Working on a column about New England wines for next week’s Food pages led us down a bypath or two.
Searching for some insight into early colonial period attitudes to wine and viticulture we uncovered a book published in London in 1747 that turned out to be both useful and diverting. We were drawn in by a recitation of laws governing the sale of wine and beer in the Bay Colony in the 1690’s that appears there, but there’s plenty more to interest. A selection . . .
- No one to kill Cod-fish, Hake, Haddock or Polluck for sale in December or January, or Mackerel to Barrel in May or June , on the Penalty of 5s. [5 shillings] for every Quintal, and the Mackarel be forfeited.
- No one to gallop a Horse in Boston; on Penalty of 3s. 4d. [4 pence].
- Innkeepers must not sell Wine above 6d. a Quart more than what it cost them per Butt;
- Merchants of wine to pay 10s. if any drink to excess in their Cellars.
- Whoever is drunk pays 3s. 4d. for drinking too much; 2s. 6d. for sitting after nine at Night; to be imprisoned until he pays, or sit in the stocks three Hours.
- Those who are addicted to Tippling, and warned by select Men not to frequent Taverns, shall pay 5s. if found in a Publick House.
- None are to court a Maid without Consent of her Parents, 5l. [5 pounds] for the first Offence, 10l for the second, Imprisonment for the third till released by the County Court.
- If a Dog kills or hurts Sheep, the Owner must hang him, or pay double Damages; if after Warning, he must do both.
- All hands not employed are obliged to spin.
File Under: But I digress.
Read the column as published here.
Originally posted on Boston.com