Jacquzy (jacquzy) wrote in little_details,

18th Century England/Australia: Gay Couples

After looking through many books, and trying numerous terms in search engines such as Yahoo and Google, and coming up with just about nothing (nothing precise, anyway) I discovered this comm, and had a mini party in front of my computer.

I'm writing something about the transportation of convicts from Britain to Australia in the 18th century (Second fleet, if you're interested.) A major part of the storyline revolves around the relationship between a prisoner and one of the marines (a Captain.) The convict is homosexual, and has known this for a long time, whilst the officer has never questioned his sexuality until this point - don't worry, it's not one of those "OMG GAY" stories; this takes time to develop ;) and they secretly become lovers

My plan has been to end with a scenario in which, after several years of building the colony, the convict has moved into the officer's house. They enjoy a relationship together whilst hiding it from the other colonists by saying that the convict is working for the marine.

I know enough about attitudes to homosexuality in 18th century British society, and even in the Australian colony (Governor Arthur Phillip believed one of the worst offences the convicts could commit in his colony was sodomy), however I have found very little about long-term gay couples; especially those living together. I did find a small piece on two male "friends" who shared a home all their adult lives and were never, in their lifetimes, suspected of anything, yet are now believed to have been lovers.

Would the situation I described, about them living together, etc, be realistic? Would they be suspected of being homosexual? Or would others believe their story - aparently men living together was actually a fairly regular occurance.

Tags: 1700s (no decades given), australia: history, ~homosexuality: history

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