This blog attempts to collate various materials in connection with the year 1735.


The Spirit Duties Act

The Spirit Duties Act 1735 (commonly known as the Gin Act of 1736) was an Act of Parliament of Great Britain establishing a retail tax on gin and annual licenses for gin sellers. Designed to curb gin consumption, the law was widely disobeyed and then repealed in 1743.

Gin consumption in the UK increased markedly during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries during the so-called Gin Craze. As consumption continued to grow, gin began to be blamed for a variety of social ills including crime, prostitution and mental illness.
Pushed forward by social reformers such as Joseph Jekyll, The Gin Act of 1736 attempted to curb gin consumption by instituting a 20 shilling per gallon excise tax as well as a £50 annual license (equivalent to £8K today) for all gin sellers. Passed in 1735, it was set to take effect in September 1736. The law proved immensely unpopular and provoked public rioting. King George II issued a proclamation requiring compliance with the law and an end to public disorder against it. After just a year, though, enforcement began to wane and the public began to defy the law more openly. It is said that only two of the annual licenses were ever purchased. Moonshine also became widespread as people produced their own gins, sometimes using dangerous ingredients such as turpentine and sulphuric acid.
By 1743, gin production had actually increased to an all-time high of 8,000,000 imperial gallons and enforcement of the law was considered impossible. The financial strain of the War of the Austrian Succession also played a role as the government sought a solution which would generate more income. The act was repealed by the Gin Act of 1743 which set much lower taxes and fees.


Death on stage

On May 10 Irish actor and dramatist Charles Macklin (1690-1797!?) unintentionally killed his fellow actor Thomas Hallam after a dispute over a wig during a performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. He was later tried and convicted of manslaughter. There is a memorial to Macklin in St Paul's, Covent Garden.

George Hadley and Trade Winds

We have mentioned George Hadley very briefly before. On May 22 he published the first explanation of the trade winds of the world.
Hadley (1685–1768) was an English lawyer and amateur meteorologist who proposed the atmospheric mechanism by which the trade winds are sustained, which is now named in his honour as Hadley circulation. As a key factor in ensuring that European sailing vessels reached North American shores, understanding the trade winds was becoming a matter of great importance at the time. Hadley was intrigued by the fact that winds which should by all rights have blown straight north had a pronounced westerly flow, and it was this mystery he set out to solve.

The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere, strengthening during the winter and when the Arctic oscillation is in its warm phase. Trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world's oceans for centuries and enabled colonial expansion into the Americas and trade routes to become established across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
In meteorology, they act as the steering flow for tropical storms that form over the Atlantic, Pacific, and southern Indian Oceans and make landfall in North America, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar and eastern Africa. Shallow cumulus clouds are seen within trade wind regimes and are capped from becoming taller by a trade wind inversion, which is caused by descending air aloft from within the subtropical ridge. The weaker the trade winds become, the more rainfall can be expected in the neighboring landmasses.


Gil Blas

Gil Blas a novel was completed in 1735. Known in French as L'Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane it is a picaresque novel (ie it features a loveable rogue) by Alain-René Lesage. Publication began in 1715. It was translated into English by Tobias Smollett.

Plot summary
Gil Blas is born in misery to a stablehand and a chambermaid of Santillana in Cantabria, and is educated by his uncle. He leaves Oviedo at the age of 17 to attend the University of Salamanca. His bright future is suddenly interrupted when he is forced to help robbers along the route and is faced with jail. 
He becomes a valet and, over the course of several years, is able to observe many different classes of society, both lay and clerical. Because of his occupation, he meets many disreputable people and is able to adjust to many situations, thanks to his adaptability and quick wit. 
He finally finds himself at the royal court as a favorite of the king and secretary to the prime minister. Working his way up through hard work and intelligence, Gil is able to retire to a castle to enjoy a fortune and a hard-earned honest life. 


The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh traces its origins back to 1735, the foundation date recorded in the Edinburgh Almanac from 1834 onwards. They are mentioned in earlier Almanacs but without the foundation date. This date makes Burgess the oldest organised society playing golf. They played over Bruntsfield Links, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, for the first hundred years of their existence.
The first known minutes start in 1773, and the extract here is taken from Burgess Chronicles, reproduced in Golf: A Royal and Ancient Game. It is now clear that the club had been in existence since shortly after the construction of Golfhall at Bruntsfield Links but there are other reasons to support 1735 as the inception date of the society.



