Newspaper Reports, 1843


Saturday 21 January 1843

WANDSWORTH POLICE.
DREADFUL CASE.
On Monday Daniel Williamson, the keeper of a boarding-school at Kingston New-town, was placed at the dock, before Mr. Paynter, charged with committing a capital offence, and with general unnatural conduct towards his pupils.
          The prisoner is a man about 30 years of age, and possesses a heavy dogged-looking countenance.
          It was stated on the examination, that a short time since the prisoner was usher in a boarding-school where there were a great number of scholars. He there won the good opinion of many heads of famlies, and having saved some money he opened a boarding-school at Kingston, and amongst his patrons and well-wishers were the parents of the children towards whom he has so misconducted himself. Mr. K––, a highly respectable tradesman in London, is the father of one of the boys who has been nearly two years in the school, and Mr. E––, who is also an extensive tradesman, is the parent of two others. The circumstance which led to the discovery was this:– The day before the one appointed for the return of Mr. E––'s boys to school, the elder son threw himself at his mother's feet, and implored her not to send him again to Mr. Williamson's school, and said he would rather go out as an errand boy than return to that school. This extraordinary exclamation led to an immediate inquiry into the cause, and the boy ultimately confessed that the prisoner had, through his unwilling instrumentality, been guilty of the most heinous offence punishable by the laws of this country. The father, stung almost to madness by the confession of his elder son, questioned the younger, a child only nine years of age, and towards him he ascertained that the prisoner had acted most abominably. Mr. E–– immediately communicated with Mr. K––, who dreading that the contamination had extended to his own family, questioned his son, a lad of 14 years of age, who ultimately confessed to such a series of abominable offences as to reduce his father to a state bordering upon madness. It should be stated that the latter boy had returned to school a week since, and these facts were drawn from him at the school, to which the father had proceeded with a medical gentleman.
          The first witness, Frederick K––, having given his evidence, which clearly proved the prisoner to have been repeatedly guilty of a misdemeanour,
          Mr. Paynter asked the prisoner if he wished to put any questions to the witness?
          The Prisoner, replied – The young gentlemen under my charge have always had the privilege of writing to their parents at any time without control. The witness says, he slept with me every night after his return from his holydays. I admit that he did so, but it was because having moved into a newly-built house, I was afraid of placing him in a room that was not thoroughly aired; he might have had a separate bed if he had wished.
          Mr. Paynter indignantly said, no circumstances whatever could justify a master sleeping with his scholars.
          The elder boy of Mr. E–– having been called and examined, and given strong evidence of a capital offence having been committed,
          Mr. James Fernandez Clarke, a surgeon, was called. He stated that he had examined the last witness, but the result of his examination was very unsatisfactory. With regard to his other boys, he could state nothing positive.
          Mr. Paynter asked the prisoner if he chose to ask Mr. E––'s elder son any questions?
          The Prisoner. – I deny that I have slept with him for the last half-year, or on any occasion whatever, and on some future time I will produce a witness to prove that fact.
          Mr. E––'s younger son, a child only nine years of age, was next examined as to the proceedings of the prisoner towards him individually.
          Mr. Paynter said it would be impossible to take the evidence fully that day, as the time of the Court was nearly up, therefore he should remand the prisoner upon the charge of felony. He should advise the prisoner to make no statement until the whole of the evidence had been taken down and read over.
          The Prisoner. – This gentleman (ponted to Mr. E––) was with me a week in December; he ate and he drank at my expense, he slept in the same room with his children, and he was my most intimate friend, until a friend of his robbed me of 5, which of course I made a noise about, and then he turns round upon me, and, in conjunction with the other gentleman, conspires to ruin me. What this charge may come to, or whatever punishment I may ultimately have to suffer, I declare, upon my solemn oath, I am innocent of the crimes laid to my charge.
          The prisoner was remanded. (Bucks Herald)

