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The Great Army of Drinkers

  • Thora Hands
Open Access
Chapter

Abstract

Chapter three investigates ideas about the ‘great army of drinkers’ that continued to drink alcohol despite moral pressure and political control of alcohol sale and consumption. One of the richest sources of information on alcohol consumers lies within the reports of parliamentary enquiries on alcohol held during the second half of the nineteenth century. During these enquiries, witnesses from across Britain gave detailed accounts of drinking within their towns, cities and districts. This provides insights into different types of drinking behaviour and also into the ways in which alcohol consumers were imagined and portrayed.

There can be no doubt that the great majority of those who purchase and consume liquor are not guilty of intoxication, nor are the places where it is sold by any means so universally the scenes of drunkenness and disorder as to call for their universal suppression on that ground alone. It does not seem therefore either just or expedient that the perfectly moderate and harmless purchase and use of liquor by the majority of persons should be prevented because there are some who abuse the purchase and use of it to their own hurt and that of others. 1

The Licensing Acts of 1869 and 1872 marked a turning point in British alcohol history. Laissez-faire policies were to some extent set aside because a greater degree of state control was considered necessary to prevent drunkenness and public disorder. Yet as the quote above shows, it was the nature and extent of alcohol controls that fuelled political debates and parliamentary enquiries in the late nineteenth century. The quote comes from the report of The Select Committee on Intemperance, which was appointed in 1877 to review the effects of the restrictive measures imposed by the Licensing Acts. Although the committee heard evidence of drunkenness across towns and cities in Britain, it rejected calls from temperance campaigners for strict licensing restrictions or for outright prohibition. The committee believed there were no grounds for such extreme measures because the majority of people drank moderately. In an analysis of the political manoeuvres of temperance campaigners, James Nicholls states that ‘standing between radical teetotallers and the sober millennium was an enormous army of moderate drinkers for whom teetotal reclamation meant nothing.’ 2 In other words, moral suasion and legislative controls did little to deter the majority of people from consuming alcohol. A great army of drinkers was a force to be reckoned with—not only for temperance campaigners and politicians but also for the drink trade. In a political battle between government and commerce over alcohol control, consumers were not mere pawns of war. Instead, they were the agents of victory for either side. Therefore, gaining knowledge of this army of drinkers held enormous political value.

This chapter examines the efforts made at a political level to investigate the majority of drinkers in the late Victorian period. One of the richest sources of information on alcohol consumers lies within the reports of various parliamentary enquiries on alcohol held during the second half of the nineteenth century. During these enquiries, witnesses from across Britain gave detailed accounts of drinking within their towns, cities and districts. A close reading of the minutes of evidence reveals that alcohol consumers were imagined and represented in different ways at different times, often reflecting the changing social and cultural context of alcohol sale and consumption. The chapter draws upon evidence from four major parliamentary enquiries on alcohol in the latter half of the nineteenth century: The 1853 Select Committee on Public Houses (1853 enquiry), which was appointed to investigate the regulation of drinking establishments created in the wake of The 1830 Beer Act; The 1872 Select Committee on Habitual Drunkards (1872 enquiry) which examined the existing laws on the control of drunkenness; The 1877 Select Committee on Intemperance (1877 enquiry) which was appointed to investigate the causes and extent of intemperance across Britain and The 1897 Royal Commission on Liquor Licensing (1897 enquiry) which examined the laws relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol. Another important enquiry on alcohol was The 1890 Select Committee on British and Foreign Spirits (1890 enquiry), which was appointed in the interests of public health to examine the system for the manufacture and sale of spirits.

These enquires provide rich sources of qualitative and quantitative information on alcohol consumers. This evidence must however be weighed against the political nature of the enquiries. The reports could to some extent be regarded as discourses of alcohol consumption, which provide a distorted ‘top-down’ account of alcohol consumers framed by political motives and moral concerns about intemperance. Yet it is important to consider that many committee members were themselves alcohol consumers and often the line of questioning reveals as much about their ideas as the evidence given by witnesses. A close reading of the minutes of evidence reveals insights into ideas about the majority of alcohol consumers—who they were, what they drank and where they drank and how ideas about moderate drinking and drunkenness changed over time. This chapter considers the extent to which these ideas about drinkers, drinks and drinking places shaped impressions of alcohol consumers.

