Infamous Clergymen, 1840s

The Rev. Henry Heathcote

Saturday 3 February 1844

An investigation of a very painful nature was held in the Magistrates' private room on Tuesday, involving serious charges against the Rev. Henry Heathcote, formerly curate of Hawkshead, Lancashire, and afterwards Vicar of Tristow-cum-Snope, Suffolk, and who has been lately residing at Clifton. The offence with which the rev. Gentleman stands charged is of a disgusting and horrible nature, and the evidence adduced was so strong that the Magistrates felt themselves compelled to remand him to Bridewell until Saturday (to-day), when the case will be more fully gone into. The prisoner is most highly connected. His name is not on the Clergy list. (Bristol Times and Mirror)

Wednesday 7 February 1844

CHARGE OF AN INDECENT ASSAULT. – On Tuesday last, a private examination took place before the Magistrates, at the Council-house, in this city [Bristol], into the circumstances attending the serious charge, of a revolting and unnatural kind, preferred against the Rev. Henry Heathcote, (who was formerly curate of Hawkeshead, Lancashire, and subsequently vicar of Friston-cum-Snape, Suffolk), lately living at Clifton. As reporters were, together with the public, excluded from the examination, we are unable to state the particulars of the case; but from what we have been informed, we should say they are unfit for publication. The prisoner was remanded; his further examination will take place to day. (We are not acquainted with the reasons which induced the Magistrates to exclude the press, which never, to our knowledge, (in Bristol, at least) has made an improper use of its means of publicity, or disobeyed the orders of the Bench when it was necessary, for the ends of justice, to suppress evidence. In the present case, as far as we can learn, no such necessity existed.) – Bristol Journal (Taunton Courier)

Sunday 11 February 1844

HORRIBLE CHARGES AGAINST A CLERGYMAN. – The Reverend Henry Heathcote, respecting whom as we stated last week, a private investigation had been held by the magistrates, was brought up on Monday, in order to his being committed for trial, on charges of solicitation to commit an abominable offence. – Mr. Burges read the depositions of the various witnesses, which are, of course, totally unfit for publication. Three separate cases were clearly established against the prisoner, and, in answer to each of the charges, Mr. Harmer, who attended for him, said, that under his advice he would not make any defence then, but reserve what he had to say until his trial. – Mr. Newman said there were three several charges against the prisoner. The offence was a bailable one, and he should require the bail he had before mentioned; namely, for each charge, the prisoner's own surety in 500l., and two other sureties in 250l. each, to give 48 hours' notice of bail. – The magistrates, one and all, deeply regretted that a person of the prisoner's profession and station should be charged with such dreadful offences. – Bristol Gazette. (Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper)

Saturday 17 February 1844

ATTEMPT TO COMMIT AN INDECENT ASSAULT BY A CLERGYMAN. – At the Bristol Police-office, on the 3d instant, Henry Heathcote, (who underwent a private examination before the magistrates in the previous week) was brought up on a charge of having attempted to commit an unnatural offence. The court was crowded, many gentlemen of this city and Clifton being present. After the court had been cleared of females, the informations of the several witnesses against the prisoner were read over, and excited disgust in the minds of all who heard them, it being scarcely to be believed that any person, much more a minister of religion, could attempt to commit an offence so revolting. The prisoner, we understand, has a wife and family. – Mr. Burges read the depositions of the various witnesses, which are of course totally unfit for publication. Three separate cases were clearly established against the prisoner, and in answer to each of the charges, Mr. Harmar, who attended for him said, that under his advice, he would not make any defence then, but reserve what he had to say until his trial. – Mr. Newman, addressing the prisoner, said that the magistrates, one and all exceedingly regretted to see a gentleman of his profession placed in such a position. For each offence the magistrates required that he should find two sureties of 250l. each, and be bound over himself in 500l. for his appearance to take his trial at the Sessions. In default of sureties, the prisoner was committed to prison. – Bristol Journal. (Gloucester Journal)

Saturday 24 February 1844

The Rev. Henry Heathcote has, in default of bail, been committed by the Bristol Magistrates for trial at the Sessions on three charges of indecent assaults. Prisoner has a wife and family. (Gloucestershire Chronicle)