In 1735, a young child in Kingston, New Hampshire, came down with a cold and all of New England would get sick. The Great Throat Distemper of 1735-1740 was one of the greatest epidemics ever to terrify New England.
The disease, which modern physicians recognise as diphtheria, first showed up in the spring of 1735. The symptoms started out looking like a cold that produced a very sore throat. But they then escalated to lost appetite and fever. The bacteria then attacked the throat, nose and lungs – poisoning the tissue and killing it off. The coating of dead tissue eventually interfered with breathing and killed the sufferer.

Travel patterns in New England made it relatively simple for epidemiologists to track the spread of the throat distemper. Ernest Caulfield described its path in his The “Throat Distemper” of 1735-1740.
Most of the old towns between Casco Bay and Boston were connected by a road which ran roughly parallel to the coast and far enough inland to avoid the many small inlets, marsh lands, and sandy dunes. A few weeks after the Kingston outbreak the disease invaded Kittery and Hampton Falls, two important trading centers along this road. From Kittery the infection was carried northward into Maine and from Hampton Falls southward across disputed territory into the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Amesbury and Salisbury were soon involved, and by September the epidemic had crossed the Merrimac River and like an invading army concentrated its forces at Newbury before it started down the old Bay Path towards Boston.
The throat distemper – which mostly affected children and killed often within three days – sparked fear as it spread.
In Ipswich, all eight children in the household of Mark and Hephzibah How died during the month of November 1735. A neighbour family also reported losing all eight children. As many as four children were buried in a single grave, a fact that was noted in newspapers as far away as New York.

Church records showed parents pressed ministers into performing many early baptisms. They did it “By Reason of Dangerous Sickness” to stay ahead of the undertakers.
Rowley, Mass., would lose one-eighth of its population to the throat distemper. Nearby Byfield would lose one seventh.
In Newbury, Dr. John Fitch actively tried to stop the disease. He contracted it and died. The march of the throat distemper continued through Beverly, Marblehead, Lynn and into Boston as doctors and towns searched for cures.
They also quarantined victims of the throat distemper. The town of Exeter, N.H., seized the house where a young man had died of the disease and quarantined his brother until he, too, died.

Physicians had trouble agreeing on a diagnosis for the disease, calling it cynanche, angina, canker, bladders, rattles or throat distemper. Scarlet fever was also present during 1735, and children were dying of both. More commonly the illness was called “the strangling angel of children.”
In 1735, a vaccine for diphtheria was more than a hundred years in the future. Treatment of the disease was crude and painful. When the throat distemper raged in Boston, a notice in the Boston Gazette offered treatment advice:

First be sure that a vein be opened under the tongue, and if that can’t be done, open a vein in the arm, which must be first done, as all other means will be ineffectual. Then take borax or honey to bathe or annoint the mouth and throat, and lay on the Throat a plaister Vngiuntum Dialthae. To drink a decoction of Devil’s bitt or Robbin’s Plantain, with some Sal Prunelle dissolved therein, as often as the patient will drink. If the body be costive use a clyster agreeable to the nature of the Distemper. … But be sure and let blood, and that under the tongue. We have many times made Blisters under the arms, but that has proved sometimes dangerous.

In Boston, it seemed, patients responded better to treatment. In other towns, treatment rarely succeeded. Whole families of children – six and seven or more at a time – died. Caulfield suggests that Boston, in fact, first experienced a rarely mild epidemic of scarlet fever, which was susceptible to treatment. Other towns, however, were experiencing the diphtheria invading from New Hampshire.
In Newbury, Mass., people theorized that the disease was connected to an explosion in the population of caterpillars in the summer of 1735. The noxious caterpillars covered the roads and houses. They could even float across streams. They crackled when carriage wheels crushed them and caused the wheels to grow slippery.
A prayer and sermon seemed to extinguish the caterpillars, but doubts persisted that they also caused the throat distemper.
In Haverhill, Mass., a pamphlet explained that children’s wailing and coughing showed God or supernatural beings spoke through them. In 1738 the throat distemper epidemic entered its third year and a 17-page poem about it appeared in pamphlet form. AWAKENING CALLS TO EARLY PIETY suggested the disease resulted from impious behavior.