Sunday 22 January 1843

[Daniel Williamson] was re-examined on Thursday. T.D.E––, son of Mr. E––, was called to the witness-box, and having been sworn, said he was 11 years of age last June. He first went to the school kept by the prisoner in August, 1841. The school was then at Surbiton-house, Surbiton-hill, Kingston-upon-Thames. Witness did not recollect that there were ever more than six boarders at any time. Witness, his brother, and another pupil, slept in the same room. The prisoner was not then married, and hs house was kept by his aunt. He recollected this female on more than one occasion telling witness to sleep with the prisoner to keep him company. From this time the prisoner commenced his disgusting conduct, and continued it with witness and one or other of the boys almost without intermission. On the night of the day alluded to he went to bed with a pupil named R––, and soon fell asleep. In the middle of the night he was awoke by the prisoner, who had forced himself into the bed between him and K. He asked him what he did there, but he made no answer; and at first pretended to be asleep. The witness desired him to leave the bed, but could not persuade him to do so. The further details of the evidence given by the witness we purposely abstain from alluding to, merely stating that the witness proved the fact that the capital offence was committed in the month of October last, and that shame prevented him from mentioning the fact to his parents until the period arrived for his return to school! He then, as has been previously stated, threw himself upon his knees before his mother, and made a full confession, the result of which was the apprehension of the prisoner. F–– K––, the son of another tradesman, residing in the neighbourhood of Oxford-street, stated that he was 14 years of age! He recollected that about six weeks prior to the removal of the school, he was sleeping with the last witness, when the prisoner came to their bed, and the alleged capital offence was committed. Witness heard E–– cry out, and he was afterwards told by him of the manner in which he had been used by the prisoner. Mr. E––, the father of the first witness, was called and sworn. He stated that he was not aware that he owed the prisoner 5, and he never heard of such a demand until last Monday, when the prisoner stated it in that court. If it had been stated that the prisoner owned him money, it would have been correct; he had been a father to him, he advanced him money on many occasions. His two children were not in the school three weeks before witness advanced prisoner 50, and this sum he had not been repaid. The prisoner came to his house one day drunk, and used the most obscene language to some ladies who were visitors. Witness got him out of the house and up to the railway station, where he took his place in a first class carriage; here his conduct was so beastly that he was turned out of the carriage, and positively kicked off the Company's premises. Mr. Paynter asked the prisoner if he wished to say anything. The prisoner: No. I am innocent; but I leave all in the hands of my professional adviser. Mr. Paynter: I shall commit you for trial for the capital offence. With respect to the two cases of misdemeanour, I shall not go into them here, but I most strongly advise the parents to prefer bills of indictment at the assizes. Mr. Gilham: Do you commit to the assizes? Mr. Paynter: Decidedly so. I do not know that I would, if I had the power, commit to the Central Criminal Court. Mr. Gilham: Will you, sir, take bail? Mr. Paynter: No, not at the highest amount you can name. The prisoner was afterwards removed to the lock up, amidst the yells and execrations of assembled hundreds. (Bell's New Weekly Messengere)

Friday 31 March 1843

KINGSTON, MARCH 30,
CROWN COURT.
(Before Mr. Justice Patteson.)
Daniel Williamson, aged 25, described in the caledar as a schoolmaster, was placed at the bar, charged with the committal of an unnatural offence on the person of a boy named Thomas Diamond Evans.
          The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Clarkson; the prisoner was defended by Mr. Chadwick Jones and Mr. Charnock.
          It appeared by the evidence that the prisoner was a schoolmaster, and kept a school at Kingston, and the boy Evans was a pupil of his.
          Mr. Jones made a very long and powerful appeal for the defence.
          The jury found a verdict of Guilty, and
          The prisoner was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for two years, the first and last months to be passed in solitary confinement. (Morning Chronicle; he was convicted of a "criminal assault", i.e. the misdemeanour rather than the felony)


Friday 24 March 1843

EXECUTION AT LINCOLN. – On Friday last, at noon, Thomas Johnson, alias Hensey, alias Upton, underwent the last penalty of the law, at the drop on Lincoln castle. The full report of his trial, for the murder of Elizabeth Evinson, at Croft, has already appeared in our columns. . . . The vast multitudes who had assembled on the northern and eastern sides of the castle behaved in a very orderly manner; it is said that so many persons have not been assembled since the hanging of the parties from Grantham for a nameless offence. [See reports elsewhere for three men convicted on 13 September 1822 and hanged on 2 April 1823] . . . (Lincolnshire Chronicle)