‘Is There Anything Among the Working Classes Like a Moderate Drinker’?

The parliamentary enquiries on alcohol in the last half of the nineteenth century largely focused on investigating issues of intemperance primarily but not exclusively among the working classes. During the 1877 enquiry, one of the committee members asked Joseph Chamberlain, then an MP for Birmingham ‘We hear a great deal about moderate drinkers; is there anything among the working classes like a moderate drinker; that is to say, is there anything as a rule in the way of a medium between a teetotaller and a man going utterly into drink?’ 3 In reply to the question, Chamberlain stated that in his opinion there were many cases of ‘occasional drunkards’ and that habitual drunkards were a small minority in any social class. Yet he went on to provide evidence from a study on Saturday night drinking in Birmingham conducted by The UK Alliance, a prominent temperance organisation. The study showed that on one Saturday night alone, 14,165 people came out of 35 pubs during the three hours of observation and that 838 of those were deemed drunk. Chamberlain argued that the study highlighted the weakness in police statistics which under-represented the extent of drunkenness in larger cities. He stated that the drunkenness observed on that Saturday night was 1500 times greater than the drunken arrests recorded on the same night. 4 It was perhaps Chamberlain’s aim to present evidence of widespread drinking among the working classes and therefore it did not matter if the Saturday night pub goers in Birmingham were moderate drinkers or habitual drunkards. Nor did the fact that 14,165 people were drinking on a Saturday night yet only 838 were deemed drunk which meant that over 13,000 pub goers remained relatively sober. Temperance advocates recorded the numbers of what they believed to be drunk people leaving pubs. The committee cross-examined Chamberlain on the reliability of a study conducted by temperance campaigners who were unlikely to be impartial when classifying drunkenness. Just how they classified drunkenness is unclear but it is likely to have been along the lines of ‘falling down drunk’ and since most people leaving the pubs were not showing visible signs of falling-down drunkenness, it could have reasonably been argued that most drank moderately. Yet this appeared to be less important than the sheer numbers of drinkers.

The 1877 enquiry heard evidence from a range of witnesses from urban and rural regions of Britain who described different types of drinking and drunkenness. The Chief Constable of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Captain Samuel James Nicholls gave evidence of drinking patterns in the Newcastle area. Nicholls described the character of the Newcastle population as manufacturing and industrial—chiefly mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, coal mining and the chemical industries. He noted that although Newcastle was a thriving industrial city, it was also prone to frequent trade depressions. Nicholls described the pattern of working men’s drinking which centred on their working lives and hours of employment. He believed that drinking was more of a ‘nuisance’ at the weekend when men finished work at 1 p.m. on a Saturday then went to the pub and drank away their wages until closing time. The drinking continued on a Sunday evening and all-day Monday, as many men in Newcastle still observed the unofficial day-off work known as Saint Monday. Nicholls described how miners in the region around Newcastle would ‘come into the moor’ (which was a large section of common ground on the outskirts of Newcastle) on Saturdays for sporting events and then carry on to the local pubs in the evening. The miners would take part in rabbit coursing which Nicholls described as ‘a very great nuisance to the respectable community, on account of the disgusting language used by competitors and their backers.’ 5 Although Nicholls found the weekend leisure pursuits of Newcastle’s miners somewhat distasteful, he linked their drinking habits to their type of employment. These were men employed in heavy industries and although many of them drank heavily at weekends, Nicholls believed that drunkenness was a problem mainly confined to poorer sections of the working classes and that the ‘respectable classes’ were becoming more sober. It is not clear from his evidence whether Nicholls’ considered the miners to be ‘respectable’ but he did draw a distinction between heavy weekend drinking and the type of drunkenness that resulted in crime or public disorder.

