Taverns and More

Eighteenth-century taverns and cafés where sodomites sought refreshment and privacy should not be confused with gay bars in today’s Marais. They did not have names or flags on the doors that identified them as segregated meeting places for men who desired men. They had mixed clienteles, and they offered shelter from the elements but not from surveillance, not in common rooms on the main floor or in smaller rooms upstairs. Although some establishments, such as The Magpie, had reputations for welcoming sodomites, more than a few men learned the hard way that “a tavern was not a safe spot” (AB 12055, f. 295).1 The abbé de Boisrenaud asserted that “as half of Paris was of this inclination, no tavernkeepers ignore it, and all were vigilant on this score” (AB 10255, f. 208v). He suspected that they would be suspicious of any older and younger male who requested a private room.2

In many cases the sources provide nothing but the name of the tavern, sometimes without address or details. In some cases they tell us more. A sodomite and an officer described the Magpie on rue Saint-Germain in different language, as “a place where one had a good time and where one did what one pleased” (AB 10811, f. 16) and as “a place long known to receive these sorts of folks, in order to conceal their turpitudes better” (AB 10254, dossiers Deu and Dufour).3

A sodomite assured a decoy that “there will be nothing to fear” at the Queen of Sweden (AB 10258, f. 58v). Officers identified the Brilliant Moon (AN, Y13408, 16 August and 15 October 1781), the Cauldron  (AB 10255, f. 211), the Horseshoe (AB 10259, f. 87), the Image of Our Lady (AB 10812, f. 176), the Orangery  (AB 10257, f. 119, 11 November 1727), the Silver Lion (AB 10259, f. 53), and the Small Chair (AB 10258, f. 249; 10698, f. 56) as establishments frequented by men who sought sex with men. The database will allow us to locate, map out, and study all cases in such milieux.

Cabaret Ramponneau Saint-Aubin,Café Alexandre  

Cabaret Ramponneau & Saint-Aubin, Café Alexandre

Working list of taverns and cafés

 

Name [English], location

 

Café Alexandre, boulevard du Temple

Café des Arts [Arts]

L’Ami du Coeur [Friend of the Heart], faubourg Saint-Germain

L’Ange [Angel], rue de la Mortellerie

 

Le Bacchus [Bacchus]

Aux Balances [Scales], Marché neuf

Le Beau Salon [Fine Salon]

Au Bon Chrétien [Good Christian], rue Sainte-Anne

Les Bons Enfants [Good Children], rue de Clichy

Café de la Bourse [Exchange], rue Vivienne

 

Le Cadran Bleu [Blue Sundial]

La Cage sous les Piliers [Cage under the Columns], central market

La Cave des Mousquetaires [Cellar of the Musketeers]

Le Caveau [Cavern], Palais Royal

Le Cerveau d’Or [Golden Brain]

La Chasse Royale [Royal Hunt]

Le Chaudron [Cauldron], la Courtille

Chez Chazé, central market

Le Coq [Rooster], rue de la Tissanderie

Le Cordon Bleu [Blue Cord]

La Couronne d’or [Gold Crown], quai des Grands Augustins

La Croix [Cross], rue de la Huchette

La Croix Blanche [White Cross], rue des Fossoyeurs, rue du Four, rue Saint-André-des-Arts

La Croix d’Or [Gold Cross], near Quinze-Vingts, opposite Saint-Denis-de-la-Chartre, rue de la Tannerie, rue des Boucheries

La Croix de Lorraine [Cross of Lorraine], rue des Vieux Augustins

Le Cyne [Swan], near Gobelins tapestry factory

Le Cygne Rouge [Red Swan], rue Saint-Antoine

 

Les Deux Boules [Two Balls], rue Baillet

Les Deux Jardiniers [Two Gardeners], rue des Boucheries

Le Duc de Bourgogne [Duke of Burgundy]

Le Duc de Bretagne [Duke of Brittany], Porcherons?

Chez Dupuis, rue Saint-Honoré

 

L’Epée de Bois [Wooden Sword], place du Palais Royal

L’Epée royal [Royal Sword], marché au poivre, opposite the premier guichet du Louvre

L’Etoile [Star], rue du Bac

 

Café Fayard, rue des Fossés-Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois

Le Fer à Cheval [Horseshoe], la Courtille

La Fleur de Lys [The Lily], Marché neuf

Café de Foy, rue de Richelieu

Franc Pinot [Pure Pinot], rue Fromenteau

 

Au Gaillard Bois [Merry Woods], near the fontaine du Diable

La Galère [Galley], rue Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre

La Grâce de Dieu [Grace of God]

Le Grand Monarque [Grand Monarch], Porcherons?

