Newspaper Reports, 1834


Thursday 9 January 1834

WILTS QUARTER SESSIONS.
SETH DAVIS, for attempting to commit an unnatural crime at Idminster – two years' imprisonment – the first and last month in solitude. (Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette)

Tuesday, 21 January 1834

EXECUTION. – On Thursday, William Allen, aged 25, labourer, convicted of a rape on Ruth Austin, wife of a baker at Lydd, in Kent, and George Cropper, aged 27, a soldier convicted of an unnatural crime, were hanged at Maidstone. (The Belfast News-Letter)

Saturday 1 February 1834

Thomas Rodgers, who was remanded from Friday on a charge of committing an unnatural crime on the person of Charles Bennett, was committed to York castle for trial at the assizes. (Sheffield Independent)

Tuesday 4 March 1834

WESTERN CIRCUIT. – WINCHESTER, MARCH 2.
. . . We perceive there are ninety-seven prisoners for trial, which is very heavy for this county; among these we find four charged with murder, one with arson, five with rape, six with maliciously wounding, and two with unnatural crimes. (Morning Post)

Saturday 8 March 1834

ASSIZE INTELLIGENCE.
AYLESBURY.
. . . Geo. Capel was found guilty of the commission of an unnatural crime, on the 27th of July last, at Fenny Stratford. He was left for execution.
          . . . Against John Small, charged with the commission of an unnatural crime, no true bill was found. We understand, that this individual was committed, by the Reverend Geo. Chetwode, on the 5th of Dec. last, upon hearsay evidence, the principal witness not having been examined until a fortnight after the committal of the accused. It also appeared, that the accusation was not made against Small until a lapse of upwards of four months from the alleged commission of crime. (Bucks Gazette)

Monday 17 March 1834

WILTS LENT ASSIZES.
There were two cases which would also be brought under their consideration – one of rape, and the other of an unnatural crime. These were cases which should seldom be brought before a court of justice – the disgusting exposure doing more harm than good, unless followed by conviction and adequate punishment. (Salisbury and Winchester Journal

Thursday 20 March 1834

CALENDAR OF PRISONERS. – The following prisoners are for trial at the Devon Lent Assizes, which takes place on Thursday, March 20, 1834:–
          . . . W. Holding, 35, charged with an unnatural crime at Ermington – . . . W. Carter, 38, charged with an unnatural crime at Yarnscombe . . . (North Devon Journal)

Saturday 29 March 1834

LEICESTERSHIRE ASSIZES
JESSE GIBSON, 14, pleaded guilty to an indictment, charging him with committing an unnatural crime, and sentence of death was recorded against him.
          JOHN BODEN, 21, and JOHN HINCKS, (on bail) were acquitted for having attempted the commission of an unmentionable crime, on the ground of the witness having forfeited his recognizances. (Leicester Chronicle)

Thursday 3 April 1834

DEVON LENT ASSIZES.
TUESDAY. – W. Holding, 35, charged with an unnatural crime at Ermington, acq. – W. Carter, 38, charged with an unnatural crime at Yarnscombe, acq. (North Devon Journal)

Thursday 3 April 1834

Thomas Rodgers (32) late of Sheffield, was convicted of an unnatural crime. – Death. (Bradford Ovserver)

Friday 4 April 1834

SATURDAY, MARCH 29.
THOMAS RODGERS, charged with having committed an unnatural crime with Charles Bennett. The facts in this case were clearly proved against the prisoner, and the jury returned a verdict of Guilty. – His lordship in passing sentence of death upon the prisoner, observed that he had been convicted of a crime against which human nature shuddered, and at the contemplation of which the mind shrunk back with horror. It was a crime which struck at the propogation [sic] of society, and which was prohibited both by the laws of God and man. He stood convicted of giving vent to unbridled lust, – a melancholy spectacle to teach us to ask for God's holy spirit to cleanse our thoughts and hearts. He felt it most severely that it had fallen to his lot to pass the melancholy sentence of the law upon him; and he entreated him, as he valued his eternal welfare, to use the short time that yet remained to seek mercy, where alone mercy could be obtained. In conclusion the Judge passed the awful sentence of death upon the prisoner, and was greatly affected. The prisoner's conduct, on the contrary, was marked with the greatest indifference. (Hull Advertiser and Exchange Gazette)

