Dr Kenrick's Recantation

I have insinuated in an impudent poem called LOVE IN THE SUDS, that there was a particular and improper connection beetween Mr. Garrick and a man I have thought proper to distinguish by the name of Nyky [i.e. Isaac Bickerstaffe]. Now the truth is, I never did suppose there was any other intimacy between them, than what might naturally arise between the manager of a theatre and a successful dramatic writer. But as I have no music in my soul, I never much relished Nyky’s productions, and had too much envy to bear his success without murmuring.

     Indeed, I was so far from thinking there was any unnatural propensity in the disposition of Nyky, that (when I came out of the King’s Bench, and Mrs.
Less[in]gh[a]m was kind enough to take me into her house, in Somerset Yard, where Nyky had a house also) I frequently used to visit him, and have spent many chearful evenings in his company, and always thought him a good-natured harmless man; though I have since declared I always avoided his company and hated him, as it were from instinct.

     I have asserted that Roscius had sufficient reason to suspect the abominable disposition of Nyky long ago; but I do not believe that either he or any else had any such reason, as the man had nothing effeminate in his manner; nor did I ever say, or hear any one else say, a word to the prejudice of his character in that way, [p. 9] till he himself had fixed the suspicion by leaving England, and then I was the first to attack him, which I should not have done if he had continued here. [p. 10]

NOTE: For further details about the alleged homosexual relationship between the dramatists David Garrick and Isaac Bickerstaffe, see The Macaroni Club.

SOURCE: The Recantation and Confession of Doctor Kenrick, L.L.D., London, 1772.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The Macaroni Club: Dr Kenrick's Recantation, 1772", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 19 December 2004 <>.

Return to The Macaroni Club,
or return to The First Public Debate about Homosexuality in England