As we continued it was only around the 18th century that gay establishment started to become legitimate business and more documented.
Areas is associated with high levels of criminal activity tended to be home to Molly houses in London, according to historian Richard Norton. These areas included The market in the Royal exchange, Moorfields, Lincolns inn, south side of St James's Park and Covent Garden Plaza.
In 1810 dividing of the White Swan on Vern Street is another well-documented example of a gay venues being targeted by the authorities.
It was famously here that the Rev John Church has made claims of doing same sex marriages as him himself being the first openly gay minister of England.
Throughout the 1800s raids continued on establishment for the use by gay men. Prosecution of men using these places was commonplace as was the use of entrapment by the police but in 1861 the death penalty for buggery was abolished.
It was not until early 1912 that London had its first openly gay bar as we would view it today. The bar was called ‘the cave of the golden calf’ the bar may have only been in existence for two short years but in that short window of time and hope it had showed there was a thriving market for establishments of this type amongst the wealthy London aristocrats.
This establishment with a flurry of activity amongst the Moulin Rouge style drag acts with cabaret and dancing, opening hours seemingly running till the sun reawoke the following day. Openly same-sex intimacy was tolerated a far cry from what was the thought on the other side of the door all you have to do is be able to afford the rafting hefty door.
Around the 1930s the now infamous gay opened called the ‘Caravan Club’ around the same time the first recognised lesbian bar opened its doors located on the Kings Road and called Gateway club and stay open until ‘1985’.
As more clubs grew in the more affluent areas of London controlling the social spectrum that could gain access was done by a high door price/ as for the more less privileged corners of society gay bars in gay clubs still existed for the workingmen but hacked to be done in more subtle socially sympathetic ways.
Using accounts from historian Matt Houlbreaks Book “Queer London’ at the time if you know where to head at certain times in evening from cars at the docks two bars in the centre you would have witnessed a gay community gathering quietly.
Between the 1920s and 1930s Lady Malcolm's servants ball was a must go to event the working gay men who found the high society prices out of reach.
As I draw this section of my blog to close this is sum 150 years was arguably the most important from the 1800s facing the death penalty to the early 1900s funny establishments openly catering for a gay market.
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