Benjamin Franklin publishes The Drinkers Dictionary

“What Pleasure can the Drunkard have in the Reflection, that, while in his Cups, he retain’d only the Shape of a Man, and acted the Part of a Beast”– Silence Dogood aka Benjamin Franklin.  New-England Courant, 1722 Benjamin Franklin – whether better recognised as one of Americas Founding Fathers or simply as the face on […]

Read more ...

George Washington and the tactical use of alcohol

In 1758 – when campaigning for the Virginia House of Burgess (the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America) – George Washington enlisted the aid of a barrel of Barbadian rum from which complimentary serves were ladled out to prospective voters.  The future President went on to win the election despite […]

Read more ...

Gin Epidemic, Madam Geneva brings madness to England

Dutch prince William III of Orange ascends the throne of England after successfully deposing King James II in what is known as the Glorious or Bloodless Revolution. Britain’s political elite already felt threatened by King James due to his strong Catholic beliefs and French sympathies yet it wasn’t until he produced an heir that a […]

Read more ...

Sumatran drinking games

While in the Sumatran port of Anchin, on a mission to win over the opinion of Sultan Al-uddin Shah in hope of establishing a trade factory in the Indies, Captain James Lancaster of the English East India Company recorded some of his more daring crew members engaging in; “… a celebrated Achinese specialty, the sub-aqua […]

Read more ...

Manhattan, “The island of general intoxication”

The Dutch ship Halve Maen (Half Moon), commanded by English explorer Henry Hudson, dropped anchor off the mouth of the now self entitled Hudson River in 1609. His arrival was somewhat controversial since he disobeyed his orders to search for the fabled Northeast Passage to the Indies via a route over the top of Russia […]

Read more ...

Medieval sentencing for drunkenness

Implemented in 1349 by the late Tsar Stefan Dušan, The Dušans Code (or Dušanov Zakonik) stated – amongst church decrees, Imperial Greek edicts and common juridical law – that, “If a drunk goes from somewhere and if provokes or cuts one, or bleeds [sic] one, and doesn’t kill, to that drunk shall an eye been […]

Read more ...

Largest ever punch party

Admiral Edward Russell was an impressively ill-tempered English Navy commander in charge of the Mediterranean fleet. In 1694, upon return from duty in the Mediterranean, Russell was requested by Admiralty not to return to England for rest and provision but instead to put in to the Spanish port of Cadiz to winter the remainder of […]

Read more ...

The legend of Iron Mike Malloy and the Murder Trust

Michael Malloy was an Irish immigrant living in America with an all together too trusting faith in his fellow man.  Better remembered as “Mike the Durable” or “Iron Mike”, Malloy was neither gifted from the tree of wisdom nor even it seems the shrub of common sense, but for whatever shortfalls Malloy may have had […]

Read more ...