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for malt and hops, and is a great preser-peras, and five hundred and sixty pounds vative of malt liquor; it prevents second of hard multum, that is, black extract, fermentation in bottled beer, and conse- composed of cocculus indicus, opium, or quently the bursting of the bottles in warm some similar poisonous ingredients, were, Climates. Its effect is of an inebriating not long ago, found in the hands of another nature.”—Page 123.

adulterator, and condemned. “Calamus is used in the brewery as a After reading these singular extracts, succedaneum for hops and strength; one truly may we exclaim with Mr. Cobbett, pound of which is equal to six of hops.” “ When we know that beer doctors and Page 125.

brewers' druggists are professions, practised “Coriander is much used by brewers, to as openly as those of bug-man and ratgive a flavour to ales. Capsicum is used killer, are we simple enough to suppose in ales and amber; it is a good preser- that the above-named are the only drugs vative in the summer season. - Page 128. that people swallow in those potions which

“Grains of paradise are used in ales, but they call pots of beer ?”* more frequently in amber beer. They are The evidence already adduced, it is prealways ground and used in the tun.”. sumed, contains sufficient proof, that, in Page 129.

this country at least, malt liquors are Oyster shells are very good to recover adulterated to a very general and very sour beer, but, when used, you must leave fearful extent. The existence of this nethe bung out.'

farious system is still further proved by Mr. Accum_also remarks, in his work the fact that almost every week convicon Culinary Poisons: “To increase the tions take place, and heavy fines are imintoxicating quality of beer, the delete- posed on persons upon whose premises are rious vegetable substance, cocculus indicus, found the materials used in adulteration. and the extract of this poisonous berry, The law on this subject is severe. Accalled black extract, or, by some, hard mul- cording to an Act of Parliament (56 Geo. tum, are employed; opium, tobacco, nux L.I.), all druggists and others are provomica, and extract of poppies have also hibited from selling or delivering to any been used."

licensed brewer, dealer in or retailer of The same author informs us, that the beer, knowing him to be such, any kind of demand for cocculus indicus was so great, materials used in adulteration, under a that in the space of ten years it rose from penalty of £500. Brewers, dealers in or two shillings to seven shillings per lb. retailers of beer, are subject to a penalty of

The active or poisonous principles of £200, on conviction of having used or being these berries is termed by chemists picro- in possession of the same articles. toxin, from two Greek words, viz.


bit- On reference to the minutes of the House ter, and Tošikov, poison. These berries in of Commons, appointed for examining the India, in particular, as well as in this coun- price and quality of beer, we learn that betry, are cast on the water, to intoxicate fish, tween the years 1812 and 1819, of wholewhich, when floating on the surface, are sale and retail brewers, publicans, and readily taken without the aid of the rod or brewers' druggists, nearly two hundred

Excise prosecutions and convictions took A work of respectable authority affirms, place. All of these parties either sold or that “that most abominable of all abomina- were in possession of the various articles tions, tobacco, is notoriously used as a sub- used in adulteration. Some of them were stitute for the hop."

convicted in penalties of £500 in addition Mr. Roberts, surgeon, in his evidence to costs. The cases of conviction, we may before a committee of Parliament, states with reason conclude, form but a very as follows: “I have reason to believe that slight proportion only of those who are accocculus indicus, grains of paradise, yew- tually guilty of this diabolical practice, tops, and tobacco, are used to adulterate carried on, as it usually is, in the most beer; and I have seen fox-glove leaves cautious and secret manner. The author among the grains and hops thrown out in of “Deadly Adulterations," after stating one instance." +

some of the above facts, adds: “Since that The Morning Chronicle, of February 5th, time, seizures of illegal and poisonous 1841, states, that William Hare, a licensed articles have been often made by the Exbrewer, in the Old Kent Road,was summoned cise, and convictions have taken place. on an information which charged him with During the latter end of the last year, and using deleterious ingredients in the manu- at the commencement of the present year, facture of his beer. One barrel of the seizures have also been made, and convica defendant's beer, on being submitted to tions have taken place, nearly equal in test, “was found to contain vitriol and a number to those stated in the text."

Mr. preparation of opium."

Cobbett also makes the following remarks: Three hundred and ten pounds of cop- -“ Scarcely a week passes without witness

ing the detection of some greedy wretch, * Green's Bot. Dict., vol. i., p. 715. + Rep. on Drunk., p. 158.

