LGBT Research Community

Sodomy and Dishonour in Eighteenth-Century Hampshire

August 6, 2013
by Laurence Georgin

The history of homosexuality eighteenth-century England has been so far dominated by fascinating studies of the rich array of London resources. Perceptions of same-sex sexual activity in the provinces, in contrast, has been relatively overlooked. This study takes a case study of trials and court martials for sodomy and attempted sodomy in the county of Hampshire over the long eighteenth century to consider whether sexual behaviour and attitudes towards gay sex in port cities such as┬áSouthampton and┬áPortsmouth and county towns such as Winchester and Salisbury┬ádiffered from the models traditionally constructed┬áthrough metropolitan sources. The concept of eighteenth century ‘gay space’ is reconfigured through this research:┬ádespite the absence of the ‘molly house’ in Hampshire, other areas became defined as ‘gay space’ as accounts in contemporary newspapers and trials indicate.

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Categories: History. Tags: Gay rights, Gay sex, Gay space, Homosexuality and LGBT history.