(GIN ACT). ~ An Act for granting to His Majesty an additional Duty upon Spirituous Liquors, and upon Licences for retailing the same; and for repealing the Act of the twentieth Year of His present Majesty’s Reign, intituled, An Act for granting a Duty to His Majesty to be paid by Distillers upon Licences to be taken out by them for retailing Spirituous Liquors; and for the more effectually restraining the Retailing of distilled Spirituous Liquors; and for allowing a Drawback upon the Exportation of British made Spirits; and that the Parish of Saint Mary le Bon, in the County of Middlesex, shall be under the Inspection of the Head Office of Excise. [1750 London: printed by Thomas Baskett; and by the assigns of Robert Baskett 1751].
Small folio (288 × 180 mm), pp. , 975-995, , including general title with woodcut arms, black letter text. Small stain to extreme lower forecorners. Recent wrappers. An excellent copy.
First edition. The Gin Act (or ‘Tippling Act’) of 1751 was designed to reduce consumption of raw spirits — regarded by contemporaries as one of the main causes of crime in London. By prohibiting gin distillers from selling to unlicensed merchants and increasing fees charged to merchants, it eliminated small gin shops, thereby restricting the distribution of gin to larger distillers and retailers. It was widely supported, not least by William Hogarth, who issued his famous Beer Street and Gin Lane prints in the same year. ‘Hogarth's illustration of the evils of gin-drinking was published as a pair with ‘Beer Street’, as part of a campaign against the uncontrolled production and sale of cheap gin. It culminated in the Gin Act of 1751, through which the number of gin shops was greatly reduced’ (Tate Gallery).
Though separately published with a general title for a complete sitting of Parliament, individual Acts of Parliament were paginated to be bound together in yearly volumes hence the pagination 975-995 here. ESTC N52491 (NLS, New College Oxford, UCLA Clark and Kansas only, though copies are under-recorded since they are often catalogued within volumes and sets of the Acts of Parliament.).