The dichotomy thought to exist between the drinking habits of the ‘respectable’ and ‘rough’ working classes was also highlighted in the evidence given to the committee by a Preston magistrate Charles Roger Jackson. In the late nineteenth century, Preston was a manufacturing and mining town with a large Irish population. Jackson’s evidence of the drinking habits of the working-class population mirrored that of Nicholls in that he believed most men drank at the weekends. The key difference was that the mill workers did not observe Saint Monday and therefore most drinking took place on the half-day Saturday holiday and Sunday evening. Jackson presented evidence from the Preston Savings Bank which detailed the employment status of depositors to make the point that not all men’s wages were drunk away at the weekend. Most were mill workers, followed by plasterers, railwaymen, policemen, labourers, shopwomen, workwomen, milliners, book keepers, clerks, shopkeepers, tradesmen, farmers, gardeners, spinsters, widows and married women. 6 When asked for the point in presenting this evidence, Jackson replied that it was to show that money was being saved and not spent on drink and that not all of the working classes were frittering their wages away on drink every week but that some, arguably the more ‘respectable’ sections, were either abstaining or drinking moderately.

The witness testimonies of the 1877 enquiry showed that drinking was often an integral part of working men’s lives, particularly in heavy industries, manufacturing and also in the armed services. The 1877 committee was keen to investigate the relationship that existed between working life and drinking habits in order to assess how the numbers of pubs and pub opening hours impacted upon the extent of intemperance. Some witnesses believed that working-class men drank away their wages at the weekend and that heavy drinking was the main reason for observing Saint Monday. However, there seemed to be a distinction drawn between heavy drinking and drunkenness and although both were considered problematic, some witnesses implied that the worst problems of drunkenness existed mainly among the lowest classes of society. In this sense, heavy weekend drinking and indeed drinking during working hours rested somewhere on a spectrum between moderate drinking and drunkenness. The witnesses seemed to acknowledge that heavy drinking was a part of working-class masculinity and therefore it was not viewed as particularly deviant or immoral—unless it led to or involved other ‘social evils’ such as gambling, domestic violence or prostitution. It appeared that some men drank heavily but still held down jobs and supported families. A sober industrial workforce may have been the moral and political ideal, but the 1877 enquiry was dealing with the realities of working-class life and it is clear that on a political level it was understood that working-class men’s drinking habits varied.

It seemed to be difficult to pin down one definition or type of drunkenness. One witness at the 1877 enquiry, John Matthias Weylland of the London City Mission, reported on his observations of working-class drinking from visiting pubs, gin palaces and dram shops in London and from speaking with barmen, barwomen and customers. Weylland had previously given evidence before the 1853 enquiry on his observations of pubs in and around the Marylebone area of London. For the purposes of the 1877 enquiry, he revisited these pubs and noted any changes. Weylland claimed that there was a marked increase in spirit drinking among men and women, which he believed caused a ‘great deal of drunkenness.’ 7 When asked by the committee to define drunkenness, Weylland replied that he considered a man to be drunk when he had lost his reason and was not capable of receiving instruction. He believed that there was still a great deal of drinking among what he termed the ‘roughs’ or the ‘drinking class’ of London but that most ‘other’ working-class people were moderate drinkers. 8 Another witness, Major John Grieg who was the Chief Constable of Liverpool, was questioned about the extent of drunkenness in the city. He presented statistics which showed an overall increase in drunken arrests in the city from 11,439 in 1857 to 20,551 in 1876. 9 However, there were fluctuations in the numbers of arrests during this period. When asked to account for these fluctuations Grieg pointed towards the maritime population of Liverpool

The floating population are, upon average, 20,000 seamen, increased by a west wind and decreased by an east wind. The docks are at our doors and the sailors come home, frequently with large arrears of pay to receive, which they spend thoughtlessly and most wickedly, I should say. 10

Grieg argued that the west wind brought in more ships and sailors who had money to spend on leisure activities that mainly involved alcohol and prostitutes. The pubs, beer houses and brothels situated around the Liverpool docks area made their livelihoods from catering to the demands and desires of the maritime population. A west wind may have blown in more drunkenness but Grieg seemed aware that it was a transient and in some ways an inevitable consequence of Liverpool’s status as a major port. This perhaps required a more pragmatic approach to policing drunkenness. When cross-examined on the types of drunken arrests, Grieg was asked to explain the category of ‘semi-drunkenness’ which appeared in the police statistics. He defined ‘semi drunkenness’ as being drunk but not sufficiently drunk to be locked up and explained that in some cases, people were apprehended and taken to the station where they would either sober up en route and go home or they would sober up in the police station. In either case they would be released without charge. This practice was not confined to Liverpool alone and witnesses from other parts of Britain gave evidence of cases of ‘simple’ drunkenness that were not considered to be criminal and therefore not a matter for the police. Indeed, Grieg stated that any officer who was found to have locked up a person unnecessarily was dealt with ‘severely’. 11 The Chief Constable of Birmingham, Major Edwin Bond went further and argued that legislation and over-policing of drunkenness could in fact worsen the problem

