Tag Archives: prostitutes

Group Hanky Panky in Perth? NOOOOO!




Perth Courier 1888

Mrs. Tufts, inmate of the dwelling in which the late “Yankee Brown” died and Tim Ryan, who assisted to shape and dress the remains say that there is no truth in the report current that the house was made hideous by the alleged orgies and scandalous actions of certain persons in town.

I find it hard to believe there was “group hanky panky” in proper Perth back in those days. For the love of all things human, how people love to talk– and still talk. I don’t think Perth even engaged in the Spring festivals with wild dancing and where sausages played an important part. But, that was the 5th century, and Perth wasn’t really around then was it?

Of course they could have participated in the village Maypole sensual dancing around that phallic symbol. As legend goes, once the frenzied la-de-da dancing was over they “retired” to the fields and open meadows to insure the fertility of the land.  Personally, I believe that some how the terrain of Lanark County would not be comforting to those that “wanted to entertain” for the prosperous yields of the crops.  Of course it must be remembered that the Puritans in jolly old England made Maypoles illegal in 1644.

How would one honestly keep tabs on wind patterns inside such a bawdy house in Perth? It was well known that if Victorians wanted “strapping children” they must ‘begat when the wind is blowing north’. No mention was made about the easterly wind, and really it sounds like Mrs. Tufts was not bothered one iota about the matters of the utmost importance of the human race. It also appears to the novice mind that if ten maidens came out of that house of ill repute in Perth- nine of them came out with child. But, that my friends is just my personal opinion.

It has been recorded that the Victorians loved their sordid literature, and one might think with the quaint bookstores in the town of Perth– there was a market. Well, at least willing to read about the mass orgies, but in reality they lived in squares and thought in triangles, and drew the line at what was reported in the Perth Courier.

As the parody book called:  ‘Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride’ by Ruth Smythers wrote on the “Conduct and Procedure of the Intimate and Personal Relationships of the Marriage State for the Greater Spiritual Sanctity of this Blessed Sacrament and the Glory of God” in 1894:

“Give little, give seldom, and above all, give grudgingly!”

Or in laymen’s terms:

“Just close your eyes and think of England.”





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Great Social Evils —The Contagious Diseases Act of Canada


Granted, there were other, horribly sexist and awful laws enacted through our time but the  Contagious Diseases Acts in the 1860s was awful. These acts forced women to involuntary genital examination if they were suspected of having a venereal disease or had an affair. They were brutal, unfair, and cruel– and immediately people protested them and sought to have the laws repealed–which they finally were in the early 1880s.

It began in 1864 when something underhand happened in the Houses of Parliament in the UK. A bill was passed with no publicity, no debate, no discussion and no dissent. The public knew nothing about it, for all that the newspapers reported was that ‘The Contagious Diseases Bill passed its reading’.

By an extraordinary  ‘coincidence’, a Bill for the prevention of contagious diseases in cattle were also being debated around that time, and under precisely the same name ‘the Contagious Diseases Bill’, and so of course people assumed that any mention of those words in the newspapers referred to diseases of cows.

And so in 1864 a new law was brought in quickly. The secrecy was maintained when it was extended in 1866 and again in 1869. But the new law did not apply to cattle at all; it stripped half the human population of their civil rights. And this was known only by the few who administered and applied it.


This meant that any woman walking along a street in her own town was liable to be watched and followed by a plain-clothed policeman hell bent on identifying prostitutes. In those days without cars, most ordinary women walked everywhere, whether going to work, to church, to meetings, or on errands, shopping, or visiting. Every one of them, in 138 towns and parishes, fell under suspicion. A woman need only bump into a male acquaintance in the street and exchange a “good evening” with him to find herself arrested and forcibly genitally examined.


The “Contagious Disease Act” also passed in Canadian parliament and existed from 1865-1870 but there was silence among the Canadian public with regards to the act. But it was known as a way to control venereal disease and attempt to rehabilitate those who were a prostitute or had an out of wedlock affair— if they were proven guilty they were sent off to asylums and prisons.

The 19th century Canadians had no idea how to treat  prostitution, and wondered if it was a necessary evil, or the result of a male sexual erection. Anyone could swear that a female  was a woman of ill repute before a justice of the peace and she would be forced to be examined. In the UK the law was restricted to ports where the military sailed in, but in Canada it was governed everywhere.

Many middle class and upper class women put themselves in a straitjacket of chastity which forced their husbands to seek fallen women. There were so many false promises of marriages, mock marriages that had no legal status and deliberate attempts to entangle a woman in debt or emotional dependency that reform for the law was demanded. It was said the reason being was that Canadian women were being forced into prostitution by untruthful men. Of course men were never examined as they objected to it. Bet this was a tale no one ever told you. I know I had not heard about it until today.

Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place


Walking With Ghosts — Tales of the Chatteron House Corset – Zoomer



Walking With Ghosts — Tales of the Chatteron House Corset – Zoomer.