1891: Welsh man fined for dubious obscene pictures

In November 1891, William Flower, a Swansea picture framer, appeared before a local magistrate charged with:

“…wilfully exposing in his window, or other part of his shop, certain obscene pictures… suggestive of love-making on the part of the Roman Catholic priesthood”.

Flowers pleaded not guilty but was convicted and fined 40 shillings plus costs. A press report of the case described the drawings or cartoons displayed in Flower’s shop and later deemed obscene by the court:

“One represents a priest ear-holding a man, who has pushed aside a curtain and is rapturously gazing at a buxom servant tying her garter. In the companion picture… the same healthy-looking priest has his arm around the generous waist of the maid… All the figures are decently dressed and neither can anything be found of a suggestive character.”

Further investigations by the press revealed that a Catholic clergyman, Canon Richards, had noticed the cartoons on his daily walk. He immediately reported them to the police and pushed for charges to be laid. Flower said he intended to appeal the conviction and had received donations from locals to help meet his costs.

Source: The Western Mail, Cardiff, November 18th 1891. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.