Monday, November 28, 2016

18C Skittles - A Little Disagreement with the "Authorities" a Local Tavern or Inn

Pub'd as the Act directs, for the proprietor by W. Dickie, No. Strand, E. Macklew, No. 9 Haymarket and W. Moore, No. 48 New Bond Street, 1787 Sept. 17th. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C 

The rise of Methodism and concerns for stricter morality & order became more apparent in Britain in the mid-late 18C. At this time, skittle grounds were scenes of crime. A response to the magistrates who dictated that skittle grounds in and near London to be level, and the frames removed. In 1751, skittles was one of several pub games to be banned, with publicans potentially losing their licence and being fined for allowing them to be played.The first set of restrictions may have applied just to places that sold spirits, rather than simple ale-houses, because further legislation was passed in 1757, to reinforce that but aimed specifically at the working class. Newspapers reported plenty of drunkenness, as well as robberies, fights, & even murders there.

Print shows three men of some importance trying to pry a skittle board from the ground using bars labeled "Justass" and "Mo-Ral-I-Ty"; a pick labeled "Proclamation" lies on the ground nearby with balls and pegs, and from over a fence a donkey brays at them; a tavern keeper stands to the left holding a tankard on which is written "Done ... over," also, two men have large birds stuffed in their coat pockets or something like that.