In the mid-18th century gin was known as ‘mothers ruin’, and over a century later it was still frowned upon by the Belfast Charitable Society.

#OnThisDay 1869 James Boyd, a resident, had brought gin into the Poor House for an old lady. When he was caught James argued it was for medical purposes. The Steward felt that the doctor had not “sanctioned this liberty” and having reported it to the Board, the Orderly was requested to admonish him and warn him against any further offences.

In the previous century he would most likely have been put into the Black Hole for such an offence. Would you have been punished for being a gin drinker? Who knew the repercussions of a G&T!