Wednesday 5 April 1843

NORTH WALES CIRCUIT. – CHESTER, APRIL 3.
The business of assize for this county commenced this day before Mr. Justice Williams and Mr. Baron Maule; the former presiding in the Nisi Prius Court, and the latter in the Crown Court. The calendar is extremely heavy, containing no fewer than one hundred and forty-two prisoners, among whom are six charged with murder, twenty-one burglary, twenty-two poaching, sixteen stabbing, four sacrilege, six rape, one arson, five sheep-stealing, and seven with unnatural crimes, for which this county seems to be becomming quite notorious. The cause list only contains an entry of thirteen cases for trial, two of which are Special Juries. (Morning Post)

Thursday 13 April 1843

GLOUCESTER SPRING ASSIZES.
TUESDAY, APRIL 11.
James Prideaux, 65, brought by Habeas from Bristol, was convicted of having committed an unnatural crime, not sentenced.
          Henry Cordwell, 19, and Henry Harrison, 21, the former charged with having committed an unnatural crime at Woodchester, and the latter for aiding and consorting with him. They were both acquitted.
          James Davis, 33, charged with committing an unnatural crime at Quennington, was acquitted after the jury had been locked up for about an hour.
          Wm. Brain, 29, charged with having committed an unnatural crime at Newnham, was also acquitted.
          George Hughes, 23, charged with having committed a similar offence at Bourton on the Water, was found guilty. Death recorded. (Cheltenham Chronicle)

Saturday 15 April 1843

TUESDAY.
James Prideaux, 65, charged with having committed an unnatural crime in a field near Bristol, was found guilty. The jury recommended him to mercy on account of his age. Sentence of death was recorded, but with an intimation that it will be commuted to transportation.
          Henry Cordwell, 19, was charged with a similar crime at Woodchester, on the 14th December; and Henry Harrison, 21, was charged with sheltering the said Henry Cordwell. Verdict – not guilty.
          James Davis, 51, charged with a similar offence at Quennington in 1841, was acquitted.
          Willianm Brain, 29, charged with a similar offence at Newnham on the 11th February,was acquitted.
          George Hughes, 23, charged with a similar offence at Bourton-on-the-Water in May, 1841, was found guilty, and sentence of death was recorded. (Gloucestershire Chronicle)

Sunday 7 May 1843

ANOTHER BRUTAL MISCREANT. – Yesterday, A. Johnson, a morose looking character, about 30 years of age, a private soldier in the 3d battalion of Scots Fusilier guards, stationed at the Tower, was brought before the Lord Mayor, on a charge of having attempted to commit a nameless offence upon a boy named Edward Ray, 10 years of age, a scholar in the Tower Ward School. The circumstances of the cases are revolting in the extreme. The prisoner and several of his comrades were drinking, on Friday evening, at the Shades public house, on tower hill; and the prisoner got hold of the boy, gave him a quantity of ale, and fourpence, by which means he enticed him into the closet, where he was about to commit the offence; the boy struggled hard to break open the door, when the prisoner dealt him a severe blow on his forehead; his cries, however, frightened the prisoner so much, that he escaped. A Sergeant from the regiment informed his Lordship that the prisoner has been charged with a similar offence before. The prisoner was remanded. (Bell's New Weekly Messenger)


