In 1737 Thistlethwayte fled to Boulogne after being accused of making homosexual advances towards a student, William French, whose tutor John Swinton was also accused of homosexual practices. Satirical poetry was written about these events. The following limerick possibly also refers to Thistlethwayte.
- There once was a Warden of Wadham
- Who approved of the folkways of Sodom,
- For a man might, he said,
- Have a very poor head
- But be a fine Fellow, at bottom.
Allegations of homosexual behaviour, which was considered scandalous at that time, and the College's decision to take out fire insurance combined to prompt the following verse:
- Well did the am'rous sone of Wadham
- Insure their house 'gainst future flame;
- They knew their crime, the crime of Sodom,
- And judg'd their punishment the same.
Based on a Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Thistlethwayte
- http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/rome.htm Rictor Norton, The State of Rome, 1739 http://web.archive.org/web/20060925024300/http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/rome.htm
- http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/limerick.htm Bawdy Limericks 1998 http://web.archive.org/web/20060925025111/http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/limerick.htm