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

20210425

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 Designed to curb gin consumption, the law was widely disobeyed and then repealed in 1743.

Background
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 The act was repealed by the Gin Act of 1743 which set much lower taxes and fees.

20210307

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.