Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

The Rape of Girls

14-21 June 1718   The Master of an Inn in Smithfield has been taken up by the Lord Chief Justice's Warrant, for Trappening [entrapping, enticing] a young Girl, who was newly come out of the Couintry, where she was ravish'd. (The Original Weekly Journal)

28 February 1719   On Thursday Sir John M[urra]y, Bart. was try'd at the Old-Bailey, for a rape on a girl of 11 years of age; as was also, Gulliford, the silver smith’s man, for a rape on his masters daughter of 10 years of age, and were both acquitted; upon which, the women in court clapp’d their hands, and gave other testimonies of their joy and satisfaction. (Original Weekly Journal)

21 August 1725   Reading, Aug. 16. An old man of 60 is committed to this gaol, being charged on the oaths of his daughter and wife, with ravishing the former, and giving them both the foul disease. A man, taken in a small theft in this town, and another in a felony at Whitley in this county, cut both their own throats before they could be secured in prison. [Mist’s Weekly Journal]

23 July 1726   Worcester, July 16. The fellow that stood in the pillory last Assizes, for attempting to commit a rape upon a girl, being suffer’d to go on an errand, attempted lately in like manner a young woman in the fields, but she proving too strong for him, he assaulted another that was weaker, and because she would not yield to him, the villain was going to rip up the poor creature just as assistance came, who rescu’d her and brought him to gaol, where he now lies in irons in order to receive his reward at the approaching Assizes for so inhuman an action. [Mist’s Weekly Journal]

27 June 1730   On Monday last, one Jones was committed to Newgate, for committing rapes on the bodies of two children near Cow-Cross, one deaf and dumb, the other blind; the eldest not 12 years old. (London Journal)

11 July 1730   On Saturday the Butcher, formerly mentioned, was try’d at Hicks’s-Hall for ravishing the two children in Turnmill-street; and was sentenced to be four months imprisoned, and whipt every day. (London Journal)

1 August 1730   One John Rawlins, commonly called the Lord Tunbridge, a dwarf about 3 foot, was indicted for assaulting a girl of 8 years of age, with an intent to ravish her, but was acquitted. (London Journal)

21 January 1731   An inhabitant of Gravely near Huntingdon, aged 63, was taken Dec. 26 in committing a rape on a girl of no more than 11; which, ’tis said, is not his first crime of that nature. [Grub-street Journal]

3 August 1730   James Bell was tried, being charged on oath, on suspicion of having forced and carnally known Susanna Man, a child not 10 years old, and being found guilty of the assault, was sentenced to be two years imprisoned, to pay a fine of 20 marks, and to remain in gaol till the said fine is paid. [Daily Journal]

(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, "The Rape of Girls", 5 June 2002, updated 10 April 2007 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/girlrape.htm>

Return to list of Newspaper Reports