Comparing Punishments for Sodomy: England and the English Navy Essay

Comparing Punishments for Sodomy: England and the English Navy Essay

Length: 1621 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the Bible the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were said to be destroyed by the Lord with brimstone and fire on account of the wicked and sinful natures of the men who resided in the cities. The wicked and sinful part of their nature is that the men of Sodom would rather have sex with other men than with the virginal daughters that Lot had offered them. This is where the word sodomy comes from and it is defined as a person given to the sin of Sodom, in other words someone who engages in homosexual acts (Norton, 2013). To combat this kind of “detestable” and “unnatural” behavior the English government created laws which strictly prohibited homosexual acts between men and also women. Although it should be noted that the church already viewed sodomy as a sin before the English judicial system did.
Sodomy was a capital offense in eighteenth century England (Greene, 204). A capital offense simply means it is a charge which carries the death penalty. Between 1700 and 1800 many cases involving sodomitical acts came before the English criminal courts, and while the majority were cases of assault with sodomitical intent, there were a few cases of sodomy. The individuals convicted of sodomy were sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn.
Just as there were laws against sodomy on land so were there on the sea. Specifically Article 29 of the 1749 Articles of War which stated:
If any person in the fleet shall commit the unnatural and detestable sin of buggery, of sodomy with man or beast, he shall be punished with death by the sentence of a Court Martial. (Gilbert, 79)
Although Article 29 is very clear about the expected punishment for a sailor convicted of sodomy the king had the power to pardon any sailor found guilty of a capital crime. According...


... middle of paper ...


...

Works Cited

Asal, Victor, Paul G. Harwood, and Udi Sommer. "Original Sin: A Cross National Study of the Legality of Homosexual Acts ." Comparative Political Studies. no. 3 (2012): 320-351. http://www.sagepublications.com/ (accessed November 24, 2013).

Greene, Jody . "Public Secrets: Sodomy and the Pillory in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond." Eighteenth Century: Theory & Interpretation. no. 2/3 (2003): 203-232.

Gilbert, Arthur N. . "Buggery and the British Navy, 1700-1861." Journal of Social History. no. 1 (1976): 72 98.

Norton, Rictor. Mother Clap's Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830. Gloucestershire: The Chalford Press, 2006.

Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Homosexual Terms in 18th-century Dictionaries", Homosexuality in Eighteenth Century England: A Sourcebook, 13 May 2008, updated 15 July 2013 .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Punishments for Sodomy: England and the English Navy in the Eighteenth Century

- In the Bible, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by the Lord with brimstone and fire on account of the wicked and sinful natures of the men who resided in the cities. The wicked and sinful part of their nature was the fact that the men of Sodom would rather have sex with other men than with the virginal daughters that Lot had offered them. This is where the word sodomy comes from. Sodomy is defined as a person given to the sin of Sodom, in other words someone who engages in homosexual acts (Norton, 2013)....   [tags: Sodom, Gomorrah, homosexual, LGBT]

Powerful Essays
3350 words (9.6 pages)

Old English And Modern English Essay

- Have you ever wondered where the names of the different items you use daily came from. Or listened to people talk and find a particular word interesting or odd and wonder why it has become part of our English language. The English language that we speak today has developed as a result of many different influences and changes over thousands of years. The resulting changes to the English language can be split into three time periods that include, Old English or Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Modern English which is commonly used today Old English (450-1100 AD), which is also referred to as Anglo-Saxon, is thought historically to be the earliest form of the English language....   [tags: English language, England, Old English]

Powerful Essays
1464 words (4.2 pages)

The English And Modern English Essay

- The English language has experienced several shifts and transformations ever since its earliest history in the medieval England to the current. English has been historically said to have evolved through three major stages that include Old English, Middle English and Modern English. Each of the three stages may be also sub-divided into early and late stages in order to give a comprehensive picture of the language’s history. English language, According to Algeo (2010), originated from the various dialects used by the Anglo-Frisian communities of the 5th to 7th century AD Britain....   [tags: English language, England]

Powerful Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Differences Between English And English Language Essay

-   Many people around the world do not know how much other languages have influenced what has now become their modern language. For example, many people know that French has influenced both American and English culture, but not through studying the subject or learning French. Old English was a combination of both Scandinavian and Germanic languages before the Norman Conquest. During the Norman Conquest, the French from Normandy was expanding and most of England’s upper class spoke only Norman French while the peasants spoke English....   [tags: English language, French language, England]

Powerful Essays
2275 words (6.5 pages)

The Rise Of The English Revolution Essay

- The English Revolution was a struggle between Charles I and parliament for ultimate authority over the country. The French Revolution was directed against the absolute monarchy of Louis XVI. It began with the government’s concern to reform the tax system to save the country from bankruptcy. One common factor of these revolutions was a financial issue, in particular, taxation. Both monarchs ruled under the idea of Divine Right. Divine Right is the belief that God has chosen the king and as a result anything he does is ordained by God....   [tags: Charles I of England, English Civil War]

Powerful Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)

The Language Of The English Essay

- Disparity between the spheres of spoken and written English has existed since the language’s standardization. Spelling has infamously and unreliably advised what it considers “correct” elocution, which leaves pronunciation to unwittingly fall into a relatively inferior position. The English tongue performs at the command of spelling, following the confusing structures of various lexeme permutations. This disassociation between the spelling and the pronunciation of modern words historically began during the Early Modern English period, a result of technological advances, changing national attitudes, and transformations in linguistic variation, occurrences which contributed to the general stan...   [tags: English language, Vowel, England, Modern English]

Powerful Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Differences Between Old English And Middle English Essay

- The final shift towards their evolution, and the big culture bomb, started with the Norman invasion of Britain; this battle caused an influx of culture into a mainly homogenous society. It started in 1066 when William the Conqueror won at the Battle of Hastings (Delahoyde 1), took the British crown by force, and brought French language and its influence into the quaint British countryside (McIntyre 12). This French influence gave the final shove and created the next step towards a modern language; it provided a stepping-stone into becoming a more advanced society with a more advanced language....   [tags: England, English language, Middle English]

Powerful Essays
1542 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Language Of The English Language

- Introduction The English language has always been a unique and colorful. Like America, it is a blend of many influences and people that have changed the language in many ways. Researching the language provides a look into the rich history that changed greatly thanks to the influences from others that helped create the language that is present now. Origins of English According to Freeman and Freeman (2014), Old English formed in 449 by the Angles and Saxons who invaded Britain. These tribes spoke Englisc (pg....   [tags: English language, Middle English, England]

Powerful Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The End Of The English Language

- Middle English (1100 AD to 1500 AD) The year 1066 is one of the most important years in the history of the English language. This is the year that the Normans invaded England. The Normans were a group of people who lived on the other side of the English Channel. Though the people of the area originally spoke a variation of the Scandinavian languages, eventually, the group learned French as Edward the Confessor brought French language into his court in Normandy. In January 1066, the English king died without an heir, so the Norman king at the time, William the Conqueror decided to invade England and by December of the same year, he was crowned King of England....   [tags: England, English language, Middle English]

Powerful Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

England Essay

- History of England The Ice Age ended about 8000 BC, during which the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons lived in Great Britain. Because of the melting ice the water level rose and the English Channel was created, making Great Britain an island. The Middle Stone Age passed in this new forest and swamp, followed by the New Stone Age when the practice of farming began. During this period a lot of new people came to Britain. By 2500 BC the Beaker people had moved there. They were named after their pottery, and noted for their bronze tools and huge stone monuments, like Stonehenge....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
835 words (2.4 pages)