Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Illegal pub

Here's a tale of an illegal pub, as reported in the News of the World (Sunday, June 15, 1856, page 7)

"A Den of Profligacy and Vice
Mary Phelps was charged with selling beer, gin, and other fermented liquors, at a court in Golden lane, St. Luke's, without being licensed for the same. - Inspector Brennan said that the practice of selling beer, and a vile composition which the vendors called gin, after the licensed houses had closed, and also on a Sunday morning, had lately become so prevalent in the courts of Golden Lane, and the complaints of the drunkenness and vice at the police station so numerous, that the police had received strict injunctions to put them down; but such was the systematic way in which the trade carried on, that it was not until parties unconnected with that body were employed that a case could properly be brought forward. Defendant could not plead ignorance of the law, having before been fined for a similar offence, and her mother and father had also been imprisoned and fined for the like. The house in which the defendants lived was the resort of the worst thieves and prostitutes, and he mentioned several instances of profligacy and vice which he had witnessed, and which caused a sensation in court. - The defendant said she has a small family to support, and hoped his worship would look over it. - Mr. Tyrwhitt said he should fine her 40s, or a month's imprisonment with hard labour. - The money not being forthcoming, the prisoner was taken off."

I wonder what the "several instances of profligacy and vice" were that so shocked the court?

1 comment:

Oblivious said...

We had the shebeen a popular combination of cheep drink and starving the authorities of tax money

There are still some pubs around call An shebeen