Vere Street Coterie

The Vere Street Coterie was a scandal surrounding a gay male brothel on Vere Street, Clare Market, London called the White Swan. Several men were arrested during a raid on the White Swan on July 8, 1810 - about six months after the establishment had been founded by James Cook (heterosexual) and Mr. Yardley. Most of the men arrested in the raid were set free due to lack of evidence. However, seven men were convicted including William Amos (aka Sally Fox), Philip Kett, William Thomson, Richard Francis, James Done and Robert Aspinal. All of the men were given a sentence of one hour on the pillory (with the exception of Aspinal) in addition to terms in prison. William Amos was given three years, as it was his third conviction; Aspinal only one year because the case against him was less convincing; and the rest were sentenced to two years.

During the proceedings, the authorities were told of two additional men who were not at the White Swan the night of the raid. Both were members of the British Navy - 42 year old Ensign John Newbolt Hepburn and 16 year old Thomas White, a drummer boy. They had a sexual relationship of some sort at the White Swan. Unlike the others, they were both executed at Newgate Prison on March 7, 1811.

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