Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in by B. Burg

By B. Burg

Boys at Sea is a examine of homoerotic existence within the Royal army through the age of sail. It bargains not just with intercourse between usual crewmen, yet unearths that the main constant function of prosecutions for sodomy and indecency concerned officials forcing their attentions on ships' boys. The booklet lines each function of sexuality at sea, and gives a probing examine a depressing and terrifying element of the lives of kids who served in Britain's warships.

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Additional resources for Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy

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They preferred to castigate sinners guilty of more ordinary transgressions like pride, everyday lust, covetousness, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth, and occasional Romanism. ” Since a central purpose of the sermon was to persuade the city’s rulers of the need for public workhouses, the preacher purposefully dwelled on “idleness,” explaining that it nurtured the biblically condemned vices of wantonness and baseness. 65 When John Wesley neared the latitude of Sodom in a 1756 sermon half a century later, he did not catalog or denounce proscribed penetrations with vague biblical terminology.

It was the specific sex act enumerated in the twenty-ninth of the Articles of War. 2 Regulating Sodomy in the Pre-Nelson Navy England’s Commonwealth government produced the first modern code for regulating the navy. The Laws of War and Ordinances of the Sea, enacted in 1652, contained thirty-nine articles governing all aspects of shipboard conduct deemed important by members of parliament. As might be expected in a time when Englishmen were firmly committed to expanding seaborne trade and deeply concerned over the threats posed by commercial rivals, particularly the Dutch, the Laws of War complemented earlier Navigation Acts and other maritime regulations adopted to enhance the nation’s economic strength.

53 His description emphasized not only the female affectations but the associative character of the men. They met at “a certain tavern in the city” and there acted out lavishly described girlish charades. 56 Even contemporary historians were not immune to taking swipes at those suspected or accused of homoerotic preferences. Although Thomas Gordon, a widely read political commentator, had once written a book on Lord Chancellor Francis Bacon and another on the Catiline conspiracy, he did not concentrate on his subjects’ predilections for sodomy.

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