Alcohol Sale Licensing Acts

This is not comprehesive and will be added to as needed from time to time.

Here is a brief overview of the relevant Licensing Acts that affected the people in my family tree.

Beerhouse Act 1830

The Beerhouse Act 1830 liberalised the regulations governing the brewing and sale of beer. It was modified by subsequent legislation and finally repealed in 1993. It was one of the Licensing Acts 1828 to 1886.

The precursor to the Beerhouse Act was the Alehouse Act 1828, which established a General Annual Licensing Meeting to be held in every city, town, division, county and riding, for the purposes of granting licences to inns, alehouses and victualling houses to sell exciseable liquors to be drunk on the premises.

the Beerhouse Act enabled anyone to brew and sell beer on payment of a licence costing two guineas, or £2.10 in modern currency. The intention was to increase competition between brewers, and it resulted in the opening of hundreds of new beerhouses, public houses and breweries throughout the country, particularly in the rapidly expanding industrial centres like Birmingham & the Black Country.

It has to be remembered that the quality of drinking water available to many of these newly expanding commercial centres was not always the best and drinking beer instead of water was often encouraged.

Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Children) Act 1901

The Intoxicating Liquor (Sale to Children) Act, also known as the Child Messenger Act was introduced and one of its explicit clauses was to probit the sale of beer to children under 14.

Licensing Act 1902

The 1902 Licensing Act amended the law relating to the sale of Intoxicating Liquors and to Drunkenness, and to provide for the Registration of Clubs'. This Act gave the Police powers to arrest anyone found drunk in the streets or any public place, including licensed premises, whilst in charge of a child under seven years of age. The husband or wife of a habitual drunkard was enabled to obtain a maintenance or separation order, and under certain circumstances a drunken wife could be committed to a retreat for inebriates. The sale of intoxicants to habitual drunkards was prohibited.

Licensing Act 1904

The 1904 Licensing Act establised the system of Compensation for the suppression of redundant 'on' licences, and the payment of Monopoly Value for new 'on' licences.'