Second Trial of Richard Manning

January 1746

RICHARD MANNING was indicted for an Assault upon Thomas Waldale, Porter of Serjeant's-Inn-Gate, with an Intention to commit the detestable Sin of Sodomy, on the 23d of October, Ten o'Clock at Night.

Q. (to Waldale) What have you to say against the Prisoner at the Bar?

Waldale. I am a Porter at Serjeants-Inn. On Wednesday the 23d of October last about half an Hour after Ten, I open'd the Gate, for Mr. Hulbert and his Lady to come into Serjeants-Inn; and I standing at the Gate, while the Coach was coming out, this Manning, the Prisoner, comes up to me and shak'd Hands, and tickled my Hand, and after that he come and ask'd, How do you do Neighbour?

Q. Did you know the Prisoner?

Waldale. Never saw him with my Eyes before, as I know. He said, I knew him, but I said, I am sure I do not. But, says he, you do. So then he put his Hand on the Waistband of my Breeches, Said I, I know nothing at all of you, indeed Friend. So then he unbutton'd his Breeches and let them full half Way down his Thighs.

Q. Where was this?

Waldale. In the Middle of the Gateway.

Q. In the Coachway?

Waldale. Yes.

Q. Was the Coach come out by this Time?

Waldale. No. And I desir'd him to walk a little farther up in the Inn and not to stand there, when he had let his Breeches down; this I spoke to him that I might get the Gate shut. No, says he, I'll stand here. So I said, I'll secure you, and I call'd out to my Wife. Mr. Hulbert hearing the Noise came out. He said, Waldale, what's the Matter. I said, Sir, here is a Molly, a Sodomite, or a Devil, I know not what you call him, not I.

So then Mr. Hulbert ask'd me whether the Gate were shut; I told him they were not. I call'd, and my Wife took the Key, and Dr. Hulbert's Man lock'd the Gate. Then I went and serch'd a File of Musqueteer's from the Church, from thence I went to Mr. Money's, the Constable and brought him; from thence I took the Prisoner to the Watch-House; from thence to Bridewell; so then to his Lordship the next Day.

Q. What did he pretend to when he was taken?

Waldale. He said, that I knock'd him down.

Q. But after you charg'd him as a Molly, did he make any Defence at that Time, after his Breeches were down. Pray did he do any Thing after that?

Waldale. Only pull'd them up.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Have you any Thing to say?

Prisoner [i.e. Manning]. I was going down Fleet-Street, I was just come out of Jail. This Man, the Prosecutor, is as great a Villain as ever appear'd in the World. I was coming down Fleet-Street, so Molly says he; I said, I never mollied you. My Lord, I never laid my Hand upon him, nor touch'd him; I never touch'd the Man in my Life.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Have you any Witnesses to your Character?

The Prisoner had none to appear to his Character.

The Court proceeded to pass Judgment upon him as follows, viz.

You have been indicted for as great an Offence as can be committed; so great an Offence, that it shocks every virtuous Man to mention it. Of this you are now convicted, and your Case is still worse, as we are now inform'd that you have before receiv'd Judgment for the like Offence, therefore this is the second Offence of the Kind. The Court now sees that you are not easily reclaim'd. And as a Terror to all others, you are sentenced to be set in the Pillory opposite Serjeants-Inn-Gate for the Space of one Hour, between the Hours of Eleven and One, and that you be imprison'd for the Space of 12 Months. And they likewise fine you a small Fine of 1 s. if you were able, they would not set so small a Fine upon you .

SOURCE: The Proceedings on the King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the City of London, And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, Held at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, On Friday the 17th, Saturday, the 18th, and Monday the 20th of January [1746]. In the 19th Year of his Majesty's Reign. Being the Second Sessions in the Mayoralty of the Right Honble Sir Richard Hoare, Knt. Lord-Mayor of the City of London. NUMBER II, Case no. 87, pp. 58-9.

NOTES: Manning had been arrested the previous year: see his first trial. In his testimony above, he seems to say he had just been released from gaol the day of his arrest. Although his first imprisonment was only for a space of six months, he perhaps was unable to find the money to pay the surety necessary for his release, and therefore may have been in prison for nearly a year. The sentences in this second trial indicates that he had no money, hence the very small, symbolic fine. The text is interesting for the use of the verb "mollied" by a man who was a molly, meaning, more or less, "solicited for same-sex sex".
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Second Trial of Richard Manning, 1746", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 1 March 2003 <>.

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