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Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

American Tour of London
American Tour of London

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

19th July 1975 Piccadilly line extension from Hounslow West opened as far as Hatton Cross.go to related location

19th July 1947 Born today: Brian May, London, rock guitarist (Queen-We are the Champions)

19th July 1821 The Coronation of George IV in Westminster Abbey.go to related location

Mother Clap's Molly House



Mother Clap's Molly House

This is where Mother Clap's Molly House used to be.

Location: Shoe Lane, Holborn, London

Description: This is the area where Field Lane used to be before the Viaduct construction demolished the road.

Margaret Clap owned and ran the most notorious of these houses, which was located here in Field Lane.

Sunday evenings were often its busiest night, when sometimes close to fifty customers filled her rooms. Men there often dressed in women's clothing, took on female personae, and affected effeminate mannerisms and speech.

In February 1726, Margaret Clap's molly house was raided, and more than forty people were arrested. This house and others like it had been under surveillance by agents from the Societies for the Reformation of Manners, an organization that had formed to rid London of sodomites, prostitutes, and breakers of the Sabbath. The arrests led to a series of trials, after which several of those arrested were hanged for sodomy.

At a trial in July of 1726, Samuel Stevens, the agent who had spent a number of Sunday evenings at Clap's house, described the sexual activities that took place there: I found between 40 and 50 men making love to one another, as they called it. Sometimes they would sit in one another's laps, kissing in lewd manner and using their hands indecently. Then they would get up, dance and make curtsies, and mimic the voices of women . . . . Then they would hug, and play, and toy, and go out by couples into another room on the same floor to be married, as they called it.


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Mother Clap's Molly House

This is where Mother Clap's Molly House used to be.


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