Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Disorderly Houses, 18th century England

"In 1757 the following Bill, presented by Sir John Fielding, was passed by Parliament: 'Any house, room, garden or other place which in London and Westminster or within 20 miles of the environs, not being licensed as a public dancing place, allows music or other entertainment of the same kind, shall be regarded as a disorderly house or place, and any authorised servant of the law may enter and arrest all persons found therein. Every person who owns such an unlicensed house, shall pay £100 sterling, and in addition suffer the punishment that the law has ordained in the case of bawdy houses.'

We saw that many of the ' tea-gardens ' and places of amusement fell victims to this law, especially towards the end of the eighteenth century. Those that remained dis­appeared with the outward spread of the town".

Source: A History of English Sexual Morals – Ivan Bloch (London: Francis Aldor, 1936).

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