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England's Culture WarsPuritan Reformation and its Enemies in the Interregnum, 1649-1660$
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Bernard Capp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641789.001.0001

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Drink and Disorder

Drink and Disorder

(p.152) 8 Drink and Disorder
England's Culture Wars

Bernard Capp

Oxford University Press

Reformers blamed alehouses and taverns for encouraging drunkenness, violence, bawdiness, and gambling, and were determined to regulate them more closely. Building on pre-war campaigns, they sought to suppress disorderly, unlicensed, and superfluous establishments, and restrict the granting of licences. The chapter examines the problems they faced, from evasion and defiance to the very patchy co-operation of local justices and parish officers. It considers the role of the Major-Generals in this field, and assesses the overall success of the campaign. It surveys too the related issue of health-drinking, associated with royalist defiance, blasphemy, and sexual immorality, and thus anathema to puritan reformers. Finally the chapter explores the culture and practice of duelling, frequently triggered by drunken quarrels. The regime was determined to suppress duels, and waged a vigorous campaign against elite offenders in the face of determined opposition.

Keywords:   drink, disorder, alehouses, gambling, health-drinking, duelling

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