Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Water of Life, Water of Death: The Controversy over Brandy and Gin in Early Modern Augsburg

  • B. Ann Tlusty

Extract

It is good for those who are sad or down-hearted […] It brings one back to bodily strength, and makes one lusty and merry,” wrote Hieronymus Brunschwig of brandy in his Book of Distilling in 1532. Distilled liquors were was “wonder drugs” of the early modern period, prescribed medicinally both as prevention and cure for virtually every known malady, of the spirit as well as the body. According to Brunschwig, the capacity of brandy actually to lengthen one's life was the basis for its medieval appellation aqua vitae (water of life). The potential for the abuse of these “medicines,” however, was evident to medical and legal bodies alike; the “water of life” could become a “water of death,” as physician Sigismund Klose noted in 1697.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1. “Es its auch gut dem der traurig order schwer mültig its […] Es bright auch eine [m] sein leibliche krafft wider/vnd macht in wol mutig vnd frölich.” (fol. 39); “aqua vite/eyn wasser des labens/darumb das es das leben erlengert und auff enthält/” (fol. 1–2); Brunschwig, Hieronymus, Das Buch zu Distilieren (Strasbourg, 1532).

2. Klose, Sigismund, Spiritv Vini (Jena, 1707), reprited with a German translation as Über den Weingeist: Zur Kenntnis des Alkohols, seiner Herstellung und Anwendung im 17. Jahrhundert: Medizinische Dissertation des Sigismund Klose aus dem Jahre 1697 an der Universität Jena, ed. Olbrich, Hubert, trans. from the Latin by Rosczyk, P. Hermann (Berlin, 1980), 60.

3. Austin, Gregory A., Alcohol in Western Society from Antiquity to 1800 (Santa Barbara, 1985, 108, 120:Rau, Erich Johannes, “Ärztilche Gutachten und Polizeivorschriften über den Branntwein im Mittelalter” (M.D. diss., University of Leipzig, 1914), 8;Forbes, Robert James, A Short Histry of the Art of Distillation from the Beginnings up to the Death of Cellier Blumenthal (Leiden, Netherlands, 1970), 9697.

4. See for example Stadtarchiv Augsburg (hereafter StadtAA), Reichsstadt, Chroniken no. 27 (n.f.), 10 December 1646, which describes a clockmaker's son who became drunk on brandy, fell into the river, and was drowned; and ibid., “ Den 5 December [1600] hat sich ein weib an den brandwein zue tod gesoffen.”

5. “welien vnser handtierung deß Metsiedens diser Zeit gantz zue boden ligen”: StadtAA, Handwerkerakten, Brandweinbrenner 1537–1698 (subsequently cited as StadtAA, HWA BWB; this collection is incorrectly dated—the first document is 1548), 1637.

6. This is the conclusion drawn by, for example, Wrightson, Keith in “Alehouse, Order and Reformation in Rural England, 1590–1660,” in Popular Culture and Class Conflict 1590–1914: Explorations in the Histry of Labour and Leisure, ed. Elieen, and Yeo, Stephen (Brighton, 1981), 127;Clark, Peter, The English Alehouse: A Social Histry 1200–1830 (London, 1983);Schindler, Norbert, Widerspenstige Leute: Studien zur Volkskultur in der frühen Neuzeit (Frankfurt am Main, 1992), 236–39;van Dülmen, Richard, Entstehung des frühneuzeitlichen Europa 1550–1648 (Frankfurt am Main, 1982), 208–9;Stolleis, Michael, “‘Von dem grewlichen Laster der Trunckenheit.’ Trinkverbote im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert,” in Rausch und Realität: Drogen im Kulturvergleich, ed. Völger, Gisela and von Welck, Karin (Reinbek, 1982), 177–91.

7. Oestreich's basic thesis is outlined in “Struktur Probleme des europäischen Absolutismus,” in his Geist und Gestalt des frühmodernen Staates: Ausgewählte Aufsätze (Berlin, 1969), 179–97,in English as Neostoicism and the Early Modern State, trans. McLintock, David (Cambridge, 1982). Oestreich's concept is much broader than the narrow treatment accorded the topic by many Reformation scholars, who seem to consider the concept “social disciplining” as synonymous with “confessionalization,” or the imposition of religion; see for example Hsia, R. Po-Chia, Social Discipline in the Reformation: Central Europe 1550–1750 (New York, 1989).

8. On legal instruments specifically see Jütte, Robert, “Disziplinierungsmechanismen in der städtischen Armenfürsorge der Frühneuzeit,” in Soziale Sicherheit und soziale Disziplinierung, ed. Sachsse, Christoph and Tennstedt, Florian (Frankfurt am Main, 1986), 101–18.

9. See for example Behringer, Wolfgang, “Mörder, Diebe, Ehebrecher: Verbrechen und Strafen in Kurbeyern vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert,” in Verbrechen, Strafen und soziale Kontrolle: Studien zur historischen Kulturforchung, ed. van Dülmen, Richard (Frankfurt am Main, 1990), 85132;Andreas, and Schwerhoff, Gerd, eds., Mit den Waffen der Justiz: Zur Kriminalitätsgeschichte des späten Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit (Frankfurt am Main, 1993), esp. their “Vorbemerkung,” 715;Dinges, Martin, Stadtarmut in Bordeax (1525–1675)— Alltag, Politik, Mentalitäten (Bonn, 1988).

10. Tlusty, B. Ann, “Devil's Alter: The Tavern and Society in Early Modern Augsburg” (Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, 1994).

