Miscellaneous News Reports, 1847

Friday 12 March 1847

This court was opened at nine o'clock, before Mr. JUSTICE PATTESON.
          WILLIAM SHAW, charged with the committal of an unnatural crime on the 15th Feb. last. The evidence was not sufficiently strong to warrant a conviction of the prisoner for the actual commission of the crime, but only for an attempt. His lordship sentenced him to 12 calendar momths' imprisonment, remarking he was sorry the legislature prevented him from making it solitary confinement. (Lincolnshire Cronicle)

Saturday 27 March 1847

COMMITMENTS TO THE COUNTY GAOL. – . . . There are 79 prisoners for trial at the Assizes, which commence on Thursday next; viz.:– . . . gross and nameless offences, 3; . . . (Monmouthshire Merlin)

Friday 2 July 1847

GILBERT v. LEWIS. – This was an action brought by the plaintiff, the incumbent of Haggerstone, to recover compensation in damages from the defendant, one of his parishioners, and an earthenware merchant in the City, for the circulation of a libel charging him with having committed a nameless offence on several boys. The jury gave the plaintiff a verdict, damages, 400. (Liverpool Mercury)

Tuesday 3 August 1847

The following enumeration of the benefits derived by Scinde from Sir C. Napier's administration of its affairs has been published by a correspondent of the Friend of India – the writer being very likely the governor himself:
. . . The connection of public women and the state has been put an end to, the tax on them abolished, and the tenants of infamous houses for the perpetration of unnatural crime, who filled the towns, have been expelled the country. . . . (London Daily News)

Saturday 7 August 1847

The Court assembled this morning precisely at nine o'clock; and after a number of arraignments, proceeded with the trial of
          Thomas Riley, charged with a nameless offence, in the parish of Trevethin. The prisoner, an exceedingly morose and clownish looking man, seemed but little ashamed of the revolting crime laid to his charge, and appeared principally anxious to escape the punishment likely to fall upon him. The case for the prosecution was conducted by Mr. Barrett; and Mr. Huddlestone defended the prisoner. The disgusting particulars of the offence, which are, of course, unfit for our columns, were proved by a person named Ball, and police constable Hodder, of Pontypool. The evidence was clearly recapitulated by his Lordship to the jury, who, after a few minutes consideration, returned a verdict of Not guilty. (Monmouthshire Merlin)

Tuesday 10 August 1847

At Chester, . . . James Sherlock, 18, convicted of an unnatural crime at Irley, had sentence of death recorded against him. – . . . At Leicester, John Dryson, 18, convicted of an unnatural crime, had judgment of death recorded against him. (Liverpool Mercury)

Saturday 14 August 1847

William Hart, aged 19, and John Evens, aged 20, were convicted of attempting to commit a nameless offence, at Twyning, on the 4th of July, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. (Gloucester Journal)

Saturday 14 August 1847

On Monday last, a private in the 69th Regiment of Foot, named James Cuff, was brought before the magistrates, at the New Town Hall, charged with an unnatural crime. The evidence adduced was very strong against the prisoner, and he was fully committed to take his trial on the capital charge at the present assizes. (Manchester Times)

Tuesday 17 August 1847

William Cuff (a soldier) was charged with having committed an unnatural crime, at Wigan, on the 9th instant. the particulars of the case are wholly unfit for publication. – Mr. MONK, who appeared for the prisoner, addressed the jury on his behalf, remarking principally on the impossibility of such an act being committed under the circumstances sworn to by the witnesses. His LORDSHIP, in summing up the evidence, remarked on the conduct of the principal witness, (Walmsley,) who ought, instead of watching the prisoner, and allowing such an abominable offence to be perpetrated, to have made an alarm, and prevented its occurrence. The prisoner was found guilty of the attempt only, and his Lordship intimated that the case might be dealt with at the sessions.
          John Maloney, 24, (could neither read nor write,) was indicted for a similar offence to the one charged in the preceding case. The evidence did not go to prove the commission of the capital offence, and the prisoner was acquitted, but detained for trial at the sessions. (Liverpool Mercury)

Saturday 21 August 1847

James Cuff, a young man who wore a soldier's jacket, was convicted of attempting to commit an unnatural offence. The learned Judge said the prisoner must be detained, and indicted again at the sessions.
John Malony, 24, was charged with an offence similar to that already stated above. The evidence not being sufficient to make out the capital offence, the learned judge stopped the case, and ordered that the prisoner should be detained for trial at the sessions for the minor charge. (Preston Chronicle)

Tuesday 26 October 1847

George Benjamin Hussey, labourer, who appeared to answer a charge of having, at the parish of Iping, on the 9th day of September, 1847, assaulted John Etherington, with intent to commit upon him an abominable crime, against the order of nature, &c., was discharged by proclamation. (Sussex Advertiser)

Saturday 11 December 1847

TUESDAY. – John Jenkins, about 30 years of age, and late valet to a gentleman, at Lee, was fully committed for trial, for a nameless offence. The details of the case, of course, are utterly unfit for publication, and all persons, reporters excepted, were ordered out of Court, during the hearing of the charge. (Kentish Mercury)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given. (Some 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.), "Miscellaneous News Reports, 1847", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 30 April 2017 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1847news.htm>.

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