Saturday 13 April 1844

THE CASE OF THE REV. HENRY HEATHCOTE. – This prisoner, who was described in the calendar as 40 years of age, lately residing at Granby-hill, Clifton, a married man with two sons, was placed at the bar charged with a series of offences of a most disgusting character. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Smith; and the defence by Messrs. Stone, Skinner, and Phinn.
          The first indictment charged the prisoner with intent to commit an abominable crime on one William Haines, on the 23rd January; secondly, with the solicitatio to commit; thirdly, with the common assault only; and fourthly, with solicitation, &c., with one John Cox.
          A second indictment charged the prisoner with the same offence towards one John Burbidge, on the 23rd of July last; and a third indictment alleged against him similar practises on the 7th July, towards one Alfred Carter.
          It is of course uttelry impossible to give the evidence, of which we shall say no more than that it disclosed a state of moral depravity on the part of the prisoner which we cannot bring ourselves to believe could exist with sanity of intellect.
          As respects the first indictment, the jury acquitted the prisoner on all the serious counts, and found him guilty only of the common assault. On the third indictment, Mr. Smith considering the ends of justice obtained, did not offer any evidence.
          The Recorder then said it became his painful duty to pronounce the sentence of the Court, which he should do as briefly as possible. For the offence of the common assault in the first indictment, of which he had been found guilty, the prisoner was to pay a fine of 20s. to her Majesty; for the offence in the second indictment, of solicitation to commit an unnatural crime, that he be imprisoned for twelve months in the common gaol of this city; and for the common assault in that indictment, he do pay a further fine of 20s. (Bristol Times and Mirror)

Monday 15 April 1844

REVOLTING CHARGE AGAINST A CLERGYMAN. – At the Bristol Quarter Sessions, on Tuesday, the Rev. Henry Heathcote, who was described in the calendar as forty years of age, and who is a clergyman of the Church of England, a married man with two sons, was placed at the bar charged with a series of offences of the most disgusing character. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Smith, and the defence by Messrs. Stone, Skinner, and Phinn. It is, of course, utterly impossible to give the evidence, of which we shall say no more than it disclosed a state of moral depravity on the part of the prisoner which we cannot bring ourselves to believe could exist with sanity of intellect. As respects the first indictment, the Jury acquitted the prisoner of all the previous counts, and found him guilty of only the common assault; on the second indictment they found him not guilty of the intent, but guilty of the solicitation, and of the common assault. The other indictment was withdrawn. The Recorder then, on the first indictment, sentenced him to pay a fine of 20s.; for the offence in the second, of solicitation to commit an unnatural crime, twelve months' imprisonment in the common gaol of the city; and for the common assault in that indictment he do pay a further fine of 20s. – Bath Herald. – (A high Church and Tory paper, of the fashionable city of Bath, has to report this monstrous affair. And is he, too, to remain "unfrocked?" If the Church desire to be respected, will it respect itself!) (Morning Advertiser)

Wednesday 17 April 1844

The Rev. Henry Heathcote, a clergyman of the Church of England, lately residing at Clifton, 40 years of age, a married man, having two sons, was found guilty at the Bristol quarter sessions on Teusday, of soliciting one Wm. Haines to commit a disgusting offence, and was sentenced to be imprisoned for twelve calendar months in the common gaol of that city. There were two other indictments against him for assaults with the same intent, but the jury found him guilty of common assaults only, and he was fined 20s. for each offence. – (The Bishop of the Diocese is about to take measures for the removal of the delinquent from the sacred office of the Ministry.) (Hereford Journal)

Monday 28 September 1846

Last week a return to an address of the House of Commons, made in February last, was printed, showing "the number of suits against clerks in holy orders, in the course of the archbishops and bishops in England and Wales, since the Church Discipline Act, 3 and 4 Victoria, c. 86," . . . In the Arches Court of Canterbury . . . Henry Heathcote, for having been convicted of an assault with an intent to commit an unnatural crime, inhibition from exercise of the ministry, and from all discharge of his clerical office. (Evening Mail)

