Presentation on theme: "Prostitution in the 18 th Century Cassie Fry Hillary Scully."— Presentation transcript:
Prostitution in the 18 th Century Cassie Fry Hillary Scully
Prostitute – “a person, typically a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment.” Prostitution – “the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment the unworthy or corrupt use of one’s talents for personal or financial gain.” As many as one in five young women in 18 th century London were prostitutes
The world’s oldest profession? 2400 B.C. - Sumerian kar.kid 1780 B.C. - Hammurabi’s Code 600 B.C. - legal brothels in China 594 B.C. - legal brothels in Greece 590 B.C. - King of Spain makes prostitution illegal 1158 – punishment from Holy Roman Army King Henry II’s rules and regulations
Religious crime Turning a blind eye Religious & the secular society Henry Fielding founded the Bow Street Runners 1798 – the Thames police are established to patrol wharf areas
The majority of women who were prostitutes were usually born into the poorest sections of the community and acquired few skills. The general image of women who entered prostitution in the 18th century were fairly thin. In some cases men complained that girls of twelve and thirteen years old who were thought of as far too young for marriage were nevertheless considered perfectly fit for prostitution.
Prostitutes were considered outcasts compared to the general lower classes because they formed part of the idle and undeserving poor, with increasing frequency as the criminal or dangerous classes. Or because they came originally from respectable, if impoverished, families and retained many middle- class virtues even in the midst of their degradation.
Few job opportunities for uneducated women Low pay, poor working conditions and menial jobs Poverty Financial independence
Street Walkers/Brothel Workers Courtesans and Lorettes V.S. This lifestyle was done not out of choice but out of necessity Lower class prostitutes did not lead pampered lifestyles These women were frequently physically assaulted Streetwalkers especially had to be street smart and avoid the police, of fear of being arrested. Courtesans often chose their lovers, out of jealousy and rivalry with other women of their social class. They took lovers who were already married as a form of social climbing Courtesans were very pampered. Received fine clothes, jewelry, gifts etc… Courtesans and Lorettes were immune from the law. Since they were not visible to society. Police turned a blind eye.
Bawds: female pimps Mother Needham Health benefits for the young and beautiful Covent Garden & The Strand Places with looser police control Not all that it seems… Escape to a rich man or the theatre
Income would differ depending on the prostitute. The price charged by a prostitute might depend upon whether the woman was hiring out her experience or skills, her physical attractiveness, youthfulness or companionship, or some other quality. Prostitutes’ income would vary and could include money, food or clothing, won from higher authorities, (or at times would be stolen.) Many women preferred to solicit for customers in pairs. Many men were willing to offer a larger sum of money to lie with both.
Becoming Pregnant Disease Syphilis & gonorrhea Mercury as a “cure” Lurking criminals Dark & intricate allies Jack the Ripper
The condom was cleverly constructed, consisting of, sheep intestines dipped in with milk right before use.
Prostitution very short Turned to life of crime Occasionally a happy ending Street lighting & changing morals of the 19 th century