responsibility and general character of any persons who might offer themsleves as bail on their behalf. On Monday evening Mr. Price, an attorney, gave in the names of two persons who were willing to become bail for Grange, the landlord; and Stevens, the messenger, was ordered to make enquiry. Upon his report yesterday morning, the Chief Magistrate rejected one, but approved of the others, a baker, of the name of Thompson; and Mr. Price came in the afternoon to tender another name, but was told by Mr. Wood, the Clerk, that Sir R. Birnie had subsequently received such information as to Thompson, that there was no chance whatsoever of his being accepted.
          Mr. Price said, he thought that very strange, as he had been given to understand that Sir R. Birnie distinctly approved of Thompson.
          Mr. Wood. Then, Sir, I can tell you, odd as it may appear, he will not, under any circumstances, be accepted, and I have the authority of the Chief Magistrate for saying so.
          With this answer the attorney departed to seek out for other sureties. (Public Ledger)

24 August 1825

Monday, a person of the name of Morris, who was among the prisoners discharged at Bow-street, offered himself, with another person, as bail for the Landlord of the Barley Mow. They were refused. During the whole of the day the pavement on both sides of the Strand fronting the Barley Mow, was occupied by a number of persons of both sexes, and several Parish Constables were in attendance, for the purpose of preserving order. The house was full of people. (Public Ledger)

24 August 1825

Letter to the Editor. – London, Monday Evening, half-past Seven. – It is impossible to describe the sensaton which has been produced by the apprehension of a gang of wretches charged with a nameless offence, at the Barley Mow public house in the Strand.. Up to the present hour there is an immense crowd in front of the house, and the execrations of the women are loud and violent. It is a singular and horrible fact that similar charges have been brought to-day at Hatton Garden and Marlborough-street offices. One man was committed from Hatton Garden to Newgate this afternoon. (Hereford Journal)

27 August 1825

Yesterday morning information was received by Mr. Miller, the chief officer of this establishment, that the inhabitants of High-street, Whitechapel, particularly the female part of them, were much annoyed by a person hawking about indecent pamphlets, and attracting a crowd of the lowest description of vagabonds, by the exhibitionn of an abominable picture, purporting to be a faithful representation of the recent disgusting transaction at the Barley Mow, and of the orgies of its diabolical frequenters. Mr. Miller immediatley dispatched an officer, who apprehended the delinquent, with the pamphlets and the abominable placard, which, together with himself, he brought to the office. When placed at the bar for examination, several of the respectable inhabitants of Whitechapel were in attendance, one of whom stepped forward, and pointed out the dangerous tendency of such exhibitions, and the vitiating influence they must, if not at once put an end to, have on the ductile mind of youth. In illustration, he said, that on that morning, his son, a child of 10 years of age, seeing the placard, the hearing the prisoner hawking about the pamphlet in explanation of it, came to him, and with the natural inquisitiveness of his age, questioned him very closely as to its meaning. He of course gave him no reply, but put him off. Under the circumstances he hoped that his Worship would interfere and put an end to such disgusting exhibitions, and thus relieve parents from the disagreeable necessity of answering such questions, and prevent the pollution of uncontaminated youth.
          The prisoner, in defence, said that he was a vender of pamphlets, and that those which were now the cause of complaint he had only an hour before purchased in the way of his trade, but with no criminal intention.
          The Magistrate (Mr. Wyatt) said, that so great was the outrage to society and so demoralizing its tendency,that he would punish the prisoners as an an example to others. He then convicted him under the 4th clause of 5th Geo. IVl, chap. 86, and sentenced him to three months' imprisonment in the House of Correction, there to be kept to hard labour. (Globe)