Friday 12 May 1843

POLICE INTELLIGENCE – THURSDAY.
BOW-STREET.
EXTRAORDINARY CASE. – A young man named Henry Rowe, described as a straw-bonnet dresser, was placed at the bar before Mr. Hall, charged with extorting several sums of money from Mr. Edward Beck, under a threat of charging him with unnatural acts and practices.
          Mr. Price, the barrister, conducted the prosecution.
          The learned counsel stated the case at great length, the particulars of which will appear from the following evidence:–
          Mr. Beck being sworn, said he was an ale agent for the last twenty years, and at present carried on business at Hungerford-wharf. About a year and a half back, as he was passing along Drury-lane, he was accosted by the prisoner, whom he never saw before, with "How do you do, sir?" Witness having turned round, and not knowing the person that spoke to him, desired him to go about his business, or he would knock him down with a stick. He appeared at the time to be shabby genteel, and on his saying that he was in great distress, witness was induced to give him a shilling, when he handed his card, "H. Rowe, Kingsgate-street," telling witness that if he called there he would see the truth of his distress; but he never went, and thought no more about it. He never saw the prisoner again till after a lapse of four or five months, when he came before him in Finsbury-square, and told him of a shop he had in Wild-street, which he was obliged to leave, being in great distress, and requested a trifle to enable him to get to Exeter, which caused witness to give him 5s. through charity. In the month of December, on arriving up to his wharf in a chaise one morning, he observed the prisoner standing near the door; and on his saying "Good morning, sir," the prosecutor said, "What do you mean?" upon which the prisoner replied he was in great distress, having just come out of a hospital. The prosecutor said, "Such is not the case; you have just come out of prison."
          Mr. Hall inquired how the prosecutor became cognisant of such a fact?
          Witness replied, that he saw the name and address that was on the card in the newspaper, and concluded that the prisoner had been convicted of a robbery. The prisoner then cried, and said he wished to retrieve his character, and wanted to go to Cornwall, which induced witness to give him 30s. to pay his expenses.
          Mr. Hall asked, were any expressions of a threatening or improper character made use of by the prisoner on that occasion.
          Witness replied that there were not, but that he told him that he gave him the money to get rid of him, and that he would give him no more. In the month of January he received the letter produced by the post, signed with the name of the prisoner, of which he took no notice. In a few days after, another letter was delivered to him from the prisoner by an old woman at the counting-house, and he gave her 30s. The contents of the second letter were the first intimation he had of anything improper, and it was through fear he gave her the money. Another letter, dated the 25th of January, was delivered to him by the same old woman, in the Strand, to which he made no answer, but told her that if ever she came again he would certainly give her in charge. In about ten days the prisoner again met him in Hungerford-market, and having told him that he was about to go to Cornwall, for the purpose of getting married, charged him with not having answered his last letter. Witness asked him why he sent letters by an old woman he knew to be the keeper of a house of ill-fame in Shire-lane; which the prisoner denied, and declared that she was a woman of reputable character. Witness then gave him 5 and left him; and having told him not to come again, or he would give him in charge, he said, "You had better not, or it will expose yourself and me." In consequence of the letters, witness was in considerable terror, and the reason for his giving the money was to prevent his coming again.
          Mr. Hall: Did you ask the prisoner, at that interview, what he meant by the expressions in the letter of the 14th of January?
          Witness: As well as I can recollect, he said, "You had better give me 20, as you know the charge I make against hou; and if you do, I shall not trouble you any more." Witness replied that he would make up that sum in a few days; and at the appointed time he gave the prisoner 15, in the Strand, on condition that he was not to come again; and he then went away.
          In answer to the learned counsel, the witness said the prisoner came again to the wharf at the latter end of March and demanded 50 to set him up in business, promising not to be any further annoyance. Witness told him that if he gave him a document to that effect he would see what he could do, to which the prisoner consented. On the Saturday before Easter Monday, having met the prisoner again, he gave him 45, and 5 on the Thursday following, but he did not bring the document that he had promised, and on offering to go into a public-house to draw it up, witness told him to go about his business, and that if ever he came near him again he would give him into custody. On the 6th of April last the prisoner again made his appearance at the wharf for money to pay his rent, on which he reminded witness of their first meeting and the alleged improper proposals that he had then made to him, and repeating his former promises not to come again if 50 were handed to him, which was refused. On Wednesday last, having procured an officer, he had the prisoner taken into custody, and subsequently received another letter through the hands of the old woman. The prosecutor added, that having been so much imposed on he consulted with some of his friends, by whom he was advised to take legal steps to bring the prisoner to justice.
          James Ireland, clerk, in the service of the prosecutor, proved that he was in the counting-house on Friday morning, when he saw the prisoner come to the window, and make a motion to his master to go out, and on his going out, after the prisoner had addressed the prosecutor, he heard Mr. Beck say, "I won't." On the return of the prosecutor to the counting-house, he first told witness what the prisoner wanted with him.
          The prisoner declined to cross-examine the witness, or to make any defence, and he was fully committed to Newgate for trial. (Morning Chronicle)

