The Latin Epitaph on Bob Jones
July 1773

NOTE: The following satirical verse was published in response to the reprieve and subsequent royal pardon granted to Captain Robert Jones, who had been capitally convicted of sodomy with a 13-year-old boy. For an overview, and links to other pages in this section, see my essay The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England.

The Latin Epitaph on Bob Jones

Underneath this stone there lies
A face turn'd downward to the skies;
A captain who employ'd his parts
Upon male b---s [bums?], not female hearts:
Who turn'd his arms not against foes,
But against friends, whence Sodom rose,
And vile Gomorrah horrid fell,
To court th' unnatural flames of hell,
Because he err'd from nature's ways,
Nature despis'd him all his days,
Till being to Jack Ketch [i.e. the hangman] consign'd,
For crime of crimes, and dirty mind,
He was repriev'd from gallows death,
At Tyburn had resign'd his breath;
But George, in vengeance, let him live,
Like Cain, till conscience should forgive.

SOURCE: Cutting from an unidentified newspaper or periodical, pasted into a collection of Tracts at the British Library, shelfmark

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England: The Latin Epitaph on Bob Jones, July 1773", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 1 December 1999, updated 2 November 2004 <>.

Return to The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England,
or return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England