Gin – Mother’s Ruin
During a long (and enjoyable) day at Friars HQ there was a discussion regarding gin and how we just can’t get enough of it. Which lead to the phrase Mother’s ruin being mentioned. After some research it turns out that gin has always been in, but for slightly different reasons.
In the mid-eighteenth century Gin started out as a medicine – it was thought it could be a cure for gout and indigestion, but most attractive of all, it was cheap.
In the 1730’s notices could be seen all over London. The message was short and to the point.
‘Drunk for 1 penny, Dead drunk for tuppence, Straw for nothing’!!
The average person could not afford French wines or brandy, so gin took over as the cheapest, and most easily obtained, strong liquor.
The government of the day became alarmed when it was found that the average Londoner drank 14 gallons of spirit each year! So they set out to restrict consumption.
Overnight, gin sales went underground! Dealers, pushers and runners sold their illegal ‘hooch’ in what became a Black Market.
Much of the gin was drunk by women, consequently the children were somewhat put on the back burner and wet nurses gave gin to babies to quieten them. This worked provided they were given a large enough dose!