Saturday 27 May 1843

At the Central Criminal Court, on Monday, a young man, respectably connected, named Rowe, was sentenced to be transported for life, having been found guilty of sending a letter to an ale merchant in Hungerford market, to extort money from him by threatening to accuse him of committing an unnatural crime. (Worcester Herald)


Saturday 13 May 1843

UNNATURAL CRIME. – On Thursday last, a man, upwards of fifty years of age, called Edward Rayner, who has been employed as waiter at the Queen's Arms tap room, Kirkgate, and a boy apparently about seventeen years of age, called Thomas Sykes, were committed for trial at the sessions, by the Leeds magistrates, charged with attempting to commit an unnatural crime, in a privy in the Regent Inn yard, between nine and ten o'clock on Tuesday night. (Leeds Times)

Saturday 29 July 1843

UNNATURAL CRIME AT LEEDS.
EDWARD RAYNER (55), and THOS. SYKES (18), were charged with having, on the 9th of May last, at Leeds, feloniously, wickedly, and diabolically committed an offence against the order of nature. Guilty. The JUDGE, addressing the prisoners, said "I have no words for you; sentence of death must be recorded against you. Let them stand down." (York Herald)


Saturday 20 May 1843

CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON.
A Paris journal, the Siècle, comparing the state of crime in London and Paris, presents the following analysis:–

Of the 65,704 persons arrested in London (without including the City), in 1842, 33,609 were released immediately; 27,644 summarily punished, or let out on bail; and 4,431 committed to the next assizes. At Paris, out of the 15,624 individuals arrested in 1840, 14,014 were brought to trial, 922 set at liberty, and 597 admitted into the hospitals. The following is a statistical account of the crimes committed in the two capitals:–
          . . . Unnatural crimes           35 London           Nil Paris . . .
(Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette)

Wednesday 24 May 1843

YARMOUTH, MAY 22.
On Thursday a young man named Frederick Norris was brought up on a charge of sending a threatening letter, containing a charge of a repulsive nature, to Mr. George Yallop, for the purpose of extorting money. Mr. Yallop, who is a schoolmaster, said he had received a letter on the 10th instant, which he now produced, and which he knew to be the handwriting of Norris, who is a hair-dresser, and whom he (Mr. Yallop) had taught to read and write. The charges were grossly false, and he believed Norris wanted to extort money from him. We cannot give the whole of the letter, but we think the following portions of it will pretty clearly show the design to be extortion. After preferring a charge of a disgusting nature, he said, "Send me the sum of ten pounds to keep it quiet, for nothing less shall stop my tongue, or my pen from relating. I shall give you till Friday night to think of it. I will make interest with a friend of my mother, a solicitor in Norwich, to take it up if not settled by the time I name. You can please yourself which you do, for I care not which, for I am on the right side of the question and shall have hand-bills printed and circulated. The sovereign (the cost of printing) will not stop my tongue. I should before but had not the means: Remember Friday night, as I wait no longer. After Friday I shall write to Mr. Pellew on the subject." The threat to print appeared to have been carried into execution, for the printer, on being sent for, admitted that he had printed 150 hand-bills for Norris, in which blanks had been left for the insertion of the name of any person whom Norris might think fit to accuse of an unnatural crime! Norris has been committed to take his trial for the offence. (Bury and Norwich Post) (The Suffolk Chronicle for 27 May 1843 adds the following detail: "Mr. Purdy, printer, of Charlotte-street, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with printing bills, and circulating them without his name at the foot. It appears that 150 bills, containing charges similar to the above letter, and almost in the same words, were printed by Mr. Purdy, for Mr. Norris, with blank spaces left, so that the name of any person might be inserted therein. The Bench fined him in the mitigated penalty of 5l., and 10s. costs, for printing a bill without his imprint; but allowed him 14 days to pay it in.")