A second pamphlet, Early Piety Encouraged, tried to tamp down fears of catching the disease from sick neighbors or friends: Let me tell you, it is an inordinate and sinful Fear that you have of the Distemper, if it keep you from going nigh your Neighbors, to tend up them, to watch with them, or in any other Respect to be helpful to them.
Gradually the disease progressed into Connecticut and sporadically to Western Massachusetts. Death counts were not as well documented, but throat distemper is noted in some towns. Coventry, Conn., then with 800 people, lost 54 to the disease in 1737. East Haven, Conn., lost 26 from a population of 200.
The outbreak of 1735, which lasted until 1740, was probably not the first case of diphtheria in the New England colonies. But it was the most contagious. Residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the throat distemper was known to exist earlier, suffered lower mortality rates as they had some resistance to the disease.
Maine and New Hampshire, on the other hand, were easier targets. The outbreak coincided with outbreaks of diphtheria across the world.
Across New England some 5,000 people died of diphtheria between 1735 and 1740. More than 75 percent were children. Overall, it killed 22 of every 1,000 people. In New Hampshire, where it struck first and worst, 75 out of every 1,000 people died of it.


Elisha Smith and William Benson

About the year 1735 a book was published intituled "The Cure of Deism". The Author, Mr. Elisha Smith,* had the misfortune to be confined in the Fleet-prison for a debt of £200. Mr. Benson** was highly pleased with this work; enquired who the author was, and, having received the foregoing account, not only sent him a very handsome letter, but discharged the whole debt, fees, &c. and set him at liberty. This deserves to be recorded, as an uncommon instance of generosity and good nature; though Mr. Benson, having been thrust into the Dunciad, will probably be known to posterity only as a bad critic and architect. The following anecdote was received from a person well acquainted with him. Though a man who had spent the greater part of his life among books, yet a short time before his death he acquired an aversion to them which was unconquerable. He could not even bear the sight of any, and remained stedfast in his abhorrence of them as long as he lived.

* Elisha Smith c 1683-1740
**William Benson (1682-1754) a talented amateur architect and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons 1715-1719


Bible in Lithuanian

The first known translations of the Bible into the Lithuanian language appeared in the middle of the 16th century following the spread of the Protestant Reformation. The full Protestant Bible was first published in 1735 in Königsberg (Kaliningrad). This translation was sponsored by Lutheran Johann Jakob Quandt (1686-1772) and was prepared by joint Lutheran and Calvinist efforts. This translation was later edited by Ludwig Rhesa (1816), Frydrichas Kuršaitis (1853), and Adomas Einoras (1897).


Three Deaths

August 17. Died, George James, one of the common councilmen for the ward of Aldersgate-without, and printer to the city of London. His widow carried on the business for some time, when the office of city printer was conferred on Henry Kent, printer, deputy of the ward of Broad-street.
November 10. Died, Thomas Dean, of Malden, in Kent, aged 102 years. When king Charles I. was beheaded, he was then twenty years of age, and was a fellow of University college, Oxford; but being a Catholic, was deprived at the revolution. He wrote some pieces of his religion, which were privately printed in the master's lodgings, and December 18, 1691, he stood in the pillory for concealing a libel: from that time he subsisted mostly on charity.
November 25. Died, Jacob Tonson, the second. He was the eldest son of Richard Tonson, and nephew to the first Jacob Tonson; and it appears from his will, which was made August 16, and proved December 6, 1735, that he was a bookseller, bookbinder, and stationer, all which businesses were carried on in his own house; and that he was also a printer, in partnership with John Watts. The elder Jacob probably also carried on all these several occupations.His will, which filled twenty-seven pages, written by himself, shows him not only to have abounded in wealth, but to have been a just and worthy man - according to the printed accounts of that period he was at the time of his death worth £100,000. After having devised his estates in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire, and bequeathed no less a sum than £34,000 to his three daughters and his younger son, Samuel, and disposed of his patent between his eldest sons Jacob and Richard, he mentions his uncle old Jacob Tonson, to whom he leaves fifty guineas for mourning; but, knowing his love of quiet and retirement, he says he would not burden him with the office of executor of his will. He, however, recommends his family to his uncle's care, and exhorts all his children to remember their duty to their superiors and their inferiors, tenderly adding - “And so God bless you all!” It appears by the grant and assignment of his uncle, that he was entitled to the collection of the kit-cat portraits, and that he had not long before his death erected a new room at Barn-elms, in which the pictures were then hung. Seventeen days after his death old Jacob Tonson made his will, in which he confirmed a settlement that he had made on him, (probably at the time of his marriage) and appointed his great nephew, Jacob Tonson, the eldest son of the former Jacob, his executor and residuary legatee.