28 August 1825

Grange, the landlord of the Barley Mow, was formerly waiter to Mr. Williams, who kept the Angel Inn. Williams was a single man, and left him 500l. at his death, with all his wardrobe. Grange then took the tap at the Angel, and from thence moved to the Barley Mow. The Barley Mow was burnt down a short time since. The late affair has proved almost as destructive to the premises. Several innocent persons were taken up, who happened to be in the house on the night of the general caption [sic]; and one man was actually taken from the side of his wife. All these persons were instantly discharged by Sir Richard Birnie, but one man was so affected by the infamy of the accusation, that he nearly lost his senses. (Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle)

Wednesday 31 August 1825

About a month ago, information was given to Sir R. Birnie, by some respectable persons living in the Strand, that there were strong reasons to believe that a gang of fellows were in the habit of meeting at the Barley Mow public-house, in the Strand, for purposes too infamous to be mentioned. Sir R. B. in consequence, ordered two of the officers (Thisselton and Deane) to go and attend at the house, from time to time, to obtain information; this they did, and became eye-witnesses to scenes which are indescribable; in consequence, a strong party of the patrol went to the house on Sunday night, and took 25 persons into custody; of these 7 only where brought up to Bow-street the next morning. These were all that the patrol were enabled to identify as being participators in the crimes charged to have been committed. The names of these were John Grange (the landlord,) John Lewis, Alexander Gurtz, John Braby, William Macdonald, William Powell, and Robert Watson Armstrong. The prisoners protested their innocence, but Sir R. Birnie said he should send them to trial. The charge was not supported by the evidence of police officers alone, or, in the minds of some prejudiced persons, it might be disbelieved. The information came first from respectable quarters. The prisoners were then ordered to be locked up, and to give notice of bail. Two coaches were called, and the prisoners were brought out handcuffed. At this moment the hootings were really terrific. A great number of persons followed the coaches, and pelted the inmates with whatever missiles they could find. – To these horrible details we lament to add that J. G. Muirhead, Esq. most respectably connected, has been committed for trial, on a charge of having made an indecent assault upon two youths. He was told that he must produce bail, two responsible sureties in 1000l. each, and himself in 2000l. He strongly denied the charges against him, but a person who had been his steward stated that he left his service 40 years ago, having then observed certain dreadful propensities, which induced him to leave Mr. M. The prisoner is closely allied to a noble family, who must deeply feel the degrading situation in which he is placed. It is to be regretted occurrences of the above description are detailed with the disgusting minuteness with which several papers give them. (Hereford Journal)