Friday 4 April 1834

THOMAS RODGERS, late of Sheffield, for an unnatural crime, committed with George Bennett, his fellow servant. – Guilty. The learned Judge passed sentence of death, in a most impressive manner, and held out no hopes of mercy. (Hull Packet)

Saturday 5 April 1834

SATURDAY, MARCH 29.
Thomas Rodgers (32), was convicted of having committed an unnatural crime with one Charles Bennett, a boy fourteen years of age. Mr. Justice Alderson having placed upon his head the black cap, after a most impressive address, in which he earnestly exhorted him to make use of the short time allotted to him in this world, in endeavouring to make peace with his God, passed the awful sentence of death upon him in the usual terms, and gave him no hopes of mercy. (Leeds Times)

Saturday 5 April 1834

NORFOLK ASSIZES.
John Thompson, was charged with the commission of an unnatural crime on the person of Edward Bush. Not Guilty.
          The prisoner stood further charged with the commission of the same offence on the person of John Lockwood, the footman to Mr. Berney. On this indictment he was found Guilty and sentenced by the Learned Judge, after a severe reprimand, to one year's imprisonment and hard labour. (Norfolk Chronicle)

Monday 14 April 1834

An indictment preferred by a dissolute character against an elderly and respectable tradesman at Brighton, for an unnatural crime, was dismissed by the Grand Jury on the prosecutor's own statement; thus shewing by the best possible means that the charge was utterly groundless. It is extremely difficult, indeed almost impossible as the law now stands, to punish a person who, for malicious or sinister purposes, prefers a charge of this nature, provided, as in the present instance, he has no known accomplices, adn can shew he was alone with the accused for a short time. Indeed, so well is this understood by many villains in the metropolis, that to lodge an accusation without the slightest regard to anything but its possibility, and difficulty of being refuted, is with them the very frequent means of extorting money. We hope that ere long some strong measures will be taken to wipe away this disgrace to our jurisprudence and national character. (Sussex Advertiser)

Saturday 26 April 1834

THE PRISONERS LEFT FOR EXECUTION,
THIS DAY.
Our readers are aware, that four men, – Thomas Morrows, of Guisbrough, for a rape on a child at Skelton; Charles Cook, for a highway-robbery near Thirsk, attended by great violence; Thomas Rodgers, of Sheffield, for an unnatural crime; and Robert Billany, for arson, – were left for execution, by Mr. Justice Alderson, at the late assizes. Since that period, a reprieve has been received for the latter person; but the three former will expiate their offences on the scaffold this day.
          The unhappy men have been attended, since their conviction, by the Rev. Wm. Flower, jun., Chaplain to the Castle, who has visited them twice a day; the Rev. J. Crosby has also occasionally visited them, and he preached a most impressive sermon to them in the chapel, on Thursday morning, from the 55th chapter of Isaiah, and the 6th verse – "Seek the Lord while he may be found." To this discourse, and to the private instruction they have received from those reverend gentlemen, the prisoners paid the greatest attention, and expressed their thanks for the religious advice which was imparted to them.
          Morrows was employed for some time before his apprehension, as a labourer on the rail-roads, and has detailed the frequent and heinous offences committed by that class of persons, to whose example he attributes the commission of the crime which has led to his present awful doom. – He is a man of no learning, and was quite ignorant of the religious duties required of him, – having totally neglected attending public worship.
          Cook is a native of Thirsk, and has belonged to a gang of desperadoes in that neighbourhood, who, from their frequent depredations, have long been a terror to the inhabitants, – who ought to be thankful to the magistracy and police, for the activity displayed by them in breaking up this formidable body, – whose habits were those of plunder and outrage. – Cook is a married man; and a sister of his, is not a resident in York. He stated himself to be only 20 years of age; and is a most illiterate man. – We have been informed, that he does not now deny, that he was one of the party who made the attack upon Richardson, the fisherman, – but says, that it was not him who inflicted the wounds on the prosecutor. We are not enable to state this from authority; but it is in general circulation.
          Rodgers is a respectable looking man, about 30 years of age, and was, at the time he committed the offence for which he is now about to suffer, in the service of a respectable gentleman at Sheffield, as coachman. He was convicted upon the evidence of an accomplice, a lad 14 years of age; this evidence being supported by his own statements, to his master, when the latter charged him with the offence. He is a much more intelligent individual than his companions.

