The Disorderly Houses Act 1751

| | Comments (1)
rakesprogress.jpgAs keen observers of politics will obviously know, this Act has largely been repealed, although Section 8 is still in effect. Until, that is, the Statute Law Repeals Bill goes through Westminster, and provided Holyrood endorses that repeal through a Sewel Motion next Wednesday.

Section 8 is worth reprinting here in full.

"And whereas, by reason of the many subtle and crafty contrivances of persons keeping bawdy-houses, or other disorderly houses, it is difficult to prove who is the real owner or keeper thereof, by which means many notorious offenders have escaped punishment: Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that any person who shall at any time hereafter appear, act or behave him or herself as master or mistress, or as the person having the care, government, or management of any bawdy-house, or other disorderly house, shall be deemed and taken to be the keeper thereof, and shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished as such, notwithstanding he or she shall not in fact be the real owner or keeper thereof."

They don't make law like they used to. This Act was indeed passed during Hogarth's career, hence the illustration from Rake's Progress.


Thank goodness this is getting repealed at last. I realise now that I have oft been guilty of such offenses, having regularly resided in disordered flats while at university with quite the most bawdy people imaginable. I do however, continue to appear, act and behave as both master and mistress of all I survey.

Love how bawdiness or ribaldry is described as the "third, and somewhat neglected, genre of sexual entertainment". It's neglect breaks my heart.

Leave a comment

Your Links At Last


Other Politics



Friends and Stuff I Like

If I've forgotten to link to you, let me know. If I don't want to link to your blog I'll pretend I never got your email.

The party's site of which I am rather proud

Along with Jeff (formerly SNP Tactical Voting) and Malc (formerly In The Burgh), I now co-edit Better Nation, a group blog. Stuff will still appear here, but more will be there. Better Nation

Post History

This page was published on April 15, 2008 1:45 PM.

Today's lesson is.. was the previous entry in this blog.

What London Greens are up to is the next entry in this blog.