Newspaper Reports, 1875

23 January 1875

Before W. E. Rigden, Esq.
Robert Collingwood, 56, of Limes Cottages, Faversham, was charged on a warrant with being found in an outhouse with intent to commit an unnatural offence at Hollow Shore, in the parish of Luddneham, on the 11th inst. After hearing the evidence, which is unfit for publication, the magistrate considered it insufficient to substantiate the charge, and the prisoner was dismissed. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald)

13 February 1875

A naval court-martial, presided overy by Captain Heneage, of the Royal Adelaide, was engaged some hours yesterday, in investigating a charge of desertion and theft against two seamen named Bray and Bennett, serving on board the Revenge cruizer. Bray was also charged with attempting to commit an abominable offence. – The King George was lying in the Galway Roads on the twenty-ninth of December, and one of the watch had leave. Whilst ashore Bray attempted this offence on an ordinary seaman, and, on being reported, was made a prisoner on New Year's Day. A gale of wind was blowing, and the cruizer was taken into Galway Dock. At night, when on watch, Bennett assisted Bray to desert, and deserted himself. They were apprehended next morning at the Railway Station, and on them was found stolen propeerty. – The Court found both prisoners guilty, and sentenced Bray to two years' imprisonment, and to be dismissed the service; Bennett was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. (Hampshire Telegraph)

24 March 1875

THE CELL ACCOMMODATION AT THE MARKET PPOLICE STATION. – At the Leeds Town Hall yesterday – Before Mr Bruce – two women were brought up who had been locked up together at the Market Place Police Station. One of them was charged with robbing the other of 1s. 2d. in the cell. – Mr Bruce asked the officer who had charge of the case how many women were locked up in this cell altogether when the robbery was committed, and the officer replied there were four. Mr Bruce said it was a great pity some better arrangements had not been made at this station, the accommodation at which he had previously had to speak about. He supposed, however, that the same state of things would be continued until murder was committed. In this same cell sodomy had been committed by two men locked up together, one woman had brutally assaulted another, and now there had been a robbery. Surely, after this, it would be thought necessary to make some different arrangements. (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer)

11 April 1875

A clergyman, named Duke, has been had up before the Oswestry magistrates, charged with intent to commit an abominable offence. It appears he made filthy overtures to a young collier, who, in order to entrap the fellow, consented to meet him the following evening, and in the meantime agreed with some of his comrades that they should lay in ambush to see what transpired. What followed left no doubt as to the clergyman's abominable purpose, and when the colliers showed themselves he ran away. He was subsequently arrested, and the charges heard before the magistrates with closed doors. The following is from a local paper:–
          "Francis Duke, clerk in holy orders, temporarily officiating at The Lodge, was charged with attempting to commit an abominable offence on March 21st. After a hearing of three hours, Colonel Lovett said the bench were unanimously of opinion that the attempts with which the prisoner was charged were made, but as he had used no violence the law would not allow them to commit him for trial. There was not a shadow of doubt of the prisoner's guilt, and this crime was the one crime against society which society never forgave. He hoped the county of Salop would never be darkened with the prisoner's presence again, and that he would take ship for some foreign country, and hide himself there, so that they should never hear of him again. The prisoner was then discharged." (Reynolds's Newspaper)

1 May 1775

At our Quarter Sessions which on Tuesday last, James Cross, for assaulting Benjamin Banting, and attempting to commit an unnatural crime, was sentenced to stand in the pillory in this city on Wednesday next, and that day fortnight in Andover; . . . (Hampshire Chronicle)

8 May 1775

On Wednesday last four persons were shipt here agreeable to their sentence at the last general quarter sessions; and James Cross, for an unnatural crime, stood in the pillory agreeable to his sentence, and was most cruelly treated by the mob, whose resentment was such, that not being contented with throwing rotten apples, eggs, &c. they threw large flint stones, &c. in such abundance, for the space of at least 20 minutes after he was first put in the pillory, that had not our worthy mayor interfered, by ordering the mob immediatley to desist, it is imagined he could not have survived many minutes longer: his head, face, and eyes are most terribly mangled, and it is thought he lost at least a quart of blood. Warrants are actually issued against several of the principal ringleaders, two of whom are now in custody, and it is imagin'd they will be soon convinced, that although by the law a person found guilty of such an offence is to stand in the pillory as a public example, yet it does not admit the person to be stoned to death by a merciless mob, who, for the most part, are probably guilty of crimes not less deserving public punishment than this man. It is to be understood, that the crime of which he was convicted was not for having committed the act, . . . but it was for an attempt only, which the man actually declared himself to be innocent of the moment he was taken out of the pillory. It is therefore hoped the magistrates at Andover will interfere, and not suffer him to be murdered on Saturday next, on which day he is to stand there again, and not on Wednesday next, as mentioned in our last. (Hampshire Chronicle)

21 August 1875

We give below a list of the executions which have taken place at the Castle since the year 1801, and which, including the two men executed on Monday morning, amounts to the large number of 178.
. . .
1806 Sept. 13 – Joseph Holland, sodomy; S. Stockton, sodomy; John Powell, sodomy; . . .
1806 Sept. 27 – T. Rix, sodomy; Isaac Hitchen, sodomy. . . .
1810 April 21 – Adam Brooks, unnatural crime. . . .
1830 September 11. Joseph Rowbottom, an unnatural crime; . . . (Lancaster Gazette)

SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Newspaper Reports, 1875", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 1 January 2019 <>.

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