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A Peculiar case of Non-Consensual Kiss and Nose biting happened in Victorian Era

Representational Image of Court Room- Saverland vs. Newton case
Pic credit- Snopes

In 1837, a very peculiar case came into the light where a man sued a woman as she bit off his left half of the nose when he was forcing a kiss on her.

The infamous case of Britain- Saverland VS Newton in which a British man named Thomas Saverland accused Miss Caroline Newton of biting his nose off after he attempted to steal a kiss at a party.

According to Saverland’s testimony, he met Miss Newton and her sister in a tap-room, a day after Christmas.

Her sister laughingly said how Miss Newton took a pledge to not kiss anybody while her young man was away.

Mr Thomas took this pledge as a challenge and he forced himself on her to kiss. In return, Newton got his nose in her mouth and bit a portion off and spat it out on the floor.

Famous painting "A Kiss"
Pic Credit: Otto Friedrich

You shouldn’t be surprised after hearing this ordeal because it has been happening till yet. How a woman can take such pledges when there are several MEN are waiting for breaking the rules!

Now, after taking this matter to the Court, the bar responded to Mr Thomas Saverland. The bar said that they were sorry for such an accident but Saverland was asking for that.

As the prosecutor had brought the punishment on himself, the court stated that if they found her guilty they would not fine her more than 1s.

The bar concluded the case on a very interesting note: Gentlemen, my opinion is that if a man attempts to kiss a woman against her will, she has a right to bite his nose off and eat it too.

The Guardian news article from 1837

Several media houses covered this case because of the nature of crime and judgement.

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