22 September 1825

This case, which was specially appointed for this morning, was called on as soon as the Chairman came into Court. The defendants had been brought very early to the Sessions-house, in order to avoid the mob, which collected between nine and ten.
          Mr. BRODERICK said, that on the part of Grange, the landlord, he had to move that his trial might be traversed till the next Sessions, on the groud that he was indicted for an assault as well as the misdemeanour, and that, therefore, the statute allowed such traverse.
          Mr. ALLEY objected to any such traverse, as the nature of the committal, on which Grange appeared, stated that he was to answer all charges.
          Mr. ADOLPHUS, who just then entered the Court, followed on Mr. Broderick's side of the argument.
          The CHAIRMAN decided that the application was invalid, and that the trial must proceed.
          . . . In the course of the ensuing trial Mr. ADOLPHUS took occasion to observe, that impartiality and irregularity were the best friends of the bar. "Certainly," said the CHAIRMAN.
          JOHN GRANGE (the landlord), JOHN LEWIS, ALEXANDER GURTZ, JOHN BRADY, WILLIAM MACDONALD, WILLIAM POWELL, and ROBERT WATSON ARMSTRONG were then arraigned for a misdemeanour, and severally pleaded Not Guilty.
          On the Jury being charged by the Officer, Mr. ALLEY stated the case to the Jury, and his details were fully made out by the following evidence:–
          George Thissleton sworn: I went by the desire of the Bow-street Magistrates to the Barley Mow public-house, in the Strand. The first night I went there was 24th July; after some time, I was admitted up to the first floor. The first man that came in was Alexander Gurtz; then another man that I knew; and afterwards, in the course of half an hour, about twenty persons, among whom were M'Donald, Brady, Lewis and Armstrong. The prisoner, Brady, sat on my right, and a brother Officer on the left. Brady pretended to stoop, and in so dong squeezed my knee; ten minutes after he did the same thing, and squeezed my thigh, after which he made use of a most unequivocal expression. The persons who were there were young and old, mixed together, and the old ones used to treat the young ones with fruit. They never sat like other men, but huddled together by tens and dozens, and chiefly on the sofa; they are all dressed now in working dresses [i.e., ordinary clothes], but they used to come quite smart, something like broken-down dandies. The youths used to have their faces painted, among others Macdonald, the prisoner; I went the next night (Monday, July 25), and the same things took place. Lewis asked me what I thought of the new plaits to the trowsers, and at the same time took hold of mine. The next time I was there was on Sunday the 31st July; a man in the room said to me that he would not stay any longer, for two of them had brought a female into the room, and he said it was quite obnoxious. The landlord, Grange, was in the room on that occasion, and meeting me on the stairs as I went away, he said, "I hope you will come to-morrow, as we are going to have a little harmony; in short, they are —," and then he stopped short, as thought he had intended to describe them, but altered his mind. On Monday I went, and they all paid a great deal of attention to me; and Brady said he had heard I was a writer, and could be his friend; and at the same time took liberties with my person. On August 14th I went there again, and one of the prisoners I observed going out with another of the company; I followed; he wished him good night, and kissed him. Brady afterwards spoke to me, and said he would always be a good friend to me, if I would take a walk with him on the bridge. I said I could not, as I had to meet a person. He then asked me to meet him in the Park, as he used often to walk in the Bridcage-walk with a novel. Another night that I was there, I saw Brady and Powell on the sofa taking liberties with one another, and pointed it out to my brother officer, Dean. Macdonald, the youth, appeared to be the plaything of the whole room, they doing just as they pleased with him. One night a brother of Grange's was brought into the room, but observing what was going on, he said it was infamous, and he would not stay and drink with them.
          Cross-examined by Mr. ADOLPHUS: On some of the nights there were females in the room, but not always. The room is on the first pair front, and the stairs leading to the second floor are close to the door of the room. During the meetings, the door was scarcely ever open. The whole number of nights that I was at the Barley Mow were thre 24th July, 25th July, 30th July, 1st August, 7th August, 8th August, 14th August, and 21st August.
          Cross-examined by Mr. BRODERICK: After leaving school I was an errand boy for eight or nine months, and then served pawnbrokers for upwards of seven years, after which I joined the police; I know a person of the name of Morgan, who is likewise in the pawnbroking life; I lived for some time with Morgan, and on one occasion slept with him for a week; but never received any remonstrance on that head; when the men were apprehended there were no women in the room, and never on any occasion did I see more than two.
          Henry Morgan sworn: I have been at the Barley Mow; I went there first in the beginning of July, quite by chance; the first time I was there in the evening; I afterwrds saw Thissleton and Dean there; this was about a fortnight after I first went there; the first night I saw Thissleton there, I saw Brady, M'Donald, Powell, and Gurtz there; the landlord was not present; I saw them sitting in a very strange way, cross-legged and otherwise, and they walked out in pairs, as though men and women; after being there three times, I was introduced up stairs by a stout man, and saw M'Donald, who was quite the plaything of the room; I met Grange on one night on the staircase, when he took my hand, and put it in a most improper place; whenever I was there, they always sat with their legs across one another, and with their hands on each others' knees, calling one another "My Dear!" & "My Love!"
