I found the following story in Rona Levin's Comic, Curious & Quirky: News Stories from Centuries Past, pg. 152. The original source was the Ipswich Journal, October 23, 1784.
"A curious marriage was lately celebrated in Drury Lane, which strongly marks the progress of folly and dissipation. A man of some considerable fortune was kept for a week in a bagnio [brothel] in a state of intoxication, and became so infatuated as to propose immediate marriage to one of the most common prostitutes of the place."
It's not bad enough that she's a prostitue, she had to be a common prostitute.
"Care was taken that he should be kept as devoid of reason as possible, until the business was finished, which was done with all the splendour of Old Drury.
"He gave a grand dinner to the Mother Abbess [the brothel madam], and as many nuns [prostitutes] as she pleased to invite — and thus a gentleman, who perhaps deserved a better fate, was hurried by intoxication and proportioned infatuation, into a life of shame and misery. Let the youth of spirit and intrigue read this, and learn to avoid those haunts, and that company, where, the ambition is, to level all to the same standard of unhappiness, and delude human nature by the corrupt influence of its dregs."
Y'all, I don't believe ONE WORD of this. I don't doubt that the article itself is authentic, but if this had really happened, you better believe we'd have heard the name of the gentleman involved. Probably not directly, but through the long habit of naming people by putting dashes in the place of a couple of letters in their names, to 'protect their privacy'. If this had really happened to someone (say his name was Mr. Williams), they would have written, "Mr. W-ll-ms of Harrogate" as their way of being discreet.
No, sadly, while this makes a great story, I think it's just morality propaganda.