Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 10 May 2021), April 1726, trial of George Whytle (t17260420-68).

George Whytle, Sexual Offences > sodomy, 20th April 1726.

George Whytle alias Whittle , was indicted for committing Sodomy, with Edward Courtney , December 1 . Edward Courtney thus depos'd. The Prisoner kept an Ale-House , the Royal-Oak, the Corner of St. George's-Square in Pall-Mall , where he keeps a back Room for the Mollies to drink in, and a private Room betwixt that and the Kitchen, there is a Bed in it, for the Use of the Company, when they have a Mind to be married, and for that Reason, they call that Room, The Chappel. - And there he has brought me to several Husbands, as we used to call them. And one Day he told me, Ned, says he, There's a Country Gentleman of my Acquaintance that's just come to Town, and if you'll give him a Wedding Night, he'll pay you very handsomely. - I staid till Mid-Night, but no Gentleman came, and then it was too late for me to go home, and so the Prisoner said I should lie with him, and I did. Then he promis'd me a great deal of Money, if I would let him commit Sodomy with me. I agreed to it, and he did, but in the Morning he gave me no more than 6 Pence. - Mr. Rigs depos'd, that for 2 or 3 Years past, it was commonly reported, the Prisoner's House was a Receptacle for Sodomites. Drake Stoneman thus depos'd. For 2 or 3 Years past, I have seen Men behave themselves very indecently in the Prisoner's back Room, in exposing to each other's sight, what they ought to keep conceal'd, - and they used to retire to a little Room in the Passage. The Prisoner in his Defence, first objected against the Credit of Courtney's Evidence, he being a scandalous Fellow, and had been thrice in Bridewell. - 'Tis true, says Courtney, I have been there three Times, but was for no harm, and I'll tell ye how it happen'd. - First I it was Servant at the Cardigan's-Head at Charing-Cross. I went to see the Prisoner, he made me drunk in his Chappel, and when I came home, I abused my Master's Mother, for which I was sent to Bridewel, and my Master would not take me in again. Then I went to live at a Molley House, but my Master broke, and in helping him to carry off his Goods by Night, a Constable stopt me, and because I was saucy, and would not tell him where the rest of the Goods were, I was carried before a Justice, and sent to Bridewel the second Time. The third Time was only for raising a Disturbance about a Mollying Cull in Covent-Garden. - The Prisoner proceeded in his Defence. I unfortunately (says he) let a Shop to one Johnson a Barber, whose Wife was a Woman of a very scandalous Character, she has been in Newgate for Perjury, and it was from her that such Things were reported of me, for when ever she got drunk, she used to call me a Sodomite. - I had a Wife, she has been dead these 2 Years. I had 2 Children by her, one of them is dead, but the other is here in Court, a Girl of 13 Years old. - I was upon the Point of visiting another Widow, upon the Account of Marriage, just before this Misfortune broke out. - As for what Drake Stonemen says, about some Things, that he has seen in my back Room, there is nothing in it, but that some young Surgeons of my Acquaintance, used to bring their Patients to my House, and there examine their Distempers, and make Applications in that Room. Peter Greenaway thus depos'd. Ned Courtney was bound to my Master. - He told me that one Butler, a Chairman, was the first Person that he had to do with. - And that the Occasion of his quarrelling with the Prisoner, was, because the Prisoner would not let him have a pint of Beer when it was late. William Crowyard and William Bayle Depos'd, that they had lain with the Prisoner several Times in his Wife's Lifetime and never found any Thing in his Behaviour, that might give the least Ground to suspect him inclinable to Sodomy. Several of his Neighbours appear'd to his Character. Some of them acknowledg'd that they had heard such Things whisper'd, and some depos'd that they never heard of any Thing like it, Ann White thus depos'd. I have been the Prisoner's Servant ever since October last . - I never saw Ned Courtney at our House, - and I think I should have seen him, if he had lain there all Night with my Master. - I know no Room they call the Chapel, and never saw any Encouragement given to any uncivil Persons. Two other of the Prisoner's Maid Servants, who lived with him, within these 2 Years, depos'd to the same Effect. The Jury acquitted him.