Rev. R. H. Cresswell

Thursday 25 July 1844

HORRID CHARGE AGAINST A CLERGYMAN. – Considerable excitement has prevailed in Stockport (and particularly amongst the congregation worshipping at St. Peter's Church) during the last week, in consequience of a report being currently circulated that the Rev. R.. H. Cresswell, incumbent of St. Peter's church, had been guilty of a most horrible and unnatural offence. This report, we are sorry to say, is not without foundation, the rev. delinquent having been apprehended on the charge under a warrant issued by the sitting magistrates on Wednesday last. Circumstances attending the charge having previously come to the knowledge of Mr. Sadler, superintendent of police, he instituted inquiries into the circumstances from a youth named James Booth, about 15 years of age, a servant of Mr. Cresswell's (and upon whom the offence is said to have been committed), from the clerk of the church, and other persons, who corroborated the statement made by Booth, and left no doubt in the superintendent's mind of the truith of the report. He accordingly represented the circumstances to the town clerk, who made them known to the magistrates on Wednesday, who thereupon granted a warrant for Mr. Cresswell's apprehension. On the same afternoon Mr. Sadler, in company with police officer Walters, went to the parsonage-house, near St. Peter's Church, and executed the warrant. Mr. Cresswell being ill in bed, and Mr. Downs, his surgeon, certifying that he was labouring under an affection of the brain, and not in a fit state to be removed, police officer Walters was left in the house to take charge of him. Subsequently, however, bail to the amount of 1000l. was accepted for his appearance to answer the charge at the Court-House on Wednesday. Mr. Cresswell, we understand, has a wife and seven children, who reside with him at the parsonage. – Times. (Bradford Observer)

Saturday 17 August 1844

LIBERATION OF AN ACCUSED CLERGYMAN. – Last week the Rev. Mr. Cresswell, a clergyman of Stockport, who was committed to take his trial at Chester assizes, on a charge of having committed an abominable crdime, was liberated from the bail which had been given for his appearance, the grand jury having cut the bill against him. (Leicestershire Mercury)

Rev. James Thomas

Sunday 8 February 1846

THE CLERICAL DELINQUENT. – On Mr. Baron Rolfe taking his seat, he inquired of Mr. Ballantine whether he had any further information as to the whereabouts of the witnesses in the case of George Green, a private in the Grenadier Guards, and James Thomas, who is well known to be the rector of a parish in the northwestern outskirts of London, who stood remanded from last session on a bill of indictment found against them for an unnatural crime. – Mr. Ballantine said he had had no instructions since he made application to have the case postponed. He had no hesitation in saying that the witnesses had been tampered with, and if their lordships would postpone the case until next session, he would be able to prove the truth of his assertions, and it might become a question whether the depositions could not be read over as a sufficient justification for the postponment he then asked for. – Mr. Prendergast said, his clients were anxious to stand the trial, and if the witnesses were not forthcoming he submitted they must be discharged. – Mr. Justice Cresswell said, it did not appear to him any exertions had been made by the prosecutor to bring forward the witnesses or ascertain where they were. – Mr. Ballantine said, it was well known to all parties concerned in the prosecution that the witnesses had been at the instance of the prisoners conveyed out of the country; it was certain they were beyond the jurisdiction of that court, and he knew that there would be no chance of their being brought forward. – Mr. Justice Cresswell then ordered the prisoners to be placed at the bar, in order that the indictment might be read over. The indictment charged them with having committed an abominable offence. They prisoner Green was properly described, but the other was [falsely] described as James Thomas, aged 50, a labourer. The witnesses were then called on their recognizances, but did not answer [i.e. did not appear in court]. – By the direction of Mr. Baron Rolfe the jury acquitted the prisoners, and they left the dock. It has been pretty clearly ascertained that the witnesses has [sic] been conveyed out of the country, under the care of the rev. delinquent's Butler, with instructions to keep them in his sight until after the trial was over. It is also said they have each received the sum of 500l. as hush-money. This worthy representative of the church is a married man, with a wife and large family. (Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper)

Sunday 8 February 1846

CLERICAL DELINQUENT. – The clergyman and soldier charged at Bow-street with a nameless offence were yesterday acquitted at the Central Court, in consequence of the two witnesses, by a bribe of 500 each, being kept out of the way. The clergyman is the incumbent of a valuable living near Edgeware. (Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle)

Friday 13 February 1846

The POWERS of MONEY. – At the Central Criminal Court on Saturday last, Jas.Thomas, aged 50, who was described in the calendar as a labourer, but who is really the Rector of a parish not many miles north-west of London, and Geo. Green, a private in the Grenadier Guards, were placed at the bar, charged with the commission of an abominable crime. Mr. Ballantine, who appeared for the prosecution, informed the court that he had every reason to believe that the witnesses in the case had been, through the agency of one of the persons accused, conveyed out of the country, and consequently could not be forthcoming in the present session. If the case was further remanded, he had no doubt that he could produce evidence to prove the fact. – Mr. Prendergast said that he attended for the defence. The prisoners were anxious to be tried, and if no witnesses were forthcoming, to be, of course, discharged. – Mr. Justice Coltman asked if any efforts had been made to discover the witnesses. – Mr. Ballantine said that it was well known that the witnesses had been conveyed beyond the jurisdiction of the court, and there was not the slightest hope that they could be brought, or would themselves come forward at present. – The witnesses were then called by name, and failing to appear, their recognizances were declared forfeited. – Mr. Baron Rolfe said that there was no proof before them (however little doubt might be entertained) that the witnesses had been kept out of the way by the prisoners' agency: there remained, under these circumstances, but one course open for them, namely, to pronounce a verdict of acquittal. – The Jury then returned a verdict of not guilty, and the prisoners were removed from the bar. – It has been clearly ascertained that the witnesses, who are under the care of the Rev. Gentleman's butler, have had 500l. each as "hush money." – The beastly Rector is married, and has a large family. (Stamford Mercury)

Rev. Peter Penson

Friday 3 March 1848

SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A CLERGYMAN. – On Monday morning last, the Rev. Peter Penson, Vicar of St. Oswald's, in this city [Durham], was brought before the sitting magistrates of the borough – the Mayor, J. L. Hammon, Esq., and J. F. Elliott, Esq., – on a charge of assaulting William Oliver, a printer, and one of the choir of St. Oswald's Church, on the morning of Sunday the 6th inst., shortly before the commencement of Divine Service, with intent to commit an unnatural crime. The affair having created various rumours in the town, our reporter attended to hear the examination; but just at the commencement of business, on the suggestion of Mr Elliott, the clerk said that the meeting was a private one. Our reporter said he understood meetings of this description were open here as in other places – in London, for instance. Mr Hammond replied that this was only a preliminary meeting, and the presence of reporters could not be allowed. Our reporter consequently withdrew. We can, therefore, only state the result; which was, that Mr Penson was committed for trial at the assizes, and Superintendent Robison bound over to prosecute, under a penalty of 50. The Rev. gentleman, who was very pale, and wore an extremely dejected appearance, was conducted to prison by Inspector Robison; but, after a short sojourn there, was liberated on bail, on his own and another surety of 50 each. In the present state of the case, it would be unjust to retail the rumours abroad, or give publicity to any matter which might prejudice the trial of so grave a charge; but the impolicy of excluding reporters from "preliminary investigations" must be obvious. The discretion of the press might always be relied upon for omitting everything offensive to public delicacy, or for withholding a report when such a course was really advisable. Besides, a brief statement of the leading facts might have put down the thousand-and-one stories, prejudicial to the accused, which are now passing from mouth to mouth, and thus have been beneficial rather than injurious. (Durham Chronicle)

Friday 24 March 1848

Our readers are aware that the case of this individual, which was expected to have been tried at our late Assizes, instead of coming before a jury, was then traversed tillthe next Commission. This circuimstance has occasioned various surmises, which, with some other matters connected with the affair, it is our purpose now to notice.
          It will have naturall struck the public that the postponement of the trial through this proceeding was the act of the defendant; and that its object was to defer, if not eventually to evade, an enquiry he was afraid to meet. We have reason to believe that such was by no means the case.
          On the contrary, we are informed, on good authority, that the defendant was most anxious to go into the investigation; and that he was only prevented from appearing in Court to meet the charge by the earnest remonstrance of Mr Baron ALDERSON, who, in a communication with Mr Sergt. WILKINS, the leading Counsel for the defendant, earnestly recommended, or rather enjoyed, that course, emphatically expressing his opinion that it would be madness to proceed to trial under the existing excitement of the public mind!
          To that suggestion the legal advisers of the defendant submitted – whether wisely on their own part, on the one hand, or justly or prudently for their client on the other, it is neither our business nor our inclinationn to enquire. We state what we believe to be the fact, and leave it to produce what impression it may. It is obvious, however, that the defendant ought not to suffer disparagement for what, upon this representation of the case, was evidently not his own act.
          It is not so clear that the conduct imputed to Mr Baron ALDERSON was altogether such as might have been expected from Judge of his ability and discernment. No person will, for a moment, suspect his Lordship of having had the lease desire to impede the course of justice, even in consideration of the sacred profession to which the defendant belongs. But still we can perceive no reason why, either as a matter of taste or as an act of favour, he should have wished to put off the enquiry into a charge which the defendant had so deep an interest in immediately repelling, and which, besides, he was prepared, and, as we are assured, most urgently desirous, in one way or another, to bring to an end.
          The ground upon which his Lordship is stated to have advised this extraordinary proceeding is far from being satisfactory. It may be very gravely questioned whether there ever was a case of so peculiar a nature that cause so slight a sensation. Excitement there was none: not even the attempts at pre-judgment usually imputed to the public press could be laid hold of as a pretext for delay; and, above all, the party most deeply interested in the result did not shrink fromthe investigation. It is certainly very curious.
          We wonder what different there can possibly be in the public mind at the next Assizes! Can even Master HIBBERT calculate it?
          If we might be permitted to hazard a conjecture, we should attribute the interposition of the learned Baron to the short time which the Judges allow themselves for disposing of the business of the Assizes. The defective arrangements, in this respect, of which many complaints have, from time to time, appeared in our journal, are in no wise improved by remonstrance however earnest, or by animadversion however unreserved. The consequence is, that when their Lordships find themselves, towards the close of their allotted number of days, likely to be hard pressed for time, they begin to get fidgetty and out of temper; and when a man loses his temper, every body knows he must necessarily part with his discretion. So – we take leave to say, with all humility and reverence – it is with Her MAJESTY's JUSTICES of ASSIZE. To repair a damage which a little foresight would have prevented, they set to work with most admirable diligence to illustrate the adage of "the more haste the less speed." They put on all possible steam, and hoist every inch of canvas, to get quickly into port; buit still, as they perceive a prospect of foundering before they can reach the end of their voyage, they, as a last resource, throw overboard all their heavy goods and the least desirable parts of their remaining cargo. In other respects, what they do quickly they do ill; and the whole system is such as to make every observer exclaimm with Hamlet – "Reform it altogether!"
          It is thus that we would account for a custom that has sprung up into a positive evil in this county – against which professional men, suitors, witnesses, jurymen, and all concerned – except the learned brotherhood of barristers,to whom it is doubtless very "refreshing" and very agreeable to receive double fees on briefs and consultations – are loud in their complaints, and which, we will take the liberty of saying, unless it be remedied from within, must very shortly be correced from without. We know that a representation to Parliament has more than once been throught of, and that upon another occasion it will unquestionably be made. At our late Assizes, some cases of a very heavy and consequently very expensive nature, requiring the attendance of three or four sets of special jurors, and large bodies of costly witnesses, were either thrown over to the next Assizes or "sent to reference," after all the ruinous expense of getting the causes ready for trial had been incurred. These were the heavy part of the judicial freight. Mr PENSON's case formed one of the unpleasant items of their Lordships' bill of lading; and hence, we presume, it went by the board with the rest.
          There is another circumstance connected with Mr PENSON's case which calls for remark. His name did not appear in the calendar. How did this happen? During an experience of nearly thirty years in courts of criminal judicature, we never knew an instance of the kind before. We are not much disposed to raise the cry of "One law for the rich and another for the poor;" but, it will be well to guard against converting the practice into a spider's web, to catch the small flies and let the great ones through. Who did this? Is the preparation and subsequent publication of the calendar one of the functions of the Governor of the Gaol; or is it a part of the duty of the officer of the Court – the Clerk of the Crown? We have heard it intimated that the County Printe4r took upon himself to make the omission! We do not believe it, and will not accept him as the scapegoat. He would not dare to take such a liberty. Some person of higher station and authority must have ventured upon this gross transgression of the established rule. Who was it? The Gaoler? The Clerk of the Crown? Or the Visiting Magistrates? If it were either the one or the other, we will only say that we do not expect that the party who did it will stop here; and that we shall not be particularly surprised at any thing that may follow. Persons entrusted with the administration of justice must not be permitted to exercise such freedoms with long-existing forms and usages. If such things may be done with impunity, delinquents of distinction and consequence may hereafter look for more especial and more important indulgences.
          We observe from the Durham Advertiser that a Commission has been issued to enquire whether there are grounds for proceedings ecclesiastically against Mr PENSON. We express no opinion as to the guilt or the innocence of the accused, and will do nothing either to screen him or to run him down. But it does apepar to us that this proceedings is rather in advance of the proper time. If a jury should convict him, then, for the sake of all that is decent and holy, deprive him of his priestly office; but before a jury shall have so pronounced, ought there to be an accumulation of other proceedings against him: or, if a jury should acquit him, can he be unfrocked or unbeneficed! He may be prejudiced; but would that be justice?
          We shall probably hereafter have something to say about the Ecclesiastical "Star-Chamber." But enough for present. (Durham Chronicle)

Friday 14 April 1848

To the Editor of the Durham Chronicle.
SIR, – In a letter signed "A Lover of Morality and Amusement," which appeared in the Durham Advertiser of Friday last, a complaint is made of the encouragement that has been given to "riotous and disgraceful scenes," by the removal of the tents from the first field on the race-ground to a fiend lying beyond the course, at its easterne xtremity. I beg to observe that the regulation was not willingly adopted by any person concerned in the management of the races; but that the transfer of the tents was forced upon them by a movement of the Tee-totallers and Aguewites of the town, with the Reverend Peter Penson at their head – who persuaded the then Bishop of Chester (not Archbishop of Canterubyr) to impose this restraint upon the poular amusements of the neighbourhood. . . . (Durham Chronicle)

Friday 21 July 1848

A MEETING OF THE DURHAM INFANT SCHOOLS was held in the Elvet School-Room, on Tuesday, the 18th instant, at twelve o'clock; Rev. Dr. Townsend, in the Chair.
          The following Resolutions were passed unanimously:–
          1. – Moved by W. L. Wharton, Esq., seconded by John Shields, Esq., –
          That the Rev. Dr. Gilly be requested to accept the office of President, vacant by the death of the Rev. Thomas Gisborne; that Anthony Wilkinson, Esq., be requested to accept the office of Treasurer, in place of Geo. T. Fox, Esq., deceased; and that Ignatius Bonomi, Esq., be requested to accept the office of Secretary, in the place of the Rev. Peter Penson, resigned. . . . (Durham County Advertiser)

Saturday 5 August 1848

The next case called was that of PETER PENSON, lately a clergyman of the Church of England adn a canon of Durham Cathedral, who had been held to bail on a charge of a disgusting nature. The defendant did not appear in the dock; and Mr WARREN, as counsel for the prosecution, said he had given the case the best consideration in his power, and so far as his judgment went, he believed there was no certain ground for expecting a conviction. He therefore did not feel warranted in offering any evidence on the charge. In addition, he was bound to state that one of the witnesses examined at the last assizes had since died. Under these circumstances, in the exercise of his discretion, he should not proceed with the case, and he trusted his lordship would also think this the proper course to be adopted.
          Mr GRANGER, who had been retained for the prisoner, said he was not aware that his learned friend had lost one of his witnesses by death, and his client was ready to take his trial –
          Justice CRESSWELL interrupted the learned counsel by observing that he was irregular. He (the learned judge) had looked over the depositions, it having been suggested to him that this was one of those cases in which a public investigation could only be justified except by the consideration that it was due to justice. He had looked carefully through the case, and it apepared to him that its very essence was assault, which he did not think there was evidence to support. On this ground he considered Mr Warren had exercised a sound discretion in not bringing into public discussion a case which in allprobability would not terminate in a convicton. (Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury)

Rev. John Hurrows Bastard

Thursday 4 May 1848

John Hurrows Bastard, who was described on the charge-sheet as a clergyman, of the Hotel de Provence, Leicester-square, was charged with indecently assaulting a youth, named Thomas Green, in the pit of the Adelphi Theatre.
          Evidence having been given,
          The prisoner, who offered no defence, was bound over to appear at the sessions, himself in 100l., and two sureties in 50l. each. (Morning Advertiser)

Saturday 6 May 1848

BOW-STREET POLICE. – John Hurrows Bastard, described on the police sheet as a clergyman, living at the Hotel de Provence, in Leicester-square, was placed before Mr Jardise on Monday, charged with indecently assaulting a young man named Thomas Green, in the pit of the Adelphi Theatre. – The complainant, who was the son of a gunmaker, of No. 4, Leiceester-square, stated that the prisoner accosted him in a state of intoxication, and committed the indecency described, upon which he went out and called a policeman, to whom he mentioned the circumstance and gave him in charge, at the same time saying, that if the prisoner confessed his offence, he would not prosecute him. The prisoner refused to do this, and was afterwards taken into custody. No defence was now offered by the prisoner, who was committed for trial at the sessions, it being intimated that bail would be taken if submitted and approved. (Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Infamous Clergymen, 1840s", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 26 September 2016 <>.

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