Saturday 27 May 1843

A charge against George Barton, a lad in the employ of Mr. Francis, of Upton Warren, for an unnatural crime; and one also against John Pudge, of Sidemoor, for extorting 10s. at one time, and 1s. at another time from Barton, under the pretence of concealing the alleged offence, were adjourned for a week. (Worcester Herald)

Wednesday 31 May 1843

REMOVAL OF CONVICTS. – On Thursday last, the undermentioned convicts were removed from the County Gaol, by the prison van, to the Justitia Hulk, at Woolwich, to undergo their sentences:– Richard Abrahams, for an unnatural crime, at Farley, transported for life; . . . (Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire)

Saturday 24 June 1843

A Court-martial was held a short time since upon a man named Hutchinson, a private in the 2d Regiment of Life Guards, stationed at Windsor, who was charged with committing an unnatural offence at the barracks. He was found guilty, and sentenced to received 150 lashes. On the afternoon of Monday last the whole regiment was assembled in the riding school, drawn up in the form of a hollow square, to witness the infliction of the punishment, agreeable to his sentence. The man, upon being ordered to strip, walked nimbly up to the halberds, took off his cap and jacket, with the utmost coolness, throwing them on the ground, and said, in a firm voice, he was quite ready. The whole of the 150 lashes were then inflicted, which the man bore with the greatest fortitude, never once, during the whole time, uttering a word. Upon being released, to be taken to the hospital, he turned round to the officer in command, and said – "I have now received my punishment, and I repeat, as I have said before, I am innocent." After some thirty or forty lashes had been administered, one of the officers fainted away, and was ordered immediate restoratives by the medical officer in attendance. (Leicestershire Mercury)

Friday 4 August 1843

THOS. WYLES, aged 20, pleaded guilty to the charge of having attempted to commit an unnatural crime upon the person of a boy named John Kettle, at Tixover, on the 1st of June last. The Grand Jury threw out the bill charging the prisoner with the capital offence. The prisoner is respectably connected, and several persons attended to speak to his previous good conduct. – He was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment to hard labour. (Stamford Mercury)


Saturday 19 August 1843

WANDSWORTH. – Yesterday a man fashionably dressed, very gentlemanly in his appearance, and about 35 years of age, who at the station-house gave the name of John Smith, but when in Court admitted it to be James Asperns, was placed in the dock, before Mr. Clife, upon a charge of indecently assaulting several boys, with intent to excite them to commit a nameless offence. Mr. Watson, a solicitor, defended the prisoner.
          Mr. William Druce, a bootmaker, residing in South Lambeth, who had taken upon himself the responsibility of giving the prisoner into custody, was the chief witness, and he stated that about ten minutes past nine o'clock on Thursday night he retuned to his shop, afte executing an order, and his apprentice informed him that a gentleman dressed in white trowsers had been standing about the shop some time, as if he was waiting for his (his master's) return. Supposing that it was a customer, and hearing that he had gone a little way down South Lambeth, he went in search of him, and found him in the out-of-door's convenience, belonging to a public-house, called the Elephant and Castle. The witness, of course, drew back, and waited the prisoner coming out. He noticed the prisoner peep out of this place as if to see if he was observed, and this circumstance excited the witness's suspicion, and caused him to watch. After waiting about ten minutes the prisoner came out, and walked away, about 300 yards, but returned almost directly afterwards, and revisited the same place. He continued going to and returning from this place at least half a dozen times, and during the times he was there, a young man and two boys went there. The witness suspecting that the prisoner's object was at once an immoral and disgusting one gave information to the police, and he was apprehended. Witness had seen the prisoner some months' since in that neighbourhood, and then he noticed that he sometimes walked past his shop as many as twenty times a day. He was convinced the prisoner was not in liquor when he observed him frequent the place already alluded to.
          Frederick Beech, a lad about 18 yars of age, who is pot-boy at the Elephant and Castle, deposed that he had occasion to visit the place where the prisoner was, and fully proved that the prisoner had then and there most indecently assaulted him.
          Police-constable Henry Hart, 84 V, stated that when he took the prisoner into custody he recognised him, and told him he had seen him in that neighbourhood a month since, and that at that time he had watched him for three hours. The prisoner then said, "For God's sake, don't mention it; what I have now done is trouble enough, and it may send me across the water, for I'm an uncultivated man." The prisoner was quite sober when apprehended.
          Serjeant Emmerson, 9 V, here observed that it would be necessary to remand the prisoner, as there were two other boys who had been assaulted by him, but who were not then in Court.
          The solicitor, who had put but few questions to the witnesses, here said he would not attempt to set up any defence to the charge, although he could have shewn that the prisoner had been dining out, and had taken a great deal of wine. He observed that the prisoner was well connected, that he had a father and mother living, and that if the prisoner's disgrace reached the mother's ears, it would be her certain death. He would suggest what was a novelty, namely, the conviction of his own client, that is, a summary conviction. His motive for doing this was to prevent the case going for trial, and thus limiting the exposure to that Court. He wished this course to be taken, in consequence of the great respectability of the prisoner's friends, and the dreadful agony of mind a public trial would throw them into. He was certain that the prisoner was fully sensible of the dreadful position he had placed himself in, and that a summary conviction would have the effect of eradicating such practices, and again make him a respectable member of society. In concluding, he would state that he could not believe that the person could be otherwise than bereft of his reasoning powers when he was said to have so misconducted himself, or he would not, when taken into custody, have made use of the extraordinary expression that he was an "uncultivated man."
          Mr. Clive declined acceding to the solicitor's requst, but said he should send the case for trial; as, however, there would be other charges against him, he should remand him until Thursday next; he would take bail to the amount of 1,000l. for the prisoner's appearance on that day. He could not name a less sum for so serious an offence, especially as he was unacquainted with the prisoner's position in society.
          The solicitor made a private communication to the Magaistrate, the result of which was that Mr. Clive consented to take bail to the amount of only 400l.
          The prisoner, who was suffering much mental anguish, was then removed. (Morning Advertiser)

