Drink and Disorder

Bernard Capp

in England's Culture Wars

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641789
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744228 | DOI:
Drink and Disorder

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Reformers blamed alehouses and taverns for encouraging drunkenness, violence, bawdiness, and gambling, and were determined to regulate them more closely. Building on pre-war campaigns, they sought to suppress disorderly, unlicensed, and superfluous establishments, and restrict the granting of licences. The chapter examines the problems they faced, from evasion and defiance to the very patchy co-operation of local justices and parish officers. It considers the role of the Major-Generals in this field, and assesses the overall success of the campaign. It surveys too the related issue of health-drinking, associated with royalist defiance, blasphemy, and sexual immorality, and thus anathema to puritan reformers. Finally the chapter explores the culture and practice of duelling, frequently triggered by drunken quarrels. The regime was determined to suppress duels, and waged a vigorous campaign against elite offenders in the face of determined opposition.

Keywords: drink; disorder; alehouses; gambling; health-drinking; duelling

Chapter.  10663 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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