          Cross-examined by Mr. ADOLPHUS: I have known Thissleton about two years and a half, and lived with him one time at Back-hill: I used then to sleep with Thissleton, and we slept together for six or seven weeks; my father then got a building job near Laystall-street, and then I went to live there.
          Cross-examined by Mr. BRODERICK: I never saw but one female sitting in the room; there was another who used to bring up the liquor ordered; the prisoners at the bar were dressed at the Barley Mow as they are now, except that the young men (M'Donald) wore light trowsers; I never saw any person prevented from coming up; there was 21 persons apprehended, and all but seven discharged.
          Cross-examined by Mr. PRENDERGAST: When I saw Thissleton in the room, I did not speak to him, because I was not on good terms with him; when I went up stairs, I opened the door with a latch, but I have found the door standing open.
          Richard Dean sworn: I received instructions from the office at Bow-street to go to the Barley Mow, and saw all the prisoners there on the 24th July, except Powell; as I was talking to Thissleton, Brady made a stoop, and getting up pinched his thigh; there were several on the sofa too, handling one another about. On the 31st, when I was there again, I saw the same things done, and about half a dozen on the sofa at a time. On the 21st August, the last time I was there, I saw Brady and Powell in a very indecent situation.
          This witness was cross-examined, but nothing important was elicited.
          Samuel Taunton, belonging to Bow-street, swore: I helped to execute the warrant, and took nineteen, in all, before the Magistrate.
          Cross-examined by Mr. ADOLPHUS: There were no women in the first floor room; there were women in the bar, but we did not apprehend them. The Justice examined the whole of them, and discharged twelve.
          Mr. BRODERICK then addressed the Jury. He began by stating that he stood there, however painful the situation might be, for Grange, the landlord, and Brady; as his Learned Friend (Mr. Adolphus) would address them for Grange, he would refer more particularly in his remarks to what appeared against Brady. The Learned Counsel then dilated to a considerqable extent on the contradictions that appeared in the evidence of the witnesses for the prosecution, and insisted that the most dangerous testimony that could be offered in support of a prosecution was that given by police officers, who expected the greater promotion the more persons they were the means of convicting. But he should be able to go much further in exculpation of Brady; he would call witnesses to shew that he had been in a most respectable line of life, and that his propensities were notoriously the other way, being a devoted admirer of the female sex. He left the interests of Grange in the hands of his Learned Friend, Mr. Adolphus, with perfect confidence, as he was sure that every thing would be done by that Gentleman that could be done for the defendant.
          Mr. PRENDERGAST next addressed the Jury at some length, in defence of the prisoners Lewis and Macdonald. The Jury could not fail to have been surprised at the extraordinary conraditions between the principal witnesses in support of the prosecution, which were so strong as to render it impossible for any man to give the slightest credit to their assertions. These men might have been guilty, but surely they were not fools. Here was an open room – free access – no exclusion – the door not fastened – in a public-street, the most frequented in London – resorted to also by women. Why, surely that was not a place in which such practices could go forward. The supposition was too gross to be believed for a moment. Could any man suppose that women could have been allowed free entrance to a room where such horrible scenes were going forward? Yet, to this supposition must they come if they beieved the story of the witnesses. There was something so overwhelming in the charge, that it required the utmost effort to [? illegible] the mind of prejudice. They knew there was nothing [? illegible] heavy in the charge being made, but they also knew that such accusations have [... text damaged] the accusers; after various other [... text damaged] the Learned Gentleman concluded by saying he expected an acquittal with the fullest confidence.
          Mr. ADOLPHUS addressed the Jury with great effect on behalf of Grange, the landlord, whom he represented as an honest, industrious family man, 29 years of age, attached to his wife and children, who had hitherto borne an unblemished character, and he implored the Jury not to consign him to everlasting infamy.
The prisoner Gurtz was then called on for his defence, and put in a paper from his late master, speaking to his general honesty; and, in a foreign accent, said he had never within the last two months been out of his house after ten o'clock.
          Powell and Armstrong, who were also undefended by Counsel, denied distinctly any knowledge of the offence, or participation in the proceedings.
          Mary Thompson was then examined: She said she was sister to Grange's wife, and resided with him at the Barley Mow. Mr. Grange principally conducted; she and her sister assisted, and also Margaret Greenlaw, and a man of the name of Greenway; Grange had been in the country for some time, and then managed the business in his absence; there was a club-room up stairs, which had existed for about three months since the re-building of the house, which had been burnt down; the club was free to every one; no one was excluded or denied admittance; men and women were in the habit of going there; nothing was paid on entrance; the room was on the first floor; the stairs go into the room, and you would have to pass that room to get into Mr. Grange's bed-room; the door was always open; a man and wife named Day lodged up stairs; there was a lock to the door, but it was never fastened. When Margaret Greenlaw, the servant, was not in the way, she herself attended the room during club hours: on Sunday evenings there were almost always women and children in the room; she never noticed women on Thursdays or Fridays; she knows a woman named Anne Garraghty, and her sister, who used to be constantly there; she never observed, and never had the least idea of any indecency going forward amongst the men; she used frequently [to] pass the the door to see her sister's child, who slept in Mrs. Grange's room; and she always on those occasions passed through the club-room without giving any notice. Grange and his wife lived happily together; there was a sofa in the room on which the servant slept at night, to prevent the necessity of keeping another room for a bed-room; the sofa was originally bought for her (the witness) to sleep on, in the old house; the sofa had been saved from the fire, and no other article. Mr. Ealing, uncle to Mr. Grange, was in the house on the night the officers came; and was the entire time in the bar wth Mr. Grange. Mr. and Mrs. Randall were in the club-room on the same night; the servant took up some rum and water to them; Mr. Grange took none up; his usual habit was to remain chiefly in the bar, but he sometimes went into the club room. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were in the club room on the same nigt, and had just left when the officers came. There was a very small landing-place at the club room door, which must be passed to get to it. During the very hot weather, the club room was constantly kept open, and nobody was refused admission. The tap-room below used to be frequented, but not numerously, by coal-heavers; she had seen the prisoner, Mr. Brady, several times, but never observed the slightest impropriety in his conduct. Grange supplied many of the coal-wharfs with beer, which he used to carry down himself.
          Margaret Quinlan, the servant, deposed that she had attended the house for three months; the house is just opposite Mr. Ackermann's print shop in the Strand; she always attended the club room, which was open to every one, and she never observed the slightest impropriety going forward; the door was never locked; there were three women up stairs when the officers came, and three more had gone away a few minutes before; she was in the habit of sleeping on the sofa.
          Saml. Greenaway examined: He had been waiter at the Barley Mow, but not at the time the parties were taken up; he was never in the room on club-nights, but was in the house; and there was never the slightest hindrance to any one's going up stairs.
          Sarah Taylor deposed, that she lodged at the Barley Mow public-house, on the second floor. In order to get to her own room, she must pass the club-room, and during the hot weather, the door was constantly open, and she could always see into it; and she never on any one occasion observed the slightest impropriety, and until the officers had come to the house, she had never heard of such a thing. Females were in the habit of attending the club, as well as men. The servant girl slept in the club-room, on the sofa; the room was full on the night the officers came; there were four ladies besides gentlemen; she only saw the room passing by; the door was open when the officers came; she was not certain whether there were three or four ladies in the room: Mr. Grange and his wife appeared to live very happily together; Mrs. Grange was a young woman of twenty-six years of age.
          Anne Garraghty, a very pretty looking girl, genteeling dressed, said she had been in the room several times, and had never observed the slightest indecency amongst the men. Her sister used also to go there.
          John Thompson deposed, that he was father to Grange's wife; she was twenty-four years of age; he used generally to go on Sunday evenings, and always went to the club; he had attended on club-nights, and never observed the slightest indelicate practice between man and man, so help him God; he had always with him some part of his family; had he observed the least impropriety he would have seized the first man by the throat, and thrust him out of the house.
          James Randall, a builder, deposed, that he had been in the habit of attending the club. On the night of the arrest he and his wife were in the club-room, and also Mr. & Mrs. Morris; he had just got down to the bar to pay his reckoning, when the officers came. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were also there, and they left two women in the room after them; in his life he never observed the least impropriety.
          Mrs. Randall, a very decent looking woman, confirmed her husband's statement.
          Thomas Morris stated, that he attended the club on the first night, and was in the house on the night the officers came; he was one of those who had been detained, although his wife was with him; he knew Grange and his wife well, and they were always an affectionate couple. the club-room door was open the whole time he was there. He never uttered the expression – "I'll be cursed if I stand this," for he had never seen the least impropriety. Neither Grange's brother nor his brother-in-law were in the house in the night the officers came.
          Mrs. Morris, the wife of the last witness, bore out fully her husband's statement.
          Good characters were given to Grange and the prisoner called Brady, but whose real name turned out to be Bayly.
          Mr. ALLEY replied upon the evidence.
          The CHAIRMAN having summed up, the Jury retired, and, after about twenty minutes' absence, returned a verdict of Guilty against all the prisoners except Grange, the landlord of the house.
          The CHAIRMAN then sentenced the prisoners to twelve months' imprisonment each in the House of Correction.
          The trial lasted from ten until half-past five in the evening. All the avenues leading to the Court were crowded by a mob of men, women and children, vowing vengeance against the wretches inside; and, in the absence of their victims, they flung, with indiscriminate aim, amongst the crowd, all the dead cats, rotten eggs, and other implements of destruction, they had collected on the occasion.
          The prisoner (Bayly), it is said, gave several hundred pounds, in the course of the morning, to the gaoler, to keep for him; and, during the absence of the Jury, he took from his fob his gold watch, chain and seals, and whatever money he had in his possession, and gave them in charge to his Solicitor, lest he might lose them, amongst the mob, on his way to prison. (Morning Chronicle)