THE CONDEMNED SERMON.
Yesterday afternoon, as is customary on those ocasions, a sermon was preached to the culprits and their fellow-prisoners. At half-past two o'clock, the transports made their appearance in the chapel, dressed in the prison uniform, and were followed by morrows, Cook, and Rodgers; the old man, Billany, who had requested permission to remain with them, accompanying them. These four having taken their seats in the pew assigned to condemned prisoners, – the Rev. W. FLOWER, jun. read the usual evening service of the Extablished Church. Cook held in his hand a prayer-book, from which he and Morrows appeared to read. &150; Rodgers stood in a melancholy manner, with his hands in his pockets; and Billany appeared to take a very serious part in the service, having his hands clasped the whole time. The lessons selected for the occasion were highly suitable, – being the 5th chapter of Ecclesiasticus, and the 1st chapter of the 1st General Epistle of St. John.
          The Rev. Chaplain took his text from Luke xxiii. 27, 28. – "And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children." – From these words, he made an appropriate discourse; shewing how Christ had died to atone for the sins of the whole world; and exhorting the unhappy criminals, by a resigned and patient submission to their fate, – to prove that they were worthy to partake of the mercies bestowed by him on penitent sinners.
          He also made several spiritual applications of the awful spectacle which was soon to be exhibited; entreating those who heard him, not to let their sympathy for the unhappy men, direct them from the important lesson which this spectacle ought to teach them, but to watch closely the avenues of their own hearts; to consider and reflect upon the end of time and mortality, and the certainty of a future state; to be patient and resigned under the bitter crosses of Providence, by contrasting their little difficulties with the awful situation of those unfortunate men now awaiting their fate. The gay might, thus be brought to serious reflection; the guilty and depraved to a knowledge of their own danger; in fact, the high and low, the rich and poor, here received a check, and were impressed with a sense of that command, to stand in awe and sin not – to commune with their hearts, and in their chambers, and be still.
          The service being concluded, the prisoners returned to their cells in the same order as they entered the chapel. On descending the steps, Cook cast his eyes up to the gallery, and observing a person whom he recognized, he shook his head.
          The prisoner, Rodger, was visited yesterday by his brother and brother's wife; Cook also had an interview with his wife, mother, brother, and three sisters. All the parties were deeply affected, on taking their last sad farewell.
          Morrows's relatives have not yet visited him; but they were expected in York, during the morning.
          All the unhappy men are very attentive to their religious duties, and when visited by their keeper this morning, appeared very penitent, and resigned to their melancholy fate.
          The workmen are now busily employed in erecting the scaffold; and the execution will take place at 12 o'clock to-day. (Yorkshire Gazette)

Tuesday, 29 April 1834

EXECUTIONS. – Three men, Thomas Morrows, for a rape; Charles Cooke, for a highway robbery, attended with aggravating circumstances; and Thomas Rodgers, for an unnatural crime, at Sheffield, were executed on Saturday in York. The holy sacrament was administered to them, in which rite they joined with apparent great devotion. A few minutes before 12 o'clock they appeared upon the drop, in the following order: – first came Rodger, followed by Morrows, and Cook closed the melancholy procession. Rodgers and Morrows acknowledged the justice of their sentence, but Cook protested innocence to the last. Their appearance on the platform was that of calm resignation. (Morning Chronicle)

