On an Officer in the Artillery

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.

Tuesday 4 August 1772

On an Officer in the Artillery, now under sentence for a most detestable crime.

Though the Captain (it plainly appear’d) did partake
Of a dish he was fond of, suppose a rump-steak,
‘Let us hope (say his friends) the King’s mercy he’ll reach,
As his crime it was only, ye batter’d in br–ch;
And when foes turn their backs, it is *en militaire
For a soldier to make an attack in the rear.’
With such engineers would our laws were this plan on,
Instead of the halter, to spike up their cannon.
To be then, explicit, this remark I’ll add more,
When the fox you have caught, nail his brush on the door;
And this punishment may these vile wretches endure,
Which I here recommend as a radical cure.
     Dr. LAST.
          Gregg’s Coffee-house,
               York-street, Aug. 1, 1772
*According to military rules

(Morning Chronicle)

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England: On an Officer in the Artillery, 1772", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 19 December 2004 <>.

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