23 September 1825

THE BARLEY MOW GANG. – After the sentence of the Court on this party on Wednesday last,the assemblage of persons around the Sessions House, convened to express their execration of them in various modes, was so great, that it was deemed unsafe to remove the prisoners until night. The throng still accumulating, about ten o'clock it was deemed advisable to have all the officers of Hatton-garden, as also the most active parochial constables in attendance, to escort the prisoners to the House of Correction, and protect them from an indignant poulace. It was arranged, as a "ruse de guerre," to divert the mob, that some officers should go out through the front, and others through the back entrance of the Sessions House, while Mr. Vickery was to conduct the prisoners through Mr. Stirling's (the Coroner) chambers, and all the constables to "rendezvous" at Mr. Stirling's street-door. The mob, however, discovered the stratagem, and on the appearance of the prisoners, rotten eggs, brickbats, &c., were flung from all quarters. The Hatton-garden officers, as also Colton and Reynolds, constables, suffered, but not seriously. The prisoners and officers were compelled to run through the street. At twenty minutes past ten, however, under Vickery's judicious directions, the prisoners were safely deposited in the prison. (Morning Advertiser)

7 November 1825

Henry Eade, a publican, who has lately taken the Barley Mow, in the Strand, brought up a lodger named Greenaway, on a charge of purloining several articles of apparel belonging to himself and his wife.
          The man made no defence, and was fully committed for trial.
          During Mr. Eade's examination, on his mentioning the sign of the house, which he took only in September last, the worthy Magistrate gave him positive directions to change a sign, which a late infamous occurrence has rendered so notorious. (Globe)

