This article examines the origins of procurement offences and their historical development in England. Procurement offences were created in 1885 to tackle so-called white slavery, as trafficking in women was then sensationally called. Through an analysis of a series of lower-level and appeal cases heard between the years of 1885 and 1925 and their social context, this article dispels myths about procurement for prostitution as an international, organised crime, showing instead how it was localised and poverty driven. The article also shows how procurement transformed from a narrowly defined trafficking-related offence into a broadly applied sexual offence. It came to be used as a ‘catch-all’ sexual offence that had the potential to encompass various distinct offences, from trafficking, rape and child sex abuse to deceptive sex. The legal history of the procurement is of particular importance as deception and questions of conditional consent remain deeply contested in modern criminal law.