Le Grand Salon [Great Salon], Nouvelle France, Porcherons

Le Grand Vainqueur [Great Victor], rue de Vaugirard

La Grande Pinte [Big Pint], near the porte d’Antin

Le Gros Raisin [Fat Grape], rue du Vieux Colombier

 

L’Hôtel de la Monnaie [Mint], butte Saint-Roch

 

L’Image de la Madeleine [Image of the Magdalen]

L’Image de la Vierge [Image of the Virgin], rue de la Harpe

L’Image de Notre-Dame [Image of Our Lady], rue des Francs-Bourgeois & rue de Vaugirard?

L’Image de Saint-Christophe [Image of Saint Christopher], rue Bordet

L’Image de Saint-Fiacre, [Image of Saint Fiacre]la Haute Borne

L’Image de Saint-Jacques [Image of Saint James]

L’Image de Saint-Julien [Image of Saint Julian], Porcherons

L’Image de Saint-Nicolas [Image of Saint Nicolas], rue de la Huchette

L’Image de Saint-Pierre [Image of Saint Peter], rue de Clichy, rue du Four Saint-Eustache, rue Jean Tiron, Gros Caillou

L’Image de Sainte-Geneviève [Image of Saint Genevieve]

 

Le Jardin des Coeurs [Garden of Hearts], rue de Popincourt

 

Le Lion d’Argent [Silver Lion], la Courtille

Le Lion d’Or [Golden Lion], rue Montorgeuil

Le Louis d’Argent [Silver Louis], rue des Boucheries

La Lune Brilliante [Brilliant Moon], rue de Vaugirard and rue Bargue

 

Le Merle blanc [White Crow]

Le Mouton [Sheep], rue des Vieilles-Etuves

Le Mouton rouge [Red Sheep], rue Saint-Honoré

 

L’Orangerie [Orangery], rue de Grenelle

 

Café de la Paix [Peace]

Chez Paulin, barrière de la Courtille

Le Petit More [Little Moor]

Le Petit Trianon [small palace on the grounds of the château of Versailles]

La Petite Chaise [Small Chair], rue de la Chaise

 

La Petite Hotte [Little Basket], rue Saint-Jacques

La Pie [Magpie], rue Saint-Germain near the For-l’Evêque prison

Le Pied de Biche [Doe’s Foot], faubourg Saint-Denis

La Pierre au Lait [Milk Stone]

Le Pistolet [Pistol], la Courtille

Aux Poiriers [Pear Trees], rue des Marmouzets

Le Pomme de Pin [Pine Cone], rue de la Juiverie

 

Aux Quatre Maires [Four Mayors], rue Dauphine

 

La Raquette [Racket], rue de Buci

Aux Rats [Rats], rue Saint-Germain

La Reine d’Hongroie [Queen of Hungary], rue de Seine

La Reine de Suède [Queen of Sweden], rue de Seine

Café de Richard, rue des Vieilles-Etuves-Saint-Martin

La Roche-Guyon [commune in the Ile de France]

Le Roi d’Angleterre [King of England], rue du Paon

Au Roi des Labourers [King of Farmers], place Maubert

 

Au Sabot [Wooden Shoe], rue de la Harpe

Le Saint-Vincent [Saint Vincent], rue Saint-André-des-Arts

La Sainte Esprit [Holy Spirit], la Courtille

Les Six Moineaux [Six Sparrows], rue des Juifs

Le Soleil d’Or [Golden Sun], rue Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, rue de l’Egout

 

La Talmouse [type of cheese cake]

La Tête Noire [Black Head], rue de la Harpe

La Tour d’Argent [Silver Tower], Marché neuf, rue des Prêtres Saint-Germain

La Tour de Maines [Tower of Malines]

Les Trois Corbillons, [Three Baskets] rue Saint-Antoine

Les Trois Pigeons [Three Pigeons], rue Saint-Honorè near Saint-Roch or rue au Maire?

Les Trois Poissons [Three Fish], rue de Seine

 

Café d’Yon, boulevard du Temple

 

Author: Jeffrey Merrick

  1. Charles Gentil, 25-30, tavernkeeper of The Holy Spirit in la Courtille, who “receives at his place infâmes of various ages who go there to engage in debauchery with him” (AB 10834, f. 240), made this remark to a decoy but assured him that he and his friends would be safe at his establishment. The dossier includes reports of observations there.
  2. For just such a case see AB 10259, ff. 6-9.
  3. A few years later another sodomite reported that its master and mistress no longer made such men welcome there. AB 10797, f. 50v.