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Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court

5th July 1749
Richard Spencer
Sexual Offences - assault with sodomitical intent
Breaking Peace - assault


472. Richard Spencer was indicted, that he on William Taylor did make an assault, with intent to commit the horrible crime of Sodomy, June the 29th.

He was a second time indicted for an assault on the said William Taylor.

William Taylor. My master's house is in Noble street; I was leaning over the hatch last Thursday was se'nnight, between six and seven in the evening; the prisoner came up to the hatch and shook hands with me, and ask'd me how I did, and if my master was at home; I said no, and that I did not know what hour he would come home; he ask'd me to come over to the Bell and drink part of a pint of beer.

I did not go 'till he put his hand out of the window and beckoned me, then I went over; there were two or three young men in the room, but they went all out as I went in. It is a little room like a parlour with two small boxes in it; he said he had something to tell me concerning my master's business, saying, there is a cause of 200 £. to be decided between your master and a gentleman in Holborn; saying he himself was to have 100 £. and the other to pay away.

He asked me to drink, which I did; after that he ask'd me how big my c--k was; I made no answer: he held out his little finger, and ask'd if it was so big; he put his hand to my side, I put it away immediately; then he put his hand to his own breeches and pulled out his - he bid me lie on my side, but I would not; because I would not, he said he'd f--k me that night; then, said he, what country-man are you?

I told him Hertfordshire; he took me in his arms and kiss'd me five or six times: then said he, I'll take you down in a coach, and make you as drunk as an owl all the way you go. And if I would drink beer gallon after gallon, he would pay for it; the door was shut at that time.

Prisoner. I desire to know how many pints of beer this young man and I drank together there?

Taylor. We had two pints.

Prisoner. Why did he stay in my company above one pint, if he did not like my company?

Taylor. I did not see any thing amiss till after the second pint was brought in, I went out immediately upon this and fetched a constable; I returned in about two or three minutes, and the constable with me, and a great mob came about.

The constable took hold of his arm, and ordered him to pay for what he had had; he prisoner flung down three-pence, and the constable gave him a kick or two on the back side, and called him Black guard old rascal, for making such an attempt on a boy, and turned him out of the house.

I did not think he had punishment enough, ran after him, and with assistance brought him back again, and gave the constable charge of him, and he was committed.

Prisoner. I would know, whether his master, or somebody else, did bid him say these words?

Taylor. No-body bid me. I speak them as the truth spoke by the prisoner's tongue.

Q. How old are you?

Taylor. I was seventeen years of age last twelfth-day.

George Rouse. I am the boy's master. I was out of town, and left the boy to take care of the house. The next morning he told me, he had sent a man to the Counter, and telling me what the prisoner said about some hundreds of pounds,

I went to him, but did not say I was the boy's master; he said, he was out of his senses: said I, Do you know the boy's master, or what was your business with him? he said, he had something for him, then he pulled out a petition [it was shown in Court, but not read, being only a petition to ask charity] signed by no hand.

I said, I wondered he should ask charity, and have money enough to seduce a person's servant out of his house, and treat him. He confessed he had treated the boy; the boy told me the very same story at first as he does now.

The Alderman that committed the prisoner said, the boy had said the same before him at that time, only that of bidding the prosecutor lie on one side was then omitted.

John Godwin. I am constable. The boy came over to me, told me the affair, and I went directly. The rest as the prosecutor had before related.

The prisoner made a long and artful defence, to prove himself out of his senses at times, mentioning many gentlemen and ladies, who were his very good friends, and administred to his necessities sometimes a guinea at a time, through the recommendation of Dr. Mead, under whose hands he had been, and who found him incurable. He had no witnesses.


His sentence was, to be set in the pillory where the Conduit stood in Cheap side for the space of one hour, to pay a fine of one shilling, be imprisoned in Newgate for a Twelve-month, and find two securities, he himself being bound in a bond of 40 £. and the securities in 20 £. each, for his good behaviour for one year, and be confined in Newgate until he finds such securities.

[Punishments: pillory; fine; imprisonment in Newgate; sureties]



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