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

23rd May 1751
Michael Levi
Sexual Offences - sodomy divider

389. (M.) Michael Levi, was indicted for not having God before his eyes, nor regarding the order of nature, on Benjamin Taylor, an infant of twelve years of age and upwards, did make an assault, feloniously, wilfully, and diabolically, did carnally know, and with him, the said Benjamin, did commit and perpetrate that abominable crime of sodomy, to the great displeasure of Almighty God, &c . March 25.

Q. to Benj Taylor, How old are you?

Taylor. I shall be thirteen years old next June.

Q. Suppose you should take a false oath, what would be the consequence of it?

Taylor. I should go to hell, and never enter into heaven.

He is sworn.

Q. Do you know Michael Levi?

Taylor. Yes, sir.

Q. Look about and see if you can find him.

Taylor. There he stand, pointing to him.

Q. Tell my Lord what that man did to you, and when it was.

Taylor. It was before Lady-day.

Q. In the first place, where does he live? and then go on.

Taylor. He lives in Holborn, and has a stall under the Baptist's Head, an alehouse; he lies on nights up the yard belonging to the house, he has a room there. He ask'd me to carry up his boxes, and when he had shut up his stall, and all his things carried up, he lock'd the chamber door; then he unbutton'd my breeches and threw me down on the bed on my face, he unbutton'd his breeches and put his c--k into my backside.

Q. How long did he continue so?

Taylor. I believe a quarter of an hour.

Q. Did you call out?

Taylor. I did.

Q. Did he hurt you?

Taylor. He did, sir, and I perceived something wet.

Q. Where did you perceive that?

Taylor. It fell on my backside.

Q. Did he give you any thing?

Taylor. No, sir, he did not; this was the only time I was with him.

Q. When did you discover this?

Taylor. About a week ago.

Q. To whom?

Taylor. To one of our play fellows, whose name was Roberts; he told his father, and his father told another boy's father, and he told my father; then he enquir'd about it of me, and I told him the same I do now.

Q. Are you certain he put something into your body?

Taylor. I felt him put it into my body.

Cross examined.

Q. Did he continue in the same stall and habitation till he was taken up?

Taylor. Yes, sir, he did.

Q. What time of the day was it?

Taylor. It was about dusk.

Q. Was it before people shut up their houses?

Taylor. It was long before that: he does not keep open stall by candle-light.

Q. Does any body lodge in that room but himself?

Taylor. No, sir.

Q. Are there no other houses very near this room?

Taylor. There is only this public house.

Q. Had there not been a quarrel between you and the prisoner before you mentioned this?

Taylor. No, sir.

Q. Had not he charg'd you with something?

Taylor. He had charg'd me with having taken a penny from him; I bid him search me, he did, and did not find a halfpenny about me.

Q. Had you told this thing at that time?

Taylor. No, sir, I had not.

Q. How was it you did not tell this before?

Taylor. It was not me that told it first, it was one of the other boys told first.

Q. Why did you not tell it before?

Taylor. I was ashamed to tell it.

Q. Did you imagine at this time what he was doing was wrong?

Taylor. I did, sir.

Q. Have you been with him since?

Taylor. I did not go near him after.

Q. Did he ever ask you to go to his room after this?

Taylor. No, sir, he never did.

Q. Did he before or after offer to give you any thing?

Taylor. No, he did not, sir.

Q. Did he say any thing to you when you got up?

Taylor. No, he did not, I went down stairs and ran away. Once after as I went by he bid me not tell.

Q. Had you used to go to his stall after this?

Taylor. I never did, I never lik'd to go near him after that.

John Taylor. I am father to the other evidence.

Q. What are you?

J. Taylor. I am a taylor, and live about forty yards from the prisoner, whom I know by sight; his lodging is backward in the Baptist-head yard, and his stall at the front of the house.

Q. How came you to the knowledge of this affair first?

J. Taylor. It was talk'd of amongst the boys, and the father of one of them came and acquainted me with it; then I ask'd my son about it: he told me, he help'd the prisoner carry his things out of his stall into his room, which was backwards, and after that he lock'd the door, forcibly threw him on the bed, unbutton'd his breeches, and enter'd his body with his c--k into his backside. I said, don't be afraid or asham'd to tell the truth; and I apprehend he told me the very words.

Q. When did you first hear of it?

J. Taylor. I first heard of it this day se'nnight from Mr. Lambord, father to one of the other boys.

Thomas Lambord. Last Tuesday I was 14 years of age.

He answer'd well as to questions previous to taking an oath. He is sworn.

Q. Do you know Michael Levi?

Lambord. I do, that is he in the red waistcoat; he ask'd me once, about two months ago, to carry one of his boxes up stairs; I carried it up, he lock'd the door, put the key in his pocket, laid me on the bed, and unbutton'd my -

Here the court stop'd him, that fact not being laid in this indictment.

Q. Do you know young Taylor?

T. Lambord. I do, I had some discourse with him about this man, and he told me he served him so as he did me; he said, he asked him to carry his boxes up, which he did, and he follow'd him up, laid him on the bed, and unbutton'd his breeches, &c. &c. as the lad had before declared, with this addition, that he said when he got up he thought the prisoner had piss'd upon him. I have heard say he has done so to three or four besides me. I go to school with Benjamin Taylor.

