Newspaper Reports, 1832


Thursday 29 March 1832

SUSSEX LENT ASSIZES.
BEFORE CHIEF JUSTICE TINDAL.
WILLIAM WICKS, aged 51, charged with an unnatural crime upon George Wells, at Itchingfield.
          The prisoner Wicks was a butler in the service of Mr. Chitty, of Horsham; and Wells lived in the same family as footboy, where the crime was alleged to have been committed. The prisoner pleaded Not Guilty to the charge, and stood at the bar apparently unabashed. The details are of course too shocking for publication. The bill for the capital charge had been thrown out by the Grand Jury; and the prisoner was not indicted for the misdemeanour, of which he was found Guilty, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, the full extent of punishment which the law allows.
          This case seemed to give his Lordship [i.e. the Judge] much more pain than any which had been brought before him. (Brighton Gazette)

Saturday 31 March 1832

YORKSHIRE ASSIZES.
RICHARD SHAW (21), JOHN GASCOIGNE (19), and WILLIAM VALLETTE (23), were charged with having put Matthew Beverley in bodily fear, and stolen from his person the sum of 4s. 6d.
          Mr. BLACKBURNE (with whom was Mr. DUNDAS) stated the case. Though the indictment against the prisoners was in form for stealing from the person, it was in fact for having extorted money by threats and intimidation. The prosecutor is a gentleman, residing in Mabgate, Leeds. He is in no business, keeps no female servant, and is of very retired habits, living alone, except having a boy to wait upon him. At half-past nine o'clock on Friday night week, there was a knock at his door. On his going to the door, two men, Vallette and Gascoigne, presented themselves, and Vallette said, "You are guilty of an unnatural crime." The prosecutor asked who it was that charged him? Gascoigne replied, that it was Richard Shaw. Shaw then came up, and said that he was guilty of it. Vallette then informed the prosecutor, that if he did not give them 20l. they would lay that charge against him to a constable. The prosecutor told them to walk in and said that he had only 4s. about him, that he would give them that sum and meet them at 12 o'clock, at his solicitors' office (Bloom & Gatliffe). Vallette wanted a sovereign, but they ultimately accepted the 4s. and went away. At twelve, the next day, they met the prosecutor at his solicitors', where Vallette said that the prosecutor, on the 29th of February, after giving Shaw some beer, endeavoured to commit the crime imputed to him, and Shaw said it was so. A constable was sent for, and the prisoners taken into custody. – Shaw was proved to have old a fellow-workman, that he knew a party who had obtained 20 from a gentleman who lived in a large stone house at the North Town End, by making such a charge against him, and that it was his intention to do the same with the prosecutor.
          Mr. ALEXANDER, who appeared for the prisoners, cross-examined the prosecutor, who admitted that he had known Shaw two years; that his acquaintance began with him in the street; and that he had frequently been at his house, and slept with him.
          Mr. Metcalfe, surgeon, of Leeds, who had known Gascoigne 12 years, gave him a good character.
          The Jury, after retiring fro a few minutes, pronounced all the prisoners Guilty, but recommended Gascoigne to mercy. Shaw was sentenced to be transported for life; Gascoigne to be imprisoned 6 months; and Vallette 2 years; each to hard labour in Wakefield House of Correction.
          Mr. HOLT said, that the Court wished it to be understood, that there was not the slightest ground of suspicion to be attached to the character of the prosecutor. There certainly was a degree of oddity about him. In coming forward as he had done, he had performed a great public duty. (York Herald)

Saturday, 31 March 1832

BEFORE MR. HOLT, IN THE GRAND JURY ROOM.
RICHARD SHAW (21), JOHN GASCOIGNE (19), and WM. VALLETTE (23), charged with having put Matthew Beverley in bodily fear, and stolen from his person the sum of 4s. 6d.
          Mr. BLACKBURNE with whom was Mr. DUNDAS stated the case. Though the indictment against the prisoners was in form for stealing from the person, it was in fact for having extorted money by threats and intimidation. The prosecutor is a gentleman of retired habits, living in Mabgate, Leeds, and the offence of threatening to charge him with an unnatural crime was committed yesterday fortnight. As the facts were so recently before the public, their further publication is unnecessary.
          Mr. Melcalfe, surgeon, gave Gascoigne a good character.
          The Jury found them all Guilty, but recommended Gascoigne to mercy, and the court sentenced Shaw to be transported for life, Vallette to be confined to hard labour for two years, and Gascoigne to be confined six months to hard labour.
          Mr. HOLT said that there was not the slightest ground of imputation to be attached to the character of the prosecutor.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30.
          At the sitting of the court this morning, JOHN LONGWOOD, who on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of a very indecent nature, was sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years.
          GEORGE BENNETT (46), and GEORGE WEBSTER (21), were charged with conspiring together for the purpose of committing an unnatural crime at Barnsley, on the 25th of September last. The evidence on the part of the prosecution was so conflicting that the jury without hesitation found the prisoners Not Guilty. (Leeds Mercury)

Monday 9 April 1832

SOMERSET ASSIZES.
MONDAY. – Nicholas Tarring, a poor miserable-looking cripple from Walcot work-house, was carried into the dock, and tried on an indictment for attempt an unnatural crime. – Guilty – Two years' imprisonment, with such labour as will be suitable for him. (Sherborne Mercury)

Saturday 24 November 1832

Two miscreants, one named Beauclerk, said to be a Capt. in the army, and highly connected, and another called Goode, have been remanded at Union Hall, first on a charge of aiding the escape of another of their gang designated as a Capt. Nicoll; and secondly for abominable offences. Others are said to be implicated, and enquiries are on foot. (Western Times)

Saturday 1 December 1832

Suicide. – Captain Beauclerk, one of a gang of wretches noticed in our last, as charged with the commission of unnatural crimes, committed suicide in Horsemonger lane jail, on Tuesday night. (Western Times)


SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1832", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 21 February 2016 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1832news.htm>.


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