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Boys and Homosex: Danger and Possibility in Queensland, 1890–1914

  • Yorick Smaal
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)

Abstract

On a Sunday evening in mid-1897, Wade and Walt were caught committing sodomy in a room at Cloughly’s Hotel, situated somewhere in the western reaches of Queensland.1 This discovery was nothing exceptional. In a frontier world disproportionately populated by young men in their sexual prime, ‘unnatural’ crime appeared regularly enough before the colonial courts in urban and regional areas. At first glance, this case appears similar to other matters involving men and boys heard before judges and juries. Walt, age unknown, but certainly an adult, had been working at the hotel for about six months when the offence took place; Wade was a boy of 11 who was visiting his aunt, the proprietor of the premises. One evening, the two residents ended up in a room together, partly undressed and in a compromising position.

Keywords

Child Sexual Abuse Sexual Violence Criminal Code Criminal Case Male Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 3.
    Sir Matthew Hale, Historia Placitorum Cronae: The History of the Pleas of the Crown: Published from the Original Manuscripts by Sollom Emlyn; with Additional Notes and References to Modern Cases Concerning the Pleas of the Crown by George Wilson (London: T. Payne, 1800), 629.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    I have discussed the legal aspects of this case in Yorick Smaal ‘“An Imbecility of Body as well as Mind”: Common Law and the Sexual Incapacity of Boys’, Criminal Law Journal, vol. 36 (2012), 249–51.Google Scholar
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© Yorick Smaal 2016

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  • Yorick Smaal

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