'Not Having God Before his Eyes': Bestiality in Early Modern England

Thomas, Courtney
April 2011
Seventeenth Century;Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p149
Academic Journal
In early modern England, bestiality was tied to cultural and social perceptions and realities and (alongside other sexual behaviours viewed as lewd or subversive of the natural order) had a powerful cultural resonance. This paper investigates early modern English attitudes (social, religious, and cultural) to bestiality and argues that, while contemporary pamphlet literature, sermons, broadsides, and legal texts strongly condemned bestiality and hint that occurrences of it were rife, prosecutions for the crime were relatively rare and this asymmetry may be explained by analyzing the political atmosphere at specific moments when bestiality was legislated against.


Related Articles

  • Lets Kill All the Lawyers. Musson, Anthony // History Today;Jul2010, Vol. 60 Issue 7, p20 

    The article discusses the rise of the legal profession in Great Britain in the late medieval and Tudor eras, and the widespread unpopularity of lawyers during this time. The growing demand for legal services, and the attendant increase of wealth among lawyers, is discussed, as is popular...

  • Gay Legal Panel Maps Possible Strategies On Sodomy Laws. Freiberg, Peter // Advocate;9/2/86, Issue 454, p15 

    Reports that gay legal activists and their supporters met in New York to discuss strategies that will overturn the remaining state sodomy laws. Background on the specific goals of the activists; Need to exert political pressure by lobbying state legislatures to repeal sodomy laws.

  • The trauma of 1066. van Houts, Elisabeth // History Today;Oct96, Vol. 46 Issue 10, p9 

    Focuses on the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Survival of Anglo Saxon customs; Continuity of pre-Conquest institutions; Traumatic experience of expeditions of 1066 to 1071; Literature generated by contemporaries; Historical gossip.

  • 600th ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT REVOLT; JUNE, 1381. Fryde, E.B. // History Today;Jul81, Vol. 31 Issue 7, p48 

    Presents information on the Great Revolt of 1381 in England. How the revolt began; Revolts that occurred prior to 1381; Consequences of the Great Revolt.

  • Bestiality has become big news in Missouri. Corrigan, Don // St. Louis Journalism Review;Mar2000, Vol. 30 Issue 224, p13 

    Focuses on the media attention received by the reports of bestiality in Missouri. View of Representative Catherine Hathaway on the national publicity gained by bestiality in the state; Law proposed by Hathaway outlawing sex between animals and humans; Aim of preventing the proliferation of...

  • Bills to Repeal Sodomy Law Introduced in Maryland Legislature. Walter, Dave // Advocate;3/17/87, Issue 468, p17 

    Reports that legislative bills aimed at repealing the anti-sodomy law of Maryland have been introduced in the state legislature. Plan to delete two sections of law that prohibit both homosexual and heterosexual sodomy; Expectations on the outcome of the hearings which are expected to culminate...

  • The South: KENTUCKY.  // Advocate;11/17/92, Issue 616, p26 

    Reports that a petition asking the Kentucky supreme court to reconsider its decision to void the state sodomy law was filed by state attorney general Chris Gorman.

  • High Traffic.  // Capital Xtra (Ottawa);4/15/2010, Issue 218, p6 

    A list of five stories from the March 2010 issue of the periodical "Xtra!" that generated the most traffic on the Web site xtra.ca is presented, including the removal of gays from citizenship guide, charge of buggery against a man, and a report on neighbourhood associations in Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Xcetera.  // Xtra West (Vancouver);10/20/2011, Issue 474, p7 

    The article presents quotes from Antigua & Barbuda's attoreny general Justin Simon declaring that there will be no further changes to the law on buggery in Antigua.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics