Image of two men kissingHomosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook compiled by Rictor Norton

A Tragic New Year's Eve, 1744

The Story of Richard Manning

Wednesday, 2 January 1745

Yesterday a Fellow was committed to Newgate by Sir Robert Ladbroke, for Sodomitical Practices, being taken therein at the Mermaid Inn in Garter-Lane, in Company with a young Fellow he had picked up and enticed thither for that Purpose. (Daily Advertiser)

Thursday 10 January 1745

On Monday Night last two Men went into the Mermaid Inn in Great Carter-Lane, and ask'd for a Room, telling the Woman of the House they had a little Business to transact, which would soon be over. In some little Time the Woman went into the Room, to ask if they chose to have a Fire made, which they refus'd, on which she came out again; but having observ'd some extraordinary Indecency between them, she acquainted some Gentlemen that were in the House therewith, who thereupon took an Opportunity to observe them thro' a Window on the Stairs, from whence they saw enough to give them Cause to secure them both for that Night; and on Tuesday they were carried before the sitting Alderman at Guildhall, who committed them both; one, whose name was Manning, to Newgate; and the other, nam'd Davis, to Woodstreet Compter, for Sodomitical Practices. (Stamford Mercury. See their subsequent trial.)

Friday, 18 January 1745

Yesterday Seven Prisoners were tried at the Old Bailey, . . .
          Richard Manning and John Davis were tried for Sodomitical Practices, committed at the Mermaid in Carter-lane, and found Guilty. The Judgment of the Court was, That they should Stand on the Pillory at St. Paul's on Wednesday next, for the Space of One Hour, between Twelve and Two, and be Imprison'd for Three Months; Davis to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for One Year, and Manning for Three. (Daily Gazetteer)

Saturday, 19 January 1745

The Sentence of Richard Manning and John Davis, mention'd in Yesterday's Paper, was wrong, it should have been as follows, viz. Richard Manning to be imprisoned for six Months, to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for three Years, himself in the Penalty of 40l. and two Sureties 50l. each; John Davis to be imprisoned for three Months, and to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for one Year, himself in the Penalty of 20l. and two Sureties of 20l. each; and both of them to stand one Hour in the Pillory between Eleven and Two, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, some Day within the Space of one Month. (Daily Advertiser)

Saturday, 19 January 1745

Yesterday the Sessions ended at the Old Bailey, when six Prisoners were tried, four whereof were case for Transportation, and two Acquitted.
          The Sentence of the two Sodomites was, That they are to stand on the Pillory one Hour, between 11 and 2, in St. Paul's Church-yard, some Time within the Space of one Month. Manning is to be imprisoned for six Months, and to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for three Years; himself found in the Penalty of 40l. and two Sureties in 50l. each. And Davis to be ikmprisoned for three Months, and to find Sureties for his good Behaviour for one Year, himself bound in 20l. and two Sureties in 20l. each. (General Advertiser)

Saturday, 26 January 1745

Yesterday Manning and Davis stood in the Pillory in St. Paul's Church-Yard, pursuant to their Sentence, for Sodomitical Practices, the former of whom was so severely pelted and whipp'd that 'tis thought he can't recover; but the young Fellow was not much hurt. (Daily Post)

12–14 December 1745

LONDON, December 14.
On Wednesday last, by an Order of Court at the finishing the Sessions at the Old Baily, Richard Manning, a most notorious Sodomite, was carried from Newgate to Guildhall, to be try'd for Sodomitical Pratices; but the Court ordered him to be continued in Custody till next Sessions, the Witnesses for the Crown not being ready. – This Manning is the Villain who stood in the Pillory some Time ago in St. Paul's Church-yard, for Sodomy; he has been out of Newgate but 13 Days before he was again committed for the same Offence. He has been a suspected Sodomite 27 Years, and is upwards of 50 Years old. (General Evening Post)

24–16 January 1746

Richard Manning, charged with Sodomitical Practices, was brought before the Court; but the Prosecutor not appearing, on Account of his being sick, he was remanded back to Newgate. (St. James's Evening Post)

Tuesday, 21 January 1746

Richard Manning, for an Assault, with an Intent to commit Sodomy, was found guilty; and is to stand an Hour on the Pillory, at the End of Fetter-lane in Fleet-street, to suffer 12 Months Imprisonment in Newgate, an fin'd one Shilling.
          He was convicted last May Sessions of an Offence of the same Name, stood on the Pillory, suffer'd six Months Imprisonment, and had been discharged but a few Days when this Fact was committed. (General Advertiser)

[See Manning's first trial, and his second trial.]

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Tragic New Year's Eve, 1745", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 2 January 2023 <>.

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