He / Him



Born and raised in Peterborough, Stephen lives in the city centre with his partner Liam and works as a project and services co-ordinator. Stephen is a fan of Sci-fi films/TV, musical theatre and socialising. 

What does identity mean to you?

It's just who I am!

Identities is the first major project by queer-based production company Q Productions based in Peterborough. Their main aim is to give Cambridgeshire and the Fens an educational and meaningful project about queer people. Q Productions is run by Trans woman Alex and Trans genderfluid Teddi. The project was funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund through Your Community Greenspace. 

On the 11th of July 1826 a twelve-person jury was seated in the benches at the Lincolnshire Assizes (courts). The plaintiff, the jury was told, had no choice but to present such a case to them. the Stamford Mercury newspaper covered the trial in vivid detail. 

Joseph Mawby was a married father of one and a retired publican. He lived in the affluent fenland town of Market Deeping, just north of Peterborough and was moderately wealthy. 

A labourer from the same town named John Barker had instigated a case against Joseph Mawby. 

Barker accused Mawby of sodomy, a crime that carried a death sentence and Mawby refused to relent until Barker was forced to publicly retract his claims and pay damages or provide evidence to the court that his claims were true. The stakes were high because sodomy was a capital offence and the court was well aware of the case of David Thompson Myers, who had been executed by hanging in Peterborough fourteen years earlier. 

The character witnesses for Joseph Mawby were introduced. Several residents of Market Deeping and Deeping St. James testified that John Barker had a personal against Mawby and had been spreading rumours about Mawby's behaviour for a number of years. Mawby, according to what Barker had said, had made a pass at him by "putting his arms around my neck and pulling and hawling me about like a great wench". He told them that on several occasions, he had seen MAwby leaving a "hovel" (The New Inn) on the outskirts of town with other men, and that on at least one occasion, he had caught Mawby in the act with the other man's breeches down, he "breast over a rail" and Mawby engaging in an immoral act with him. The most shocking charge was that he had even discovered Mawby in an inappropriate situation involving a horse. 

The jury only needed ten minutes to find Barker guilty of slander and award Joseph Mawby the sum of £200.