8 November 1825

Samuel Greenaway, a sprucely dressed young man, was brought up, charged with committing a robbery under circumstances of considerable aggravation.
          The prisoner, it seems, about a month ago, was wandering about the town in great distress, and being known to Mr. Eade, the present landlord of the Barley Mow public-house, in the Strand, the latter took him in, clothed him, and agreed to employ him as an assistant in his business, until he could procure a better situation. Very soon after he entered his service Mr. Eade missed several articles of linen, and, from day to day, money and goods disappeared, and he knew not whom to suspect, the prisoner being the last person he would have supposed guilty of such a crime. One morning last week the box of the maid-servant was broken open, and her little store of money, consisting of 4 sovereigns and some silver, stolen. The prisoner absconded the same day, and suspicion then, for the first tie, rested upon him. Mr. E. knew that the prisoner had been paying his addresses to a young lady of respectability in Gray's-Inn-lane (a motive which cannot be misunderstood induces us to withhold her name), and he employed Dickens the patrol to endeavour to find him out through her means. Dickens went to her, and asked her at once for "the linen which Mr. Greenaway left in her charge." The trick succeeded, for the poor girl suspecting nothing,, gave the patrol a shirt and other things, which proved to be the property of Mr. Eade. A watch was kept upon the house, and the prisoner was apprehended going there. The young lady, it need hardly be stated, was dreadfully affected when she ascertained the cause of the Officer's visit.
          The prisoner in his defence, said he bought the things found at the young lady's residence. – He was remanded.
          The young lady alluded was examined, and appeared much agitated. She was to have been married to the prisoner very shortly. (Morning Advertiser)

6 December 1825

A most extraordinary occurrence took place yesterday at this office. A miserable, hopeless-looking young man, whose face was as the shadow of death, was brought up for examination on a charge of stealing two candlestocks from the Red Lion public-house, in the Maze, Tooley-street.
          On the first hearing Sarah Ann Bowler, the wife of the landlord of the Red Lion, stated, that the prisoner came to their house on Friday last, between three and four o'clock, and inquired had there been two gentlemen, the one of the name of Mitchell, inquiring for a friend they expected. She answered, there had not to her knowledge, but would inquire of her husband, who was in the yard, who replied to the same effect. The prisoner then called for a pint of ale and paid for it, which having drank he left the house, but had scarcely passed the threwhold when she missed the candlesticks from the chimney-piece, and pursued him into the street. He was taken by Kinsey, the officer, who heard the cry of "Stop thief" directly opposite his own door.
          Kinsey stated, that on searching the prisoner he found the candlesticks, one in the pocket of his trousers, the other under his waistcoat, wrapped in a silk handkerchief. On his person were also found fourteen sovereigns and a silver watch with gold seals.
          The prisoner being called upon for his defence, said, in rather an incoherent manner, that he did not know he had taken them, for he was sure he didn't want them.
          The prisoner was asked by Mr. Alderman J. J. Smith, with whom sat Mr. Alderman Wood, his name and occupation. To the first, he answered that his name was Ely; and to the latter, that he had been a waiter at a tavern in the Strand, and afterwards at a coffee-house in Cornhill; and denied that he ever went by any other name, or lived in any second place in the Strand.
          Yesterday a highly respectable looking man, on the prisoner being put to the bar, addressed Mr. Alderman J. J. Smith, declaring that it was his firm belief, as well as that of the unfortunate man's wife and sister, both of whom stood by him, and whose appearance commanded sympathy for their melancholy situation, that he was past doubt insane.
          Mr. Alderman Smith – There is no proof of insanity before me, the evidence goes to the contrary. Your belief, or any further proof, are for the consideration of the Court and Jury where he is tried. My duty is to commit him for trial on the evidence. Is his name Ely?
          No, it is not; his name is Grange.
          Magistrate – Did he keep the Barley Mow, in the Strand?
          He did.
          The depositions being sworn to, the prisoner was taken back to the cage, and other business proceeded with. In the course of half an hour, Kinsey rushed into the office, stating the prisoner had attempted to poison himself, and was in a state of exhaustion. A scene of consternation took place, and the humane Magistrate instantly ordered he should be brought into his private room, where, growing worse, he was taken to Edward's Ward, St. Thomas's Hospital, where the stomach pump was applied and the contents of the stomach extracted, and where he now remains. It appears that a pint of warm porter had been brought to him in the cage, and that another prisoner witnessed him taking a paper packet from his boot, and infusing the contents, who immediately informed Kinsey of it.
          The money and watch were given up to the wife, on application. (Globe)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "The Barley Mow Club-Room, 1825", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 22 January 2019, updated 7 June 2021 <>.

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