* Cottage Economy, 1833.



who has used, in making or in doctoring his but in the brewer's house, and that the beer, drugs forbidden by law. It is not brewer had a very large jacket, made exmany weeks since one of these was convicted pressly for that purpose, with very large in the Court of Excise, for using potent and pockets, and that on brewing mornings he dangerous drugs, by means of which, and a would take his pockets full of the different suitable quantity of water, he made two ingredients. Witness supposed that such butts of beer into three; upon this occasion a man's jacket, similar to what he had it appeared that no less than ninety of these described, would carry quite sufficient for worthies were in the habit of pursuing the any brewery in England, as to cocculus insame practices.”

dicus." It may in addition be stated, that Mr. Wells, an Excise officer, in his ex- a large proportion of these adulterants are amination before a Committee of the House prepared in the form of extracts, and of Commons, states, “ that the adulterating occupy therefore but a small space. ingredients were not kept on the premises,

The following Return of the Quantities of Articles used in Adulterations, imported and entered for Home Consumption during the last Five Years respectively, will add additional weight to the above testimonies:

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]


In order fully to substantiate these state- were houses kept open in that district and ments, the reader is requested carefully in other parts of the metropolis during the to peruse the following police report which night, and the beer, ale, and spirits, disappeared in the London papers of August, posed of to night-walkers and persons out 1841:

at unseasonable hours, were not only adul"After the disposal of the night charges terated and of a most nauseous description, on Saturday at the Thames police-office, but a larger price was demanded for these Mr. Ballantine, the presiding "magistrate, than the good beer and liquors sold during called the attention of Mr. Valentine, the in- the day. He was speaking before persons spector of the R Division, to a subject of who must know these things as well as great importance—the gross adulteration of himself. He would do all the law enabled him beer, ale, and liquors, by publicans, to the to do; but it was the bounden duty of the detriment, the worthy magistrate said, of police on the part of the public to look after the health and morals of the people. He those persons who sold liquors, a small wished that the observations he was about quantity of which made strong men drunk to make should go forth to the public, and and insane, and impaired their constibe reported to the police commissioners.- tutions. He sat at that court day after day, and had “Mr. Valentine said he could confirm the done so for upwards of twenty years, and statement of the magistrate, as far as his

cases had been under his notice knowledge went; and powerful men, who where persons went into public-houses so- were accustomed to drink considerable ber, and after drinking one glass of spirits, quantities of good beer and spirits, without beer, or ale, became insensibly drunk, not being inconvenienced by them, often bad from the quantity but the quality of the their strength prostrated in a few minutes beverage served to them. It was well by the deleterious mixture sold at some of known that a person who was skilled in com- the low public-houses and gin-shops. He pounding noxious ingredients for the adul- would communicate the sentiments of his teration of ale, beer, and spirits, was consi- worship to the police commissioners immedered in the trade as best qualified for the diately. duties of cellarman and carman, and, indeed, “Mr. Ballantine: And keep your eye there was little secret made about the on those houses where they sell bad matter. There were a few, and but a few, liquors.” houses where the genuine article was sold The same nefarious practice of adulteraas it was received from the brewer or dis- tion is practiced in the United States. The tiller. That morning he had asked a man, “New York Sun” for 1838 makes the folwho was found by the police in the street in lowing thrilling exposure: “ Though the a state of insensibility, how he came to get public are generally satisfied of the adulteintoxicated, and he said, with an air of ration of our malt liquors, we propose to truth, that he had only taken one glass of offer such evidence as will remove all spirits, and became stupid directly, losing doubts from the minds of the sceptical, if all consciousness. The same answer had such there yet are. 1. More than one been given to his queries on repeated occa- thousand bags of cocculus indicus are annusions; and from inquiries he had made, ally sold at auction in this city; a large and the circumstances of particular cases proportion of which is purchased by brewwhere strong men had suffered by a small ers or their agents ; the remainder by quantity of drugged and adulterated gin or druggists who re-sell it to the same. beer, which disordered the stomach and Wholesale druggists inform us that their produced nausea, and in many instances principal customers for this article are produced great suffering to the parties for brewers; and that it is used only in catchseveral days afterwards, he was satisfied ing fish, poisoning rats, and brewing. 3. We that the system must be carried on to a most know individuals who are employed by alarming extent. Seamen and others were brewers to grind cocculus indicus for their often inveigled into brothels, and liquor or use. 4. Various examples of beer have ale was sent for, adulterated with noxious been analysed by Mr. Mapes, a distindrugs for the purpose of stupifying them, guished chemist of this city, who


in and while in that state they were robbed his report, “It is certain that the specimens and turned out pennyless. He expressed analysed contained copperas, common salt, himself thus openly, that the public might magnesia, copper, and a bitter principle be aware of a great evil, and that the com- which does not belong to the hop.'. missioners of police might be enabled to III. Adulterations of ardent spirits.—The protect the people against the consumption of adulterations of ardent spirits are, if possispurious liquors, and have the stuff analysed, ble, more extensive than those of either wine and proceed against the parties vending it. or malt liquors. To detail the various proIt was against the tenor of a publican's li- cesses in common use for this purpose cense to adulterate his beer and liquors, and would fill a moderate sized volume. A few if a case were made out before him, he examples will, however, be laid before the would convict in heavy penalties. There reader, from sources equally authentic with

2. RUM.




those which have already been made use of. The extraordinary value attached to wellfrequented spirit establishments is strong evidence of the importance of the traffic.