Saturday 3 May 1834

EXECUTION AT YORK. – On Saturday last, at 12 o'clock, three of the prisoners upon whom the sentence of death was passed at the late Assizes at York, terminated their mortal career by the hands of the executioner, before a concourse of about six thousand spectators. The fourth, Robert Billany, who was convicted of setting fire to a stack of straw, received a reprieve from the King on Thursday night, some doubts having arisen as to the saneness of his mind. The unfortunate men ascended the platform a few minutes before 12, attended by the ordinary, and customary officers. Thomas Rodgers, convicted of committing an unnatural crime in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, was first in the melancholy procession; next followed Robert Morrows, of Guisborough, convicted of committing a rape on a child at Skelton; and, lastly, came Charles Cook, who committed an aggravated highway robbery on the person of a fisherman at Sowerby Lane, near Thrisk. All the prisoners walked with firm steps as they proceeded, and exhibited a great degree of calmness, although in the countenances of Rodgers and Morrows there were evident signs of dejection. On the platform, the prisoners joined the ordinary in prayer wiht apparent fervour; but none of them made any remark. While the executioner was adjusting the ropes, &c. Rodgers trembled exceedingly, and Morrows sighed heavily, but Cook was remarkable apathetic, except once giving a rather long and vacant gaze on the crowd. After the bolt was withdrawn, the two former seemed to suffer much; Cook died immediately. Before going to execution the unhappy men acknowledged their guilt; Cook only denying the aggravating circumstances with which the robbery was attended. On the previous day all of them protested their innocences [sic]. On Friday afternoon, the condemned sermon was preached by the Rev. W. Flower, jun., who, we understand, had been very assiduous in his attention to the prisoners. . . . (Carlisle Patriot)

Friday, 2 May 1834

EXECUTION AT YORK. – The three men, Thos. Morrows, for a rape; Charles Cook, for a highway robbery, attended with aggravating circumstances; and Thos. Rodgers, for an unnatural crime, at Sheffield, were executed on Saturday last, at York. The holy sacrament was administered to them, in which rite they joined with apparently great devotion. About half-past eleven, the Under-Sheriff arrived at the Castle, to demand the bodies of the unfortunate men. The Rev. W. Flower, we understand, had been with them from ten o'clock, administering to them the consolations of divine truth. Precisely at twelve, the prisoners were brought upon the scaffold. – Morrows was placed in the centre, and turned his face to the crowd; Cook was on his right hand and Rodgers on his left. None of them spoke after being brought upon the scaffold; but we understand that Cook protested his innocence before leaving the cell. After the usual prayers were read on the scaffold, by the Rev. William Flower, during which the demeanour of the prisoners exhibited signs of penitence and resignation, the fatal preparations were made. Cook groaned rather heavily; Rodgers trembled; but the other prisoner, who was a very athletic and powerful man, exhibited no signs of tremor. The bolt being drawn from the drop, the unfortunate men were launched into eternity. Cook appeared to suffer very little, the vital spark being soon extinct; Rodgers was observed to struggle longer; but the strong sinewy frame of the other prisoner maintained the longest struggle. The number of spectators was immensely great, probably more than five thousand. (The Hull Packet)

Saturday 3 May 1834

. . . On Friday afternoon the condemned sermon was preached by the Rev. Wm. Flower, jun. before the above three unfortunate men and a rather numerous congregation. . . . Rodgers and Morrows were two young men of prepossessing appearance, but there was something in the countenance of Cooke which appeared ferocious. . . . The three prisoners all continued firm in their protestations of innocence. Rodgers was visited on Friday by his brother and his brother's wife; and Cooke also had an interview with his wife, mother, brother, and three sisters. The parties, as might be supposed under the circumstances, appeared greatly affected. The concourse of spectators on Saturday morning to witness this melancholy scene, many of whom were strangers from a distance, who had come into York the day before, exceeded 6,000. . . . A few minutes before twelve o'clock they appeared upon the drop in the following order:– First came Rodgers, followed by Morrows, and Cooke closed the melancholy procession. We understand that Rodgers and Morrows acknowledged the justice of their sentence, but Cooke protested his innocence of the violent conduct attributed to him, to the last. Their appearance on the platform was that of calm resignation to their fate. They joined in prayer with the Ordinary with fervour, but made no remarks. After their devotions had concluded, the last fatal preparations were made, and at twelve o'clock the bolt was withdrawn, and their drop fell. Cooke appeared to suffer little, as he died instantaneously; Rodgers ceased to struggle next, but Morrows continued for some time after to be much convulsed. The friends of Cooke removed his body to Thirsk for interment; the remains of Morris and Rodgers were both interred in one grave, in Castle gate church yard, on Saturday evening. Cook's interment took place at Thirsk, on Sunday evening last. An immense crowd of spectators assembled to witness the funeral procession, and went from motives of curiosity to ascertain in what way the reverend clergyman of the place would dispense the appointed services of the establishment. The whole ceremony was performed in their usual way – a thing, we suppose, not to be wondered at, when this impressive service is alike applied in all ordinary cases to all manner of persons. . . . (Leeds Times)