If instead of letting people have their natural refreshment in the way of their beer and their wine, we are constantly to be legislating upon the subject and damming it up into narrower limits, it will lead to very much worse troubles. I believe we should have secret drinking all round. 12

Major Bond also believed that there was a difference between ‘quietly drunk’ and ‘drunk and disorderly’ and when asked what measures were taken by his constables to deal with a drunken man he stated that ‘we do not say anything to him if he does not say anything to anybody else.’ 13 Another witness at the 1877 enquiry, Superintendent George Turner of the London Constabulary was asked to tell the committee what he called ‘really drunk’ and Turner replied

There are so many degrees of drunkenness, that I can hardly define it; but if a man is staggering and he can go home, we let him go. I should say that man was drunk, but if he could walk straight and reasonable, I should say he was ‘influenced’ but not drunk. 14

Turner was told reproachfully by the committee that he held ‘a very high standard of drunkenness.’ 15 However this kind of pragmatic approach to policing drunkenness perhaps saved police time and resources. The evidence from the police also highlights the difficulties that people had in pinning down one universal definition of drunkenness. There was a sense that ideas about drunkenness varied regionally and that different constabularies had their own methods for dealing with drunkards. It seemed important to allow men to go about their business if they were not deemed to be a public nuisance. In a sense, this seemed to be protecting the rights of the majority of men to go out and have a drink without fear of being locked up.

This issue of police interference in drinking habits was, of course, part of the larger debate about the liberty to drink versus state control. Although the parliamentary committees were established primarily to investigate issues of intemperance, any legislation enacted would affect the majority of drinkers. It sometimes fell to committee members to represent the views of the majority of drinkers by cross-examining pro-temperance witnesses. One example of this was the question and answer exchange that occurred during the 1877 enquiry when the Reverend D Burns of The UK Alliance (a national temperance association) was questioned by the Bishop of Peterborough, William Magee, who held anti-temperance views. 16 When asked by Magee if he would interfere with the liberty of a man to drink alcohol in his own house, Burns replied that he would not. Magee seemed dissatisfied with this response and prodded him further
Magee

: You would not pass a law that he should only drink at certain hours in his own house?

Burns

: No.

Magee

: And you would not send a policeman to see whether he drank more than was good for him, or drank at improper hours?

Burns

: No.

Magee

: Why would you not do so; I presume the reason would be that you respect the liberty of the individual?

Burns

: Yes I would.

Magee

: You would prefer that he should be free in his own house than be sober?

Burns

: I should prefer him being both.

Magee

: Supposing that you could make or keep a man sober by sending a policeman in and preventing his drinking, you would not do so because that would be an interference with the liberty of the subject?

Burns

: It would be utterly impractical to do so.

Magee

: I am not asking whether it would be impracticable to do so, but would you do it?

Burns

: I would not.

Magee

: Therefore if the choice were between a man being drunk in his own house and being kept sober by a visit from a policeman, you would not send in your policeman to make him sober or keep him so; in other words being compelled to choose, in that case you would rather leave him free than force him to be sober; is that not so?

Burns

: That would depend upon the circumstances. I do not think that you can lay down any broad principle to that effect. If the people of this country were so abusing this freedom of which your Lordship speaks, and they were systematically getting drunk in their own houses and thus destroying the State, I think measures of a very strong kind might be desirable; and even that interference with personal liberty might be desirable.

Magee

: But there is no doubt that many persons do abuse their personal liberty at this moment by getting drunk; do you propose that all persons sober as well as drunken, shall be put under the restraint of a policeman, because of the conduct of these people in their own house?

Burns

: Our Bill 17 does not propose to do that.

Magee

: But your Bill does propose to deprive sober people of their drink, because of the abuse of drunken persons; do you propose to carry that out or not?

