In the 18th and 19th Centuries there are many recorded instances of women who lived their lives dressed as men. Often this was to allow them entry to jobs, situations and professions from which women were excluded.
1750 Female to male transvestites join Nelson's Navy as did hundreds of others and were only discovered when they were flogged. They were never punished when they were discovered and often went on stage and became celebrities wowing audiences backed by an all singing and all dancing group of crossed dressed transvestite tars. Mary Lacy known as William Chandler who served on the Sandwich as a carpenter is one of the most famous as 'she' wrote a biography others include William Brown who served on the Queen Charlotte until being outed by a newspaper in 1815, and Hannah Snell AKA James Gray served as a navy marine until 1750.
To read the story of a local figure, Jockey John, click HERE
To read the story of Hannah Snell, click HERE