Saturday, 3 May 1834

[At the end of April 1834, Parliament debated the question of whether or not to Repeal the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland. The Repeal motion was defeated. An editorial commentary on this debate has the following interesting example of the commonly perceived connection between homosexuality and the upper classes:]
The upper and middle classes want us to do all the work, while they desire to pocket all the spoils, and to enjoy all the pleasures. Is this justice? Is it charity? Is it Christianity? Alas! these are little cared for now-a-days. Mammon! Mammon! this is the only deity acknowledged. To this the usurers would sacrifice half the human race, or the whole, could they but find another race to do the work. The country abounds in every element of wealth and happiness, but the demon of accumulation interposed between the creature and the Creator, and snatches from God's people the proceeds of God's bounty. The base shopocracy, instead of aiding the producers to change the present murderous state of society . . . are absolutely leagued with the cannibals of the army and priesthood to make it perpetual. Look at the shops of this metropolis – go into them, and see the business doing; you will find that taking one shop with another the assistants of one establishment could do the business often, and with far more pleasure to themselves. Nine out of ten of these shops are therefore useless, and the parties keeping them mere pensioners on society. Look then to the army and navy, and commissariat and excise, and the ten thousand other incubuses on the country. Look to the 80,000 prostitutes of London, who are as much pensioners on the working classes as are the Coldstream Guards or the Duke of Wellington's mother. These prostitutes give the working classes nothing for the meat and drink they receive. They exist solely for the pleasure of the upper and middle classes, by whose spoiliations they are maintained, and to whose appetites they are cruelly sacrificed.
          There are, it is said, 200 Sodomite houses in London; these are, of course, only frequented by the aristocracy and usurers. The idea is a horrible one, but it is still more horrible to think of the working classes being taxed for the maintenance of such miscreants. Yet so it is; every villain in society is quartered upon the producers, and when we try to shake them off, we are opposed even by the middle classes, a majority of whom are as much interested as ourselves in the change we contemplate. (The Poor Man's Guardian)

Friday 9 May 1834 [Summary of the execution of Rodgers, Morrows, and Cook] . . . Saturday morning, as early as seven o'clock, a number of men were collected in front of the place of execution; and that number kept continually augmenting. Many came from Leeds and other parts of the West Riding, and the North Riding, and the villages to the East of York, also contributed their quota to the crowd. Fromm eleven o'clock, Castle gate, and the streets leading to it, resembled a fair, – there was a continued stream of men, women, and children, all going in one direction to the Castle.
          On the appearance of the unfortunate men on the drop a thrill of horror ran through the immense crowd, at the appalling spectacle. The men (who continued silent the whole time) knelt down, and paid great attention to the prayers offered by the Rev. Chaplain. They all appeared to be in silent prayer from the movement of their lips.
          All the prisoners had their hands clasped and behaved in a most becoming manner during this trying scene. The arrangements being completed, the fatal bolt was drawn, and the prisoners launched into eternity.
          The prisoner Cook, although he expressed the greatest penitence for his sins, whilst in his cell, never admitted his guilt of the offence for which his life has been forfeited. His unhappy companions, hwoever, both admitted their guilt. Rodgers had done so for some time; but Morrows continued for a considerable period after his trial to assert his innocence. (Leicester Journal)