Burns

: We propose only to interfere as far as the law has the right to interfere. 18

This exchange highlights the extent to which ideas about the freedom to drink were grounded in the division between public and private drinking. One consequence of the reduced pub opening hours imposed by The 1869 and 1872 Licensing Acts, was the increased popularity of working men’s clubs which were run by private members. These places were not regulated by the licensing acts and for this reason, private members clubs attracted the scorn of the drink trade and the wrath of temperance campaigners who viewed such establishments as stealing trade while promoting drunkenness among working men. 19 Throughout the 1877 and 1897 enquiries, witnesses were asked for their opinions or experiences of working men’s clubs and whether they considered these to be genuine and beneficial or ‘bogus’ establishments that operated as unlicensed pubs. Views were mixed and some witnesses like Joseph Chamberlain argued that the working men’s clubs in Birmingham were respectably run places that provided refreshments for men who worked late hours. 20 Others witnesses at the 1877 enquiry disagreed but the recommendations of the committee were that no change in the law regarding private clubs was deemed necessary. 21

By 1897 the issue of working men’s clubs lingered on. Witnesses such as Sir John Bridge, a senior London magistrate, argued that bogus clubs were a source of much illicit drinking. 22 However one of the committee members pointed out that the issue of private clubs was directed mainly at the working classes yet these clubs permeated the class system. 23 One witness at the 1897 enquiry was Algernon Bourke who the manager of Whites Club in London’s West End. In the late nineteenth century, the London club scene was thriving and many gentlemen’s clubs situated around Pall Mall and St James’s were frequented by men in prominent positions such as the landed elites, politicians, businessmen and the intelligentsia. Bourke was asked if the London clubs generated substantial amounts of income from the sale of liquor. He replied that this was not the case and that clubs made most of their money from membership fees. 24 He claimed that although there was a large amount of alcohol sold within clubs, the prices charged were moderate because clubs did not pay any excise duties or license fees. He was then asked for his opinions on licensing private clubs and replied that a license would be unfair to the men who used the London clubs ‘like a home’ because this would restrict the hours of sale of alcohol. Bourke stated that in theory, Whites could sell liquor all day and night but in practice this did not happen and instead the club usually closed between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m. and any alcohol sold within these hours was by special arrangement only. 25 He was also asked if ‘intoxication’ had increased or decreased in the West End of London (the word drunkenness was never used) and replied that in his opinion there was a great decrease in drinking among the upper classes.

The issue of regulating private clubs was controversial because it was a further infringement upon the personal liberty of men to drink alcohol in private whenever they chose to do so. Working men’s clubs and gentlemen’s clubs were created through male alliances and as such they represented masculine spaces where men could escape from the public world to socialise and drink alcohol in private. In essence, all the men-only private clubs delivered the same social goals. Political and moral concerns about working-class drunkenness cast a shadow over the idea of working men’s clubs. Yet it was never suggested that any of the London clubs could ever be ‘bogus’ and merely operate as unlicensed pubs and gambling dens. Implicit in the evidence about working men’s and gentlemen’s clubs was the assumption that ‘genuine’ clubs fostered moderate and respectable drinking habits. In a highly patriarchal culture, all men—including working-class men, had the right to socialise and drink in private. Even when the Licensing Act of 1902 made it compulsory for private clubs to be registered with local licensing authorities, this did not bring men’s clubs into line with other licensed premises and therefore meant that to some extent, private drinking was still protected by law.

The issue of genuine and bogus private members clubs was one of many instances where the committee’s sought to investigate the differences between respectably run and disreputable drinking places. During the 1897 enquiry, Sir John Bridge, a senior London Magistrate was asked if he could single out the worst types of pubs and beer shops. Bridge replied that he could not attach drunkenness to any particular drinking place, either licensed or illicit. However, another London magistrate, Alfred de Rutzen, believed that certain types of pubs encouraged more drunkenness. To illustrate his point, he gave an example of a London pub which by its design encouraged anonymous and sometimes illicit drinking

I went down to see it and I saw this state of things, which rather astonished me. The particular bar or compartment in which this man had been served was shut off from the bar by high sides, and between the bar and the compartment was an erection of dark glass through which nobody could see, and the consequence was that the people who were being served in the compartment could not see over it, and the only way you could see under it was through a little opening which was exactly the height of a quart pot through which any drink might be handed out and the money taken. As a matter of fact, nobody could see any single person who was in the bar and therefore almost any offence might have been committed, such as serving children or serving a policeman, serving spirits to young people under 16, and almost every single offence of that sort could have been committed without any human being who was serving in the bar seeing anybody. 26

Many late Victorian pubs were designed with compartments or separate bars that offered some degree of privacy for customers. For example, public bars sometimes contained compartments for the sale of liquor to be consumed off the premises and women sometimes drank in private closed-off bars. 27 Gin palaces, gin shops, vaults and dram shops were designed with less seating to attract high turnovers of customers, who drank quickly and left. Some witnesses regarded the profusion of pubs in cities and towns not as forming an integral and ‘normal’ part of daily life but rather as providing an escape from it.

A common theme running through the various parliamentary enquiries was that the working classes and particularly the poor were driven to drink through poor housing, poverty and a generally miserable existence. In the 1877 enquiry, John Bremner, a Manchester magistrate stated that in his opinion, the greatest numbers of pubs in Manchester were situated in the poorest areas with the worst types of housing. 28 Another witness at that enquiry, William Sproston Caine went further and argued that there was a direct link between the numbers of pubs and the death rates in certain areas of Liverpool. 29 Caine was a Liberal MP and fervent pro-temperance campaigner who held radical views on prohibition. He presented a map to the committee detailing the numbers of pubs and death rates in certain areas. When cross-examined by a somewhat sceptical sounding committee member who pointed out that death rates in poor areas may be linked to wider socio-economic factors, Caine stuck to his guns and argued that drinking, and particularly the trade in drink, caused death among the working classes. 30 The pro-temperance witnesses tended to give the most radical and in some cases, sensationalist accounts of the ‘evils’ of the drink trade. One witness, Alfred Eccles, a cotton mill owner from Salford, claimed that his village of White Coppice which in 1877 had no pubs or beer shops, was a prime example of the tragedies that could result from the trade in liquor. He stated that

It is a singular fact that the people who have sold liquor in our district have been particularly liable to being burnt to death, and to accidents upon the railway and to having their children drowned etc. We had one beer seller who had his little child drowned within twelve months of his brother, who also kept a beer shop, having his child burnt to death; another brother was run over on the railway while in a state of intoxication and killed on the spot, and another beer shop keeper in our district had his little child drowned. The other beer shopkeeper committed suicide after being unsuccessful in two previous attempts at self-destruction. 31

Given all this tragedy it was hardly surprising that White Coppice had no beer shops. Eccles held up his village as a model of temperance and sobriety but the committee seemed sceptical and asked if there was any shebeening (illegal drinking in unlicensed premises) in the village or if the locals went to nearby pubs in other villages. Eccles replied that there were no cases of shebeening and that he had ‘never seen anyone’ bring back beer from the nearest pub which was three quarters of a mile away. 32 One committee member then asked what people drank with their supper if they had no beer available locally. Eccles replied that they drank tea, water or milk. 33 He claimed that his village was a ‘moral place’ due to the absence of a pub and he could prove it because the local register of births showed no illegitimate conceptions. Yet the committee seemed to find it very difficult to believe that the people of White Coppice were entirely teetotal. Drinking table beer with dinner or supper was an integral part of the day for working-class people and there was a sense that the committee not only knew that but felt that working-class people were perhaps entitled to beer with their evening meal.

Other witnesses at the 1877 enquiry such as Professor Leoni Levi, a barrister and statistician, presented less moralistic evidence. Levi offered statistics to corroborate his theory that any increase in drunkenness was directly linked to an increase in trade which was a consequence of better wages among the working classes. 34 In this sense, the drink trade followed the money or vice versa and the result was intemperance. Some witnesses, and not just the pro-temperance ones seemed to find it hard to accept that the working classes even the more prosperous ones, went to pubs and other drinking places for reasons other than escapism or that the results of drinking were anything less than drunkenness. There was little discussion of the ways in which people drank for enjoyment and pleasure or to socialise or conduct business because the focus was always on intemperance and excess rather than on ‘normal’ or everyday drinking. For this reason, it was easier for some to view the drink trade as a ‘great evil’ that put profits before health, morality or social order. Ideas about municipal control of pubs, disinterested management schemes and counter-attractions for the working classes all stemmed from the belief that alcohol was something that the drink trade could not sell responsibly and the working classes could not consume moderately. Yet witnesses also gave evidence of a spectrum of working-class drinking that ranged from moderate consumption to ‘falling down drunk’. Implicit in this type of evidence was the knowledge that not all working-class men were drunkards and that not all types of drinking were problematic and had to be policed. This highlights the larger debate that fuelled the drink question in the nineteenth century—that of the freedom to drink versus state control. Legislation that impacted upon men’s rights to drink alcohol in public and in private had to be considered carefully since it was not only working-class men who were affected. Although this debate extended across class lines it did not cross the gender divide. Victorian society was highly patriarchal and, as the next chapter shows, this was reflected in attitudes towards all women’s drinking behaviour, regardless of class status.

Notes

  1. 1.

    House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP). 1878–1879: c. 113: 4th Report of The Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance.

     
  2. 2.

    Nicholls J. 2011. The Politics of Alcohol: A History of the Drink Question in England: Manchester: Manchester University Press: p. 112.

     
  3. 3.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance.

     
  4. 4.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Joseph Chamberlain.

     
  5. 5.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 271: Second Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Captain Nicholls.

     
  6. 6.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 271: Second Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Captain Nicholls.

     
  7. 7.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 418: Third Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of John Matthias Weylland.

     
  8. 8.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 418: Evidence of John Matthias Weylland.

     
  9. 9.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Major John James Grieg, Chief Constable of Liverpool.

     
  10. 10.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: Evidence of Major John James Grieg.

     
  11. 11.

    HCPP. 1977. c. 171: First Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Major John James Grieg.

     
  12. 12.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Major Edwin Bond, Chief Constable of Birmingham.

     
  13. 13.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Major Edwin Bond, Chief Constable of Birmingham.

     
  14. 14.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 271: Second Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Superintendent George Turner, London Constabulary.

     
  15. 15.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 271: Evidence of Superintendent George Turner.

     
  16. 16.

    Brief biography of William Magee: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Magee,_William_Connor_%28DNB00%29: accessed 10/3/2016.

     
  17. 17.

    The bill that the Reverend referred to was The Permissive Bill submitted to parliament by Sir Wilfred Lawson in 1869. The Bill proposed that local ratepayers should be given power to decide on numbers of licensed premises within their districts.

     
  18. 18.

    HCPP. 1878: No. 338: Fourth Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Reverend D. Burns.

     
  19. 19.

    Gutzke D. 1989. Protecting the Pub: Brewers and Publicans Against Temperance: New Hampshire: The Boydell Press: pp. 192–194.

     
  20. 20.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Joseph Chamberlain.

     
  21. 21.

    HCPP. 1899: c. 9076: Royal Commission on Liquor Licensing Laws: Summary Report.

     
  22. 22.

    HCPP. 1897: c. 8355: First Report of the Royal Commission on Liquor Licensing Laws: Evidence of Sir John Bridge.

     
  23. 23.

    HCCP. 1897: c. 8355: Evidence of Sir John Bridge.

     
  24. 24.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Algernon Bourke.

     
  25. 25.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Algernon Bourke.

     
  26. 26.

    HCPP. 1897: c. 8355: First Report of the Royal Commission on Liquor Licensing Laws: Evidence of Albert de Rutzen.

     
  27. 27.

    Girourard M. 1990. Victorian Pubs. Unites States: Yale University Press: pp. 2–7.

     
  28. 28.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of John Alexander Bremner.

     
  29. 29.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of William Sproston Caine.

     
  30. 30.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: Evidence of William Sproston Caine.

     
  31. 31.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Alfred Eccles.

     
  32. 32.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: Evidence of Alfred Eccles.

     
  33. 33.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171.

     
  34. 34.

    HCPP. 1877: c. 171: First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Intemperance: Evidence of Professor Leone Levi.

     

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Thora Hands
    • 1
  1. 1.Social SciencesCity of Glasgow CollegeGlasgowUK

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