Search Browse On This Day Timeline Research Remembered About Contact
☶ Go up a page

Timeline: Pre 1900s

9 November 1795

  • (James) Miranda Steuart Barry is born (Ireland). Link: Wikipedia

3 November 1802

26 February 1817

  • Feminist and businesswoman Mary Taylor is born (Yorkshire, United Kingdom). Taylor was a life-long friend and some say lover of writer Charlotte Bronte. Links: Te Ara,

4 December 1835

December 1836

  • Missionary William Yate leaves New Zealand (New Zealand). Yate leaves for England after an inquiry into allegations of sexual activity with some of his male pupils. Link: Te Ara


6 February 1840

  • The Treaty of Waitangi is signed (Waitangi). New Zealand becomes part of the British Empire. This in turn makes homosexual acts illegal and punishable by death. Link: NZ History

24 July 1845

  • Mary Taylor arrives in New Zealand (New Zealand). Taylor is a life-long friend and some say lover of writer Charlotte Bronte. She returns to England in 1860. Links: Te Ara,

2 April 1854

  • Photographer Robert Gant is born (United Kingdom). Gant is born in Woolwich (now Greater London). At the age of 21 he immigrates to Wellington, New Zealand

16 October 1854

  • Writer Oscar Wilde is born (United Kingdom). Link: Wikipedia

18 May 1859

  • Confidence trickster Amy Bock is born (Tasmania, Australia). Link: Te Ara

26 September 1860


  • The United Kingdom's death penalty for buggery is abolished (United Kingdom). However, male homosexual acts still remain illegal and are punishable by imprisonment. Link: Wikipedia

12 September 1861

  • Painter Dorothy Richmond is born (Auckland). Link: Te Ara

20 May 1863

  • Rev H M Turton is tried in the Supreme Court on a charge of sodomy (Nelson). One of Turton's servants had accused him of an incident in October 1862. The jury found Turton not guilty. Link: Papers Past

September 1863

25 July 1865

  • James Miranda Steuart Barry dies (London, United Kingdom). Link: Wikipedia

17 July 1867

  • Hon Major Richardson introduces the Offences Against the Person Bill (1867) (New Zealand). The Bill states that a person convicted of sodomy can be imprisoned for life and anyone convicted of attempted buggery or an indecent assault on a male can serve up to ten years imprisonment (Offences Against the Person Act 1867 / Unnatural Offences, 58-60). Links: Early NZ Statutes, Hansard

10 October 1867

  • The Offences Against the Person Act (1867) is enacted (New Zealand). The Act says that a person convicted of sodomy can be imprisoned for life and anyone convicted of attempted buggery or an indecent assault on a male can serve up to ten years imprisonment (refer Unnatural Offences, 58-60). Links: Early NZ Statutes, Hansard

14 May 1868

  • Physician and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld is born Link: Wikipedia

14 September 1868

  • Alexander Turnbull is born (Wellington). During his life Turnbull collected a wide variety of manuscripts and documents. He later donated his collection to the country - forming the basis of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Links: Te Ara,

28 April 1869

6 October 1874


  • Eugenia Falleni (a.k.a Harry Crawford) is born (Italy). Falleni lived as a man, married Annie Birkett and was subsequently convicted of murdering her in 1920 in Australia. Born in Italy, Falleni had moved to Wellington, New Zealand in 1877. In 1996 Lorae Parry wrote Eugenia a play based on Falleni's life. Link: Wikipedia

29 June 1875

  • Charles Mackay is born (Nelson). Mackay later became the mayor of Wanganui. Links: Te Ara,

July 1876

  • Robert Gant arrives in Wellington (Wellington). Gant emigrates from the United Kingdom

26 July 1877

  • William Yate dies Link: Te Ara

17 June 1882

  • Plastic surgeon Harold Gillies is born (Dunedin). Gillies is widely considered the father of plastic and gender reassignment surgery. Link: Wikipedia

16 September 1882


  • The buggery law in the United Kingdom is extended to include any kind of sexual activity between males (United Kingdom). (Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885). Link: Wikipedia

30 April 1886

  • Amy Bock is convicted of obtaining goods by false pretences (Christchurch). Link: Papers Past

14 October 1888

  • Writer Katherine Mansfield (nee Beauchamp) is born (Wellington). Links: Te Ara, PrideNZ

10 April 1890

  • Maata Mahupuku is born (New Zealand). Mahupuku was later a lover of Katherine Mansfield. Link: Te Ara

1 March 1893

  • Mary Taylor dies (Yorkshire, United Kingdom). Link: Te Ara

19 September 1893

  • New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in parliamentary elections (New Zealand). Links: NZ History, Papers Past

6 October 1893

  • The Criminal Code Act 1893 is enacted (New Zealand). The Act outlaws any sexual activity between men (even if it's consensual). Penalties include life imprisonment, hard labour and flogging (refer Crimes Against Morality, 136-139). Link: Early New Zealand Statutes

6 April 1895

26 May 1895

  • Oscar Wilde is convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years hard labour (London, United Kingdom). Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia

10 July 1895

  • Miles Radcliffe is born (Wellington). Radcliffe was later killed, aged 50, on 5 February 1946

22 January 1896

  • Poet Walter D'Arcy Cresswell is born (Christchurch). Cresswell was later shot by Charles Mackay, mayor of Wanganui. Links: Te Ara,


14 May 1897

  • Magnus Hirschfeld founds the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Berlin, Germany). The Committee was formed to campaign for social recognition of gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, and against their legal persecution. It was the first LGBT rights organisation in history. Link: Wikipedia

2 December 1897

  • Writer and educator Rewi Alley is born (Canterbury region). Links: Wikipedia, Te Ara

2 May 1898

  • Lawyer and social reformer Frank Haigh is born (Lower Hutt). Among other things Haigh was prominent in the cause of homosexual law reform. Link: Te Ara