Friday 27 June 1834

SUICIDE. – On Tuesday last, an inquest was held at Whitby, before Henry Belcher, Esq., and a respectable jury, on the body of a man named Bentford, alias Goldsmith. The deceased, who appeared to be upwards of 50 years old, had put an end to his wretched existence the preceding evening, by hanging himself with his handkerchief, whilst under confinement in the lock-up-house, on the charge of having committed an unnatural crime. His companion in crime, was an orphan boy named Brown, aged 14, belonging to Hull, who was induced to join the old sinner about a fortnight ago, and travel about with him as a common vagrant. The boy made a confession of all the particulars relating to his connection with Bentford, but they are unfit for publication. The jury, after a deliberate consideration of the case, pronounced a verdict of felo de se. (Hull Advertiser and Exchange Gazette)

Saturday 28 June 1834

DETERMINED SUICIDE. – An inquest was held at Whitby, on Tuesday last, before Henry Belcher, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of a man calling hiimself John Belton, who was found on Tuesday morning, suspended in the Lock-up House, at Whitby. It appeared, from the evidence, that the deceased was apprehended on Sunday last, upon suspicion of having committed an unnatural crime on the body of a boy who had been travelling with him, and was taken to the Lock-up House. A constable, who carried him his victuals three times on Monday, the last time being about seven o'clock on Monday evening, stated, that the deceased appeared to be cool and collected, as he had been during the day, and he talked with the constable all the time he staid with him; but on his going to the Lock-up on Tuesday morning, about nine o'clock, to give him his breakfast, he found him dead. On the place being examined, it appeared, that the deceased had broken a piece of wood from off the bed frame, and stuck it into a hole in the wall. He then unravelled part of the bed rug, and formed it into a ring, which he fixed round the piece of wood. He next passed his cotton neckerchief at one end twice round, and fastened it to the ring; and in the other end of the handkerchief he had tied a small piece of coal. That end was fastened round his neck, the piece of coal being so placed as to prevent the noose slipping. The deceased told the constable that he belonged to Southborough, thirty-five miles from London. Verdict, "Felo de se." (Yorkshire Gazette)

Saturday 28 June 1834

SUICIDE AT WHITBY. – On Monday night last, or on Tuesday morning, a melancholy catastrophe took place in the jail or lock-up house, at Whitby. A middle-aged man, a vagrant, calling himself John Belton, had been judged there previously to his being taken before the magistrates for examination, having been charged with an unnatural crime. On visiting the prison the next morning, it was ascertained that the unhappy man had committed suicide, by hanging himself with his handkerchief. He had driven a piece of wood into the wall between the stones, and had therefrom suspended himself. A jury was of course summoned by the coroner, H. Belcher, Esq. After investigating the case as fully as circumstances would allow, the jury were convinced that such calm and deliberate preparations had been made for the purpose of self-destruction, that they could return no other verdict, conscientiously, than the very rare one of "Felo de se." The body was interred the same night in the church-yard, after sunset, in the manner which in such cases is prescribed by law. – With respect to the usual verdict in cases of suicide, there appears a danger lest juries should allow a feeling of pity for the miserable and misguided being, the motive for whose conduct is the object of their investigation, to get the better of their judgment. It is a general opinion, at least it is a sentiments generally expressed, sometimes perhaps without dub consideration, that no person having the use of his faculties, and in the exercise of his reason, will deliberately place himself out of the reach of mercy, and rush unbidden into the presence of his Maker. But when we consider the depth of degradation to which sin has reduced human nature, and when we further reflect on the powerful ascendancy that Satan obtains over his willing votaries, can there be any crime, we would ask, not even excepting suicide, which is too heinous or too horrible for a man to commit? The question then seems to rest more as regards the living than the dead. And whether feelings of sympathy for surviving friends ought so far to prevail as to obviate the enforcing of a law, however hard and severe it may seem, the due execution of which might in any degree tend to prevent a recurrence of the crime, is a subject that admits of much dispute. There can be little doubt but very slight evidence of aberration of intellect is frequently laid hold of by a jury, as a sufficient foundation on which to found their verdict. And various instances have occurred in the higher walks of life, in which, but for the feelings above alluded to, there could have been no difficulty or hesitation in assigning a prompting cause for the rash and presumptuous act, without seeking for it in alleged insanity. (York Herald)