Q. Do you know whether he and the prisoner know each other?

Lambord. Yes, I know Benjamin Taylor knew Levi.

Thomas Lambord. I am father to the last witness. This affair came out last Friday, upon a falling out between Benjamin Taylor and the prisoner; then Mr. Robert's son told his father, and he (the elder) came and told me on Saturday morning, that my son was served so. I sent for my son, and ask'd him in a cool manner, who said it was true. In what shape, said I; he gave the same account as now, and I found the boys all to keep in the same story.

Mr. Tidmarsh. I live in the neighbourhood, and have heard young Taylor before tell the same he does now: this affair broke out either on Tuesday or Wednesday last among the boys that play together. I believe he has practised this upon my son Samuel above this twelve month. He was thirteen years old the 13th of Nov. last.

Q. to Taylor the elder. Did you search your son to see if there were any marks of violence upon him?

Taylor. No, I did not.

Prisoner's Defence. I know nothing of it.

For the Prisoner.

Samuel Jacobs. I am a tea-broker, and steward to a club to which the prisoner belongs. I never heard but that he behaved very well, or we would not have kept him in the club; he is esteem'd a virtuous, sober young fellow.

Cross examined.

Q. Where is your club kept?

Jacobs. At an ale-house in Duke's-place.

Henry Levi. I have known the prisoner a year and a half, he is a man of modesty and chastity.

Q. Are you related to him?

Levi. No, sir.

Benjamin Alexander. I live in Shoemaker-row, by Aldgate; I have known the prisoner from his infancy, and never heard he was accused with any indecent practices.

Elias Mordica. I live in Duke's place, and have known the prisoner from his infancy, he was always very modest and sober, and I never heard him charg'd with any indecent action.

Simon Moses. I have known the prisoner from his infancy, he always behaved as an honest lad, I never heard he was guilty of any crime, the least thing in the world.

Henry Judith. I lived in the same house the prisoner did seven years, and have known him 14 or 15 years, he always had the character of an honest man.

Simon Levi. I have known him from his infancy, and never heard an indecent action of him in my life.

Mr. Libaman. I live in Bedford-row, pass often through Holborn, and coming by the stall I know the boy, he always resorted to the hours of prayer, minded his religion, and was timorous of God. My servant was acquainted with him, and told me he was one that observed the sabbath: I never heard any harm of him, and as my servants frequent thereabouts, they would have told me if any such thing was.

For the Crown to his Character.

Mr. Tidmarsh. I never heard any ill of the prisoner till this discovery, but now I have a very bad opinion of him.

Thomas Corse. I never had any, ill opinion of him before this broke out, and now I look upon him to be far from a virtuous person.

Mr. Lambord. I cannot say any thing against him, except this thing.



[Verdict: Guilty - Punishments: Death]


Ordinary's Account, 17th June 1751.

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the EIGHT MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the 17th of JUNE, 1751.

BEING THE Fifth EXECUTION in the MAYORALTY OF THE Right Honble Francis Cokayne, Esq ; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

NUMBER V. for the said YEAR.


Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT, over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, the only authorised Printers of the Dying Speeches. M.DCC.LI.

[Price Six-pence.]


THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c. BY Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER and TERMINER, and Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Rt. Hon. FRANCIS COKAYNE , Esq ; Lord-Mayor of the City of London , the Honourable Sir THOMAS BURNET , the Honourable Baron CLIVE, and RICHARD ADAMS , Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER and TERMINER, for the City of London, and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday the 17th, Thursday the 18th, Friday the 19th, Saturday the 20th, and Monday the 22d of April, in the twenty-fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign, GARRAT BUNN, WILLIAM GIBBS, and EDWARD WARD were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.

By Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, &c. before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sir THOMAS DENNISON , Baron LEGGE, &c. on Thursday the 23d, Friday the 24th, Saturday the 25th, and Monday the 27th of May, in the twenty-fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign, JOSEPH PEACOCK, THOMAS QUIN, WILLIAM DOWDELL, THOMAS TALBOT, WILLIAM HATTON, PHILIP GIBSON, ROBERT DAMSELL, MICHAEL LEVI, and HENRY BOYTEN, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.


11. Michael Levi , was indicted for that he, not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, nor regarding the Order of Nature, on Benjamin Taylor, an Infant, of twelve Years of Age and upwards, did make an Assault, and feloniously, wilfully, and diabolically did carnally know, and with him the said Benjamin did commit and perpetrate that abominable Crime of Sodomy, to the great Displeasure of Almighty God, &c. March 25.



ON Monday the 17th Instant, about half an Hour after Nine in the Morning, Dowdel , Peacock , and Ward in the first Cart. Talbot, Hatton, and Quinn in the second, and Gibbs and Damsel in the third Cart, went to the Place of Execution. Dowdel, Ward, Talbot and Quinn, being Roman Catholicks, turned their Backs, and prayed by themselves, while I continued in Prayer about a Quarter of an Hour, recommending their Souls to the Almighty's Protection. Not one of them spoke any thing to the Populace worth remarking, but quietly resigned their Breath to the Satisfaction of the Law. This is all the Account given by me,

John Taylor , Ordinary of Newgate.



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