11. This process was identified by Rudi Matthee in the introduction and popularization of stimulants; Matthee, Rudi, “Exotic Substances: The Introduction and Global Spread of Tobacco, Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, and Distilled Liquor, Sixteeth to Eighteenth Centuries,” in Drugs and Narcotics in History, ed. Proter, Roy and Teich, Mikulᢠ(Cambridge, 1995), 2451. Similar models have been identified in the twentieth-century drug panics; see Warner, Jessica,“In Another City, in Another Time: Rhetoric and the Creation of a Drug Scare in Eighteeth-Century London,” in Contemporary Drug Problems 21, no.3 (Fall 1994): 485511. The term “moral panic” to describe institutional exaggeration of perceived threats to society was coined by Cohen, Stanley, Folk Devils and Moral Panics (London, 1972).

12. Warner, Jessica, “Old and in the Way: Widows, Witches, and Spontaneous Combustion in the Age of Reason,” Contemporary Drug Problems 23, no. 2 (Summer 1996): 197220;Spode, Hasso, Alkohol and Zivilisation: Berauschung, Emüchterung und Tischsitten in Deutschland bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunders (Berlin, 1991), 126–32.

13. See, among many others, Schivelbusch, W., Tastes of Paradise: A Social Histry of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants, trans. Jacobson, David (New York, 1992), published in German as Das Paradies, der Geschumack und die Vernunft: Eine Geschichte der Genussmittel (Munich/Vienna, 1980), 147–66;James S. Roberts, “Der Alkoholkonsum deutscher Arbeiter im 19. Jahrhundert,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft, no. 6 (1980): 220–42;Jeggle, Utz, “Alkohol und Industrialisierung,” in Rausch, Ekstase, Mystik, ed. Cacik, H. (Düsseldorf,1978), 7894.

14. Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise, 153.

15. Brandweinpest. Medick, Hans, “Plebejische Kultur, plebejische Öffentlichkeit, plebejische Ökonomie: Über Erfahrungen und Verhaltensweisen Besitzarmer und Besitzloser in der Übergangsphase zum Kapitalismus,” in Sozialanthropologische Perspektiven in der Geschichtsschreibung, ed. Berdahl, Robert M. et al. (Frankfurt am Main, 1982), 157204, 104–8; see also George, Dorothy, London Life in the Eighteenth Century (Harmondsworth, 1965), 4155.

16. This quote is from Gregory Austin, Alcohol in western Society, 133.

17. It is unlikely, however, that per capita consumption of spirits in Germany during the sixteeth and seventeeth centuries approached the eight liters per year estimated for England toward the mid-eighteeth century (see Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise, 156).

18. Based on three five-year samples of interrogation records (1540–1544, 1590–1594, 1640–1644); StadtAA, Strafamt, Urgichten 1540–1644. Less than 1 percent of defedants reported being drunk on mead.

19. This assumption was made by Gregory Austin in his “Die curopäische Drogenkrise des 16. und 17. Jahrhunders,” Rausch und Realität, 115–32. Austin explains the “drugcrisis” of the sixteeth and seventeeth centuries as largely due to immoderate brandy drinking.

20. See Jessica Wamer, “In Another City.”

21. Brandysellers in Augsburg complained continuosly about unregulated distillation the countryside: StatAA, HWA BWB. See also StadtAA, St. Martinsstiftung no. 86, Professinonen und Handwerker 2, Georg Steidlin et cons., 25 February 1621, which documents attempts by authorities in the neighborthing village iof Oberhausen, under Augsburg jurisdiction since 1602, to establish initial controls on grain spirits in 1621. Local distillers complained that they “and their forefathers” had always been free to distill grain spirits without it causing any hurn (…auch unsern forfahren ohn meniglichs nachtel […] gepräudt…).

22. Laves, Theodor, “Die Entwicklung der Brennerei und der Branntweinbesteurung in Deutschland, insbesondere das neue Branntweinsteuergestz vom 24. Juni 1887,” in Jahrbuch für Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und Volkswirtschaft im Deutschen Reich, ed. Schmoller, Gustav (Leipzing, 1887), 429542, 431;Koepke, Paul, “Deutsches Branntweingewerbe” (Ph.D. diss., Grossherzoglich Hessische Ludwigs-Universität, Gissen, 1915), 1213.

23. Forbes, Short History, 102.

24. von Schrick, Michael Puff, von allen geprenten wassern (Nuremberg, 1518).

25. Forbes, Short Histry, 109.

26. “…es its die seel vnd kraff/vnd edelkeyt außgezogen von dem vberfluss der elementischen ding/”;Brungschwig, Das Buch, fol. 2v.

27. “wann es its nit kalt/nit feucht/nit trucke[n]/nit hei//als die and[er]n vier element…”Ibid, fol.2v.

28. See Rau, “Ärtztliche Gutachten,” 15; StadtAA, HWA BWB, “pollicey Ordnung den pranntt Weyn betreffentt,” Oct. 1555;Ryff, Walter H., Spiegal und Regiment der Gesundheit (Frankfurt, 1544), fol. 64; Stadtatchiv Numemberg, B15/IV, “Dekret vnd Ordnung wie es mit dem faihaben vnd Trincken des geprannten weins soll gehalten werden,” 1572;Zedler, Johannes, Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexikon aller Wissenschafften und Künste (Graz,19611964, reprint of 1732–1750 edition), 4 (Leipzig, 1733), “Branntwein,”ind 1084–1086;de Pre, Johann Friedrichs, Physicalische und Medicinische Untersunchung vom Brauch und Mißbrauch des Brandtweins (Frankfurt und Leipzig, 1723), C3; Warner, “Old and in the Way”, Klose,Spiritv Vini, 64–65. Klose, as vavmedical doctