Mar 13, 2006

No more witch burning

Ireland revamps its laws
Among those laws about to be consigned to history is the Tippling Act 1735, which prohibits a publican from pursuing a customer for money owed for any drink given on credit.

The law was aimed at stopping landlords demanding ale money owed to them by servants who resorted to robbing their masters to pay their debts. Another — the Adulteration Of Coffee Act 1718 — made it illegal to debase coffee for profit. Among the substan ces used by unscrupulous traders to “pad out” the sacks of coffee was ground-up sheep dung.

As coffee went out of fashion, a similar law was introduced covering tea — the Adulteration of Tea Act 1776.

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