The Early Years – Introduction

At the time of the Enlightenment, science sought to explain and categorise things and so a medical discourse grew around a “normal” sexuality which was required for procreation. As a result. anything else came to be seen as abnormal or even deviant. These deviant acts were named and outlawed, as can be seen in the […]

The Long Arm of the Law

Photo of Plymouth Borough Prison

Although the church already banned all male sexual relationships, the first known criminal law against sexual relations between men occurred with the introduction of the Buggery Act 1553. Punishable by death, the last execution for the offence took place in Great Britain in 1836. During the 30 years before this, 404 men were sentenced to death with 56 of them […]

A Navy Court Martial 1807 – by Rictor Norton

Reproduced by kind permission of the Author: Rictor Norton (Ed.), “A Navy Court Martial, 1807,” Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 26 November 2006; updated 2 March 2011 . Source: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1807berr.htm   Tuesday, 6 October 1807 COURT MARTIAL. On the 2d instant a Court Martial was held on board the Salvador del Mundo, in Hamoaze, […]

Plymouth-Borough-Prison-Greenbank

Plymouth-Borough-Prison-Greenbank, a photo by Pride in Our Past on Flickr. Via Flickr: Many of the convictions for homosexual offences we have discovered led to a stint in the Plymouth Borough Prison at Greenbank. It was completed in April 1849 and designed in the style of the famous Pentonville Prison. It had 60 cells, with a […]