Friday 1 September 1843

James Asperne [sic], a person of very gentlemanly appearance, residing at Stockwell, and said to be most respectably connected, was indicted for assaulting Charles Morgan, a boy apparently about 13 or 14 years of age, with intent, &c.
          The Jury, after a short deliberation, returned a verdict of Not Guilty. (Evening Mail)


Thursday 31 August 1843

CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT – WEDNESDAY.
THE HYDE-PARK MISCREANTS.
James Lyon, aged 37, described as a labourer, and Richard Cordell Allpress, aged 44, servant, were indicted for unlawfully meeting together for the purpose of committing, and committing with each other, unnatural acts and practices.
          Mr. Chambers and Mr. Wild conducted the prosecution.
          Messrs. Clarkson and Doane defended the prisoners.
          The details of this disgusting case are, of course, totally unfit for publication, sufficient having already apepared in the police reports.
          The police deposed to having taken the prisoners into custody in the perpetration of the offence charged in the indictment. One of them ran some distance, but was pursued, and he then begged for mercy, asseverating that it was the first time he had ever been guilty of this offence.
          The jury returned a verdict of guilty.
          The Recorder addressed the prisoners, and sentenced them to twelve months' imprisonment each in Newgate.
          (It was said that Lyon was a clerk in a respectable mercantile establishment, and moved in a rather elevated sphere of life, somewhat above that which his situation apparently entitled him to.) (Morning Chronicle)

Saturday 16 September 1843

At the Chester Police-court on Tuesday, Mr. C. S. Fielding, landlord of the White Lion Hotel, was brought before the magistrates, charged with having committed an unnatural crime with Patrick Bulger, who acted as "boots" at the same hotel. The magistrates, after a long investigation, required Fielding to enter into his own recognisances in a bond of 500, and the servant in 250, to appear to answer any indictment which may be preferred against them. Fielding has since left Chester. – Chester Courant. (Liverpool Mail)


Saturday 21 October 1843

[Canterbury Quarter Sessions]
Yesterday two inhuman beings named Joseph West (a private in the 41st regiment), and John Collins, were committed by our city magistrates for trial at the session, on a charge of having attempted an unnatural offence. (Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette)

Saturday 6 January 1844

John Collins, 27, and Joseph West, 23 (a private of the 41st regt.), convicted of a misdemeanor, and each sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment and hard labor. (Canterbury Journal)


SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given. (Many reports were repeated verbatim across several newspapers, but I have not included them all.)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1843", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 2 September 2016 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1843news.htm>.


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