Bawdy Houses

27-29 April 1699

At the west end of Saviours, alias St Mary Overy Church yard in Southwark, is a new bagnio, where any person may be sweated cupt and shav’d (after the best manner) for two shillings and sixpence, and for six pence more they may be bathed, every day for men, except Fridays, which is only for women. (The Post Man)

Saturday, 27 June 1719   On Thursday last Mary Terry, alias Evens, and Elizabeth Bourne, alias Whalley, alias Conelly, convicted for keeping notorious bawdy-houses, stood in the pillory at Charing-Cross, where they were treated with the highest resentment of the mob on those occasions, in showers of rotten eggs, dirt, &c. And this day they are to be whipt, as we hear, round Covent-Garden: Besides which, they are sentenc’d to be imprison’d and fin’d. (Weekly Journal, or, British Gazetteer)

27 June 1719   Last week, at the King’s Bench Court, Westminster, one Elizabeth Carey, of the Parish of St. Martin’s in the Fields, having been found guilty of ten indictments, in keeping a disorderly house, was fined for eight of them half a Crown each, for the ninth to stand on the pillory, and for the tenth to be whipt from Charing-Cross to Somerset-House. Mary Whaley, of the said Parish, being also convicted of six indictments for the same offence, was for the first four fined half a Crown each, and for the fifth and sixth to be pilloried and whipt in the like manner as Elizabeth Carey. (Original Weekly Journal)

27 June 1719   On Thursday Elizabeth Carey and Mary Whaley stood on the pillory at Charing Cross, for keeping bawdy-houses, pursuant to their sentence afore-mentioni’d. Whaley had the impudence, when she mounted, to say, that if all her sex were to be punished in the like manner for venial offences, she doubted whether all the timber in Norway would be sufficient to make pillorys for them. (Original Weekly Journal)

28 January 1721   Last week William Laurence and his wife were convicted before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, at Guildhall, for keeping a notorious disorderly house in Chick-Lane, near West-Smithfield, harbouring loose, idle persons, night-walkers, and pickpockets. (London Journal)

18 February 1721   The execution of the sentence pass’d on Richard Haywood and his wife, for keeping a disorderly house, is deferr’d for some days. (Applebee’s Original Weekly Journal)

18 February 1720   On Monday last Mr. Kettleby moved the Court of King’s-Bench very strenuously, on behalf of Mrs. Hayward, who is sentenced to stand in the pillory for keeping a leud and disorderly house, for a longer respite than the Court had granted, because it was affidavited that she was far gone with child, and that it might endanger her life; and the Court directed that the Sherriff should execute the sentence at a convenient time. (London Journal)

18 March 1721   Saturday one Hayward and his wife, lately convicted for keeping a house of ill fame, stood in the pillory in Covent-Garden. (Weekly Journal, or British Gazetteer)

23 January 1725   Sarah Kettleby, alias Blackerby, of Stepney Parish, convicted of keeping an ill-govern’d and disorderly room, and receiving and entertaining lewd and disorderly persons, whoring and misbehaving themselves, being poor, and not able to pay a fine, was order’d to be whipp’d at the cart’s tail, from the Angel and Crown Tavern in Crispin-Street in Spittle Fields, to Lamb-Street there, and from thence to Red-lyon-Street, and round to Pater-noster Row there, and from thence to the Angel and Crown aforesaid, and to be kept at the House of Correction to hard labour for fourteen days. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer ]

30 October 1725   Last Saturday Elizabeth Carter was whipp’d from Ludgate to Temple-Bar at the cart’s tail. We are inform’d, that several mercers who us’d Mrs. Carter’s house, contributed very genteely towards keeping the mob, that attended the procession, from insulting or abusing her, as has been usual on such occasions. [Mist’s Weekly Journal]

Saturday, 5 August 1727   One night this week about 9 o’clock a waterman belonging to the Dutchess of M—— ply’d a gentleman and a lady at Hungerford Stairs, who bid him row them to Chelsea Reach; where the gentleman order’d the waterman and his man to lye by their oars, while he occupied the lady in the boat, which the waterman refusing to do, the gentleman drew his sword, and then he submitted: But the next day set fire to his boat and burnt it to ashes, saying, he would not row a bawdy-house about the river. We hear, her Grace has given her waterman 3 guineas towards another wherry. (Weekly Journal: or, The British Gazetteer)

21 February 1730   On Thursday . . . at the sittings at the Court of King’s Bench, Westminster, before the Lord Chief Justice Raymond, a Woman who keeps a Warehouse for Masquerade Dresses in the Haymarket, was try’d upon an Indictment preferred against her by a Chymist her Landlord, for keeping a disorderly House. The Tryal lasted 4 Hours, when the Jury withdrew for about half an Hour, and brought in their Verdict Not Guilty of the Indictment. (London Journal)

30 April 1730   Thursday, April 23. On Sunday night 3 Bridewel boys were taken into custody for attempting to rescue 4 women of the town out of the hands of the Constable; but the rest of the fraternity in Bridewel having notice of it, a party of them, armed with sticks, came to their assistance, who beat the watch and Constables to such a degree that they were obliged to release them. [Grub-street Journal]

19 October 1736
Dublin, Oct. 12. On Saturday one Philip Reilley, a Constable, and his wife Catherine Smith, alias Reilley, who formerly kept a nanny house on the Strand, were tried and convicted at the Quarter Sessions at our Tholsel, for keeping a bawdy house in White Lion Court in Strand street; Reilly received sentence to be three months imprisoned, and his wife to be whip’d tomorrow the 13th instant, from Newgate to the College. Reilly was so fond a husband, that he most earnestly begged of the Recorder, that he would let him be whip’d for his wife, altho’ he was severely whip’d on Saturday the 18th of September last, on a former indictment for being a bawdy house keeper; but his request was denied. (Daily Gazetteer)

4 February 1738   On Thursday night last Millicent Hoskins, Elizabeth Holben, and Sarah Oakley, were committed to Newgate by Col. De Veil, for assaulting George Read, a journeyman baker, in Holford’s Alley in Drury-lane; and having pulled him into the said Oakley’s house, a notorious brothell, they shut to the doors upon him, and demanded of him a shilling apiece, threatening to cut his throat, unless he complied, which he accordingly did; but they still insisting upon more, and finding himself in great danger, he made to the yard, and jump’d over a wall into one Mr. Haines garden, by which means he did, in all probability, safe his life. (Daily Gazetteer)

Wednesday, 25 September 1752   Yesterday a woman was try’d before the Court of Lord-Mayor and Aldermen at Guildhall, for keeping a notorious bawdy-house in the Old-Baily, when, after a short hearing, (it being proved that she was an old offender) was sentenced to stand in the pillory, and suffer six months imprisonment. (General Advertiser)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Bawdy Houses", 31 July 2004, updated 9 April 2007 <>

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