Saturday 5 July 1834

NORTH-RIDING SESSIONS.
[The general Quarter Sessions held at Northallerton]
THOMAS OSSULSTONE, (56), late of Killerby, near Catterick, was charged with attempting to commit an unnatural crime. – GUILTY; &*#150; to be imprisoner 12 Months to hard labour, – 3 of which to be in solitaryi confinement, at the discretion of the visiting Justices. (Yorkshire Gazette

Saturday 5 July 1834

MISDEMEANOR.
THOMAS OSSULSTON (56) of Killerby, was charged upon the oath of Richard Layfield, with having, on the 11th of April, attempted to commit an unnatural crime. The prisoner was seen by Layfield in his master's stable, and on approaching him, he fell on his knees, and hoped that he (Layfield) would not inform of him. Guilty. Thje prisoner has been several times in prison, on charged of assault, and was once convicted of felony. To be imprisoned twelve months to hard labour, three of which to be solitaryi confinement at the discretion of the magistrates. (York Herald; One might think this is a case of bestiality, but usually that would be made clear in the reports.)

Saturday 19 July 1834

CROWN COURT. – WEDNESDAY, July 17.
At the sitting of the Court [for the Yorkshire Summer Assizes] this morning, JOHN ROBINSON, (21), was charged with committing an unnatural crime. – He was ACQUITTED; but the JUDGE orde4red another indictment to be preferred against him, for an indecent exposure of his person. (Yorkshire Gazette)

Saturday 19 July 1834

[Summer Assizes, Buckingham]
John Peters and James Goodall, alias James Stoot, were charged with having committed, on the 7th of May last, an unnatural crime, in a field in the parish of Stoke.
          Mr. Praed conducted the case for the prosecutor, and Mr. S. Taylor appeared for the prisoners, who were only tried for the misdemeanour.
          There were several witnesses examined, but their details are unfit for publciation.
          Verdict, Guilty. Sentence, 2 years to hard labour.
          Joseph Perry was charged with committing a nameless offence with a cow, in the cowhouse of Mr. Knapp, of Olney, on the 27th of March last.
          The prisoner in this case was only tried for the misdemeanour.
          The evidence of the various witnesses, like that of the preceding case, is unfit for public detail.
          Verdict, Guilty. Sentence, 2 years to hard labour. (Bucks Herald)

Friday 8 August 1834

Walker Wraight and William Proctor, of Wisbech, were charged with an intent to commit an unnatural crime on 2d June last. Both prisoners were found guilty. The Judge after a long and powerful address, sentenced the former to two years imprisonment – and the lattter whose youth had induced the jury to recommend him to mercy, to one year and hard labour. (Cambridge Chronicle and Journal)

Thursday, 21 August 1834

BOW-STREET.
DISGUSTING CHARGE. – ALFRED DEAN, who was charged on a former day with having committed an unnatural crime upon the person of a lad names Thomas Smith, who, as well as himself, is a pauper maintained in the parish workhouse of St. Paul, Covent-garden, was brought up for re-examination. Evidence of the crime having been committed by the prisoner being adduced, he was fully committed to take his trial at the ensuing Old Bailey Sessions. (Morning Chronicle)

Saturday, 23 August 1834

LANCASTER SUMMER ASSIZES.
Saturday, August 16.
John Taylor, 56, was indicted for an unnatural crime, committed on a person unknown, at Manchester, on the 24th of May last. – The capital part of the charge [i.e. penetration] not being made out, the jury acquitted the prisoner; but his Lordship ordered him to be detained to answer an indictment for misdemeanour at the next assizes. (Preston Chronicle)


SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1834", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 1 February 2016 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1834news.htm>.


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