Harry Stokes wasn’t the only female husband in Greater Manchester to hit the headlines.
1861: CONCEALMENT OF SEX – “Mr Thomas Green was a lady”
In May 1861, Salford County Court sentenced Thomas Green to 20 days in prison for not paying a debt. He was a repeat offender and this was to be his third stretch in the clink.
Before starting his sentence, Thomas was ordered to take a bath. He objected but a warden forced him to undress. Prison officials were astonished to discover that Thomas had a woman’s body. Court officials were summoned, they interviewed Thomas and then set him free deciding he couldn’t serve time in a male prison. Thomas was dismissed to his “affectionate wife”
1862 – John Jones – A WOMAN IN MAN’S CLOTHING FOR SIX YEARS
In March 1862, Ann McGaul, “a woman dressed as a man” who went by the name of John Jones, appeared at Manchester City Magistrates. Mr Jones was charged with creating a disturbance at his lodging house, annoying his landlady and threatening to beat his wife Sarah. After promising not to repeat the annoyance the court discharged him, but John “had to be kept in the dock awhile to protect her from being mobbed outside the court” by curious onlookers. Journalists reckoned that John Jones lived as man for financial reasons – he could earn 2 shillings sixpence a day at ‘man’s work’, but just 1 shilling a day as a woman.