The Hairdresser and the Suicide, 1840/42

Saturday 19 September 1840

At the Central Criminal Court, on Thursday, Geo. Diamond, hair dresser, was indicted for an unnatural offence. After hearing the facts of the case, the Jury, without hesitation, returned a verdict of guilty. The Learned Judge then passed sentence of death upon the prisoner in the usual manner. (Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette)

Sunday 20 September 1840

UNNATURAL CRIME. – George Diamond, described in the calendar as a hairdresser, 53 years of age, was capitally indicted for the commission of an unnatural offence. The facts were clearly proved, and the jury returned a verdict of Guilty. – The prisoner was again indicted for a similar offence, and the jury also returned a verdict of Guilty. – Sentence of death was passed upon the prisoner. (The Examiner) (The boy who accused him committed suicide; see report for 7 June 1842.)

Tuesday 7 June 1842

– An extraordinary suicide took place on Saturday last under the following circumstances:– The name of the youth in question, whose age is but 15, is Coe, residing with his parents at 206, High-street, Wapping, and who terminated his existence by taking a large quantity of arsenic. It will be remembered that about 15 months since, a hair-dresser named Diamond [see report for 20 September 1840], then residing in the Commercial-road East, was found guilty and had sentence of death passed on him, but which was subsequently commuted to transportation for life, on a charge of having committed an unnatural crime. The deceased boy is the apprentice on whose evidence alone Diamond was convicted, and on whom the offence was proved to have been committed. Since that period he has been residing with his parents, and in consequence of the unfortunate circumstance alluded to has been unable to procure a situation of any description, which appeared to prey, as he increased in age, much upon his mind. On Friday last he wrote a letter to one of his brothers, in which were the words, "Although I shall never meet you happy in this world, I hope I shall in the next." On Saturday he left home about six o'clock, as he said, to look for a situation at Stratford. On the road he purchased half an ounce of arsenic, and called at the house of a relative at Stepney, where he asked for some water, and in which it is supposed he took the poison. He proceeded to Stratford and laid himself down to die in a hedge close on the borders of Hainault Forrest, where he was found by some police of the K division, and in an almost lifeless condition, in which state he was conveyed to the London Hospital, where he died shortly after admission. (London Evening Standard) (This report was reprinted verbatim in some 20 newspapers.)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "The Hairdresser and the Suicide", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 12 July 2016 <>.

Return to Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England