The same adulteration is carried on with A popular writer observes, that "he has no respect to rum. “ The impositions,” adds doubt it will excite much surprise, when he the author of the work before referred to, states the fact, (well known to all persons“ practised with rum, generally consist in connected with the trade,) that sums of purchasing low-priced Leeward Island rum, from one thousand to three thousand and by the introduction of the undermenpounds, and, where wine trades have been tioned articles in certain proportions, vendattached, as much as from three to six ing it as fine old Jamaica rum, of peculiar, thousand pounds, have been given for the softness and flavour :-ale, porter, shrub, good-will of gin shops, possessed of only extract of orris root, cherry-laurel-water, twenty-one years' leases, depending solely extract of grains of paradise or capon the will of the magistrates for their sicum.”* licenses being renewed, and held at rents of from £75 to £200 per annum.'

“ All surprise, however,” he observes, “will cease, when a knowledge is acquired of the profits which the trade affords by means of adulter- The list of ingredients used in flavouring ation.”

or making up gin, as advertised, is somewhat startling ; not less for its length, than for the articles of which it is composed. They are as follows:-Oil of vitriol, oil of cas

sia, oil of turpentine, oil of caraways, oil of Cognac brandy is generally adulterated juniper, oil of almonds, sulphuric æther, with Spanish or Bourdeaux brandy, old ea tract of capsicums, or extract of grairs of neutral-flavoured rum, rectified spirits, Bri- paradise, extract of orris root, extract of tish brandy bitters, British brandy,t cherry- angelica root, water, sugar,&c.t

The above multifarious list would lead inlaurel-water,f extract of almond cake, ex. dividuals to look upon the establishment of tract of capsicum, ş and extract of grains of paradise, and colouring sugar.

the distiller or spirit-seller as a chemist's Spirit dealers, like their brethren, wine laboratory, where the operations of chemical merchants and brewers, have books for refe- science were conducted on an extensive rence which contain specific directions for scale. The art of adulteration, however, fraudulent adulterations. Some of these are The flavour and taste of the genuine liquors

demands considerable skill and ingenuity. worthy of notice. To improve the flavour of brandy.-4 quarter of an ounce of English require to be imitated with great minute

ness and tact. saffron, and half an ounce of mace, steeped in a pint of brandy for ten days, shaking it vitriol forms an essential combination. This

In the adulteration of gin, the oil of once or twice a-day ; then strain it through destructive ingredient, indeed, imparts that a linen cloth, and add one ounce of terra japonnica, finely powdered, and three ounces pungency to the taste as well as smell

, which of spirits of nitre; put it to ten gallons of

is so peculiar to common gin. “ Hence it is, brandy, adding, at the same time, ten pounds the flavouring of which oil of vitriol has been

that, in smelling a bottle

containing gin, in of prunes, bruised.'

-" To give new brandy employed, the pungency is so great, immeall the qualities of old.To one gallon of new diately after the bung has been taken

out, as brandy, add thirty drops of aqua ammonia, almost to make the eyes water, which is (volatile smelling liquor,) shaking it well, that it may combine with the acid, on which highest strength, previous to its being

never the case, even with gin at its 'the taste and other qualities of the new liquor depend."

sweetened." I

This intelligent author remarks, that there is every reason to believe that it is used in the

greatest proportions to such gins as are re• Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked, duced to the lowest strength. He states, 3rd edition, p. 45.

also, that previous to being mixed with † British brandy, 80 gallons of rectified spirits, 7 other flavouring ingredients, it is altered gallons of vinegar, 12 ounces of orris root,15 lbs. of in its form by being mixed either with raisins, 2 lbs. of vitriol.-Ibid., p. 12. | Its qualities are highly pernicious and even poi- alteration it is added in the proportion

sour cider or lime-water, under which sonous.-Ibid., p. 10. $ Known in the trade by the denomination of

of from one to four pints to one hundred "Devil,” and made by infusing chilie pods in spirit. gallons of gin. § About one-eighth of a This is what imparts the appearance of strength pint of the oil of turpentine is used in and pungent hot taste when taken into the mouth,

* Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked, p. 35. Guide, by a Practical Man; 2nd edition, 1826. † Ibid., p. 50. * Ibid., p. 51. & Ibid., p. 52.

| The Vintners' and

Licensed Victuallers'



the adulteration of one hundred gallons (cheapest rate, to one of the prices at which of gin. Half a pint of sulphuric æther it is advertised (that is 6s. 6d. per gallon), is employed for the same quantity. They and the still further addition of forty-four are intended principally to conceal the gallons more of water (making a total of oil of vitriol in the made-up gin, and ninety-two gallons), to allow of the profit to give it what is called “a delicate of 1s. 6d. per gallon.”* flavour."*

The author of th “ Art of Brewing on The other materials servo to impart the Scientific Principles,” which has been before requisite degree of fulness in the taste and referred to as a respectable publication, flavour necessary for the sale of this noxious makes the following statement;-it may be compound; the principal object being to premised that this work was published in prepare a fiery liquid which will satisfy 1826: “Spirits vended by retail are all the artificial desires of the drunkard's adulterated, and some of them to a dreadful appetite.

extent. Some months since a person having The adulterators of gin in general pre-writing to do that would occupy great part pare a “heading," of which the follow- of the night, purchased at a liquor shop in ing appears to be the common recipe: Newgate-street half-a-pint of gin, and du_*Take of oil of vitriol about one dessert ring the night he drank a goblet full of grog, spoonful, one ditto of common oil of almonds, which he had made from it; he was seized. mix them well with a portion of spirits of with most excruciating agony, spasms of the wine, and add the whole to one hundred stomach, temporary paralysis, and loss of gallons of made-up gin.”

intellect; these he attributed to some natural The following are examples of the mode cause, and he gave the remainder of the of adulterating gin, as found in “ The Vint- liquor to a person that called on him in the ners' and Licensed Victuallers' Guide, by a morning. In about an hour that person a practical Man," second edition, 1826; and was similarly affected. This induced in“Palmer's Publicans' Director,” second edi- quiry; and it was ascertained, that the tion, 1826: “Take one hundred gallons of woman who served the liquor had mistaken unsweetened gin, three pounds of coriander the bottle, and had sold half-a-pint of the seeds, four ounces of bitter almond cake, fluid intended to prepare the adulterations three ounces of orange peel, two ounces of for sale. The last-mentioned person who angelica seeds; cassia, one ounce; orris root partook of the infernal mixture died of its efand capsicums, of each half an ounce, steep fects.the seeds, &c. (first bruised) in a portion of The evidence brought forward in this gin for six days, strain and press them out, chapter indisputably proves the general prácand add the rest; then add eighteen pounds tice of adulterati ng intoxicating liquors to a of lump sugar. Fine with one pound of most dangerous and alarming extent. The alum, and four ounces of salt of tartar, dis- various authors from whose works quotations solved in water."

have been made are unanimous in their tesTo make up thirty gallons of raw spirit timony of the existence of this nefarious into cordial gin, get as follows: two penny- practice. Many of these proofs are exweights of oil of turpentine, three penny- tracted from books actually published for the weights of oil of juniper berries, two penny- direction of the adulterators, and contain weights of oil of vitriol, two pennyweights specific directions for the adulteration of of oil of almonds, one pint of elder-flower- each liquor. This is done in the most dewater; kill the oils with a pint of spirits liberate manner, and totally regardless of of wine, and add about eight pounds of the fatal consequences which must inevitaloaf sugar, twenty-five gallons of spirits, bly result from so injurious a practice. one in five, which will bear five gallons That the beer sold at inferior houses is of water; rouse it well, and in order to fine very much drugged, is proved from the stuit take two ounces of alum, and one of salt pifying effects it has on its wretched conof tartar; boil it till it be quite white, then sumers. The appearance of these poor throw it into your cask, continually stir- creatures is piteous indeed. Their haggard ring it for ten minutes, bung it up, and countenances and stupified features excite when fine it will be fit for use.'

the strongest emotions of pity and disgust. The author of the work from which quo- The practice of adulteration has, at varitations have been so copiously made, in ous times, been defended as not being so inproof that adulterating materials are used jurious as is commonly represented. The in the preparation of common gin, says that quantity of drugs used is stated to be so this fact “is proved bejond all question by small as to prove comparatively harmless. the following simple calculation. It requires This defence is, on the face of it, weak and forty-eight gallons of water to reduce one fallacious. The facts also which have aphundred gallons of gin, purchased at its peared before the public indisputably decide

• Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked. p. 52.

* Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked. p.55.

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