Booze Britain

In the wake of recent calls for clampdowns on pub happy hours, here’s some binge-drinking 18thC-style:

‘in this thirsty generation, the honour falls upon him who carries off the greatest quantity of liquor, and knocks down the rest of the company. I was the other day with honest Will Funnell, the West-Saxon, who was reckoning up how much liquor had past through him in the last twenty years of his life, which, according to his computation, amounted to twenty-three hogsheads of October, four ton of port, half a kilderkin of small-beer, nineteen barrels of cyder, and three glasses of champagne; besides which he had assisted at four hundred bowls of punch, not mention sips, drams, and whets without number.’

From the Spectator, quoted in,
J. Hamilton Moore, The Young Gentleman and Lady’s MONITOR and English Teacher’s Assistant (7th edn, London, 1792)

Metric equivalents:

A kilderkin = 82 litres

A hogshead = 286 litres

A water ton = 1017 litres

A barrel = 117 litres

Of course, given his name, ‘Will Funnell’, this 18th C sybarite may have been fictional.

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Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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