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Richard Yeo
(ca 1810 - ?) Canada

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Dance master


Richard Yeo, a "dancing master", who gave danced-step instructionsto the town's ladies and gemtlemen. Dancing was a popular social diversion during the long Toronto winter evenings. In December 1840, Yeo was arraigned on a charge of assault with intent to commit buggery. In the coverage of his trial, the Toronto Mirror hinted at details but avoided naming the alleged misdemenanour, calling it only an "abominable charge" and an "unnatural crime". Yao was reported to have approached Private William White, while White was standing guard outside the King Street barracks and invited him for a drink on a nearby pub. When White refused, Yeo had allegedly "seized a soldier around the waist and took the most horrible, indecent liberties." If he did,'t leave at once, White told Yeo, he would "give him an inch or two of steel". After Yeo persisted, Yeo was arrested and thrown in the guardroom. In court, seven other soldiers testified that Yeo had made similar ouvertures. Sentenced to one year in jail, he served at the then-new Kingston Penitentiary. Yeo was lucky: the punishment for "buggery" in British law of 1840 was death.


Sources: Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer , vare of John Lorinc,Tim McCaskell,Maureen Fitzgerald,Jane Farrow,Stephanie Chambers - et alii

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