history of the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent
Drunkenness: Source: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward, 1843
"Of morals, which are so materially influenced by education….. the large earnings of the artisan, and his family, are too often squandered in deleterious draughts at the liquor-shops, or those numerous and obscure houses, were the word, 'Licensed,' followed by the disgusting announcement - 'to be drunk on the Premises' - is interpreted as a legislative invitation to the free indulgence…..
We call a case to mind, (and there are many parallel ones) of a workman, who lately died, at the age of fifty-three, whose earnings, when he chose to work, and the earnings of his family, had, for more than twenty years, averaged upwards of £3 per week; and who, if he had been a sober character, exercised common prudence, and been content with moderate fare, in meat and drink, might have accumulated at least £1,000; and probably, lived out the common term of human life, instead of dying of diseased viscera and premature old age, in the Parish Workhouse, where he closed his eyes!
… the policy of our legislature, for some years past, has tended to encouraged by multiplying Beer-shops to an unlimited extent, for the advantage of the agricultural interest, has had, and continues to have, the effect of demoralizing the labouring community to a most fearful extent - that it greatly enlarges our criminal calendars - estranges the poor man from his domestic comforts - counteracts the educational efforts of the philanthropist - and by its brutalizing tendency renders the unhappy victim totally averse from, and unfit for, the sacred duties of the Sabbath…."
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