London Sodomy Cases: John Dicks, 4 April 1722

John Dicks was accused of Sodomy, and put on trial at the Old Bailey in London on 4 April 1722

John Dicks , was indicted for Assaulting John Meeson , with an intent to commit the unnatural Sin of Sodomy . John Meeson depos’d, that on the day on which the first Stone was laid in St. Martins Church, as he was standing in the Church Yard; the prisoner came to him, and said Honest Dyer! how fares it? and askt him to go to the Ale house which he refus’d, but at last the prisoner overpersuading him he went. The prisoner made him almost fuddled, and then put his hand into this Evidences Breeches: and took the Evidences hand and put into his own Breeches; from this Ale-house, he took him to a Cellar in the Second, where not being private enough they drank but one pint, and then went to another Alehouse in Chancery Lane, where they drank Ale and Geneva: from thence he carried him to the Golden Ball in Bonds Stables near Fetter Lane , where they had a private Room, and drank more Ale and Geneva, till this Evidence was so drunk and sick, that he vomited and laid down on the Bench to go to sleep: the prisoner then unbutton’d his Breeches, turn’d him on his face, but he was not sensible enough to know what he did to him. William Rogers depos’d, that he saw the prisoner and Meeson come in together, and there being only a thin Partition betwixt the Room where the prisoner and Meeson was, and that in which this Evidence was: he could plainly hear the prisoner kiss him, call him his Dear, and use several other fond and foolish Expressions, common betwixt persons of different Sexes; hearing this, he bid the Ale-house Boy go in, and see what they were about. The Ale house Boy depos’d, that when he went in, Meeson (the other Boy) was lying on the Bench; the prisoner askt this Evidence to drink, bid him set down, kist him and offer’d to put his hand in his Breeches, upon which he went out and told Rogers and a Woman that was then in the House. Rogers then farther depos’d, that spying a hole in the Partition, he looked through, and saw the Boy lying upon the Bench, and the prisoner in the very Act of Sodomy, the Boy’s and the prisoner’s Breeches being down. Soon after the Boy still lying in the same Posture, the prisoner repeated his unnatural Enormities upon the Boy, in a beastly manner, making several motions with his Body. This Evidence then call’d the Woman, who peeping a pretty while at last cry’d out I can look no longer! I’m ready to Swoon? He’ll ruin the Boy; they then both rusht in, seiz’d the prisoner, and charged him with the Fact; he (notwithstanding the Posture they surpris’d him in,) made many protestations of his Innocence, and at last said; Well, if you will swear against me and take away my life I cannot help it, but I have this to comfort me, that I am fit to dye. The prisoner often turn’d up his Eyes very devoutly at the Bar, and in his defence said he was in drink, and if ever he offer’d any such thing to Meeson, it was more than he knew off. Guilty of the Indictment.

John Dicks was sentenced that day to a fine of 20 Marks, to stand in the Pillory without Temple-Bar, and 2 Years Imprisonment.

Source: The Proceedings of the Old Bailey – Old Bailey Online

📷 Main photo: John Dicks was accused of Sodomy, and put on trial at the Old Bailey in London on 4 April 1722

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