Writing in 1619, Pedro de Leon reports a recent incident in Madrid. City authorities there had broken up a fistfight between a local student and a barber, arresting both men. Under questioning, it was soon discovered the student had entered the barber’s shop with “a large basket tightly fitted to his buttocks”. When the barber asked the reason for this, the student replied:
“These are dangerous times, what with the city full of Italian sodomites. I find it prudent to wear the basket as a preventative measure.”
The barber, who was Italian, naturally took umbrage at this provocation and threw the first punch. De Leon reports that both men escaped punishment and when the student was released, he was “still wearing his defence”.