A Few Words about Margeries, c.1855


The increase of these monsters in the shape of men, commonly designated Margeries, Pooffs, etc., of late years, in the great metropolis, renders it necessary for the safety of the public, that they should be made known. The punishment generally awarded to such miscreants is not half severe enough, and till the law is more frequently carried to the fullest extent against them, there can be no hopes of crushing the bestiality. The wretches are too well paid – they being principally, it is well known, supported by their rich companions – to care a jot about a few months' imprisonment. Wny has the pillory been abolished? Would it not be found very salutary for such beasts as these? for can they be too much held up to public degradation and public punishment? Will the reader credit it, but such is nevertheless the fact, that these monsters actually walk the streets the same as the whores, looking out for a chance!

Yes, the Quadrant, Fleet-street, Holborn,the Strand, etc., are actualy thronged with them! Nay, it is not long since, in the neighbourhood of Charing Cross, they posted bills in the window of several respectable public houses cautioning the public to "Beware of Sods!"

They generally congregate around the picture shops, and are to be known by their effeminate air, their fashionable dress, etc. When they see what they imagine to be a chance, they place their fingers in a peculiar manner underneath the tails of their coats, and wag them about – their method of giving the office.

A great many of them flock the saloons and boxes of the theatres, coffee-houses, etc.

We could relate many instances of the gross bestiality of the practices of these wretches, but think it would be occupying too much of the reader's time on so disgusting a subject. One or two anecdotes of them we cannot, however, resist the temptation of relating.

The Quadrant is thronged by a number of the most notorious Margeries, who turn out daily and nightly to look for their living the same as the blowens. One of these is nicknamed "Fair Eliza". This fellow lives in Westminster, and keeps his fancy woman, who does not scruple to live upon the fruits of his monstrous avocation. Anotheer fellow, called "Betsy H––," who walks the Strand, Fleet-street, and St Martin's-court, is a most notorious and shameless poof. He is not unfrequently to be found at free-and-easys, where he spouts smutty recitastions. His father was a notorious cock-bawd, and when he died he bequeathed his two sons a bawdyken each. One of the sons got a situation, we believe, for borrowing something – the other son floored his knocking shop, and then took to the streets. He has been imprisoned several times, but yet he persists in following his beastly pursuits.

There have been also many fellows of this description in the theatrical profession, who have yet been considered respectable members of society. We could mention the names of several, but will, out of compassion only, withold them. A certain wealthy showman, it was suspected, did not so well respect a certain "purty" actor of his, without good reasons for so doing: and it is well known, that a wretch, who was in the habit of perpetrating the French characters at a theatre notorious for its horses and asses over the water, was one of the same disgusting and most abominable fraternity.

But we will leave this disgusting subject, again cautioning the respectable portion of the human race to beware of these wholesale abominable traders in this bestiality.

SOURCE: The Yokel's Preceptor: Or, More Sprees in London!, Being a ... Show-up of All the Rigs and Doings of the Flash Cribs in this Great Metropolis, London: H. Smith, 37 Holywell Street, Strand, [c.1855].

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Few Words about Margeries, c.1855", Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 29 October 2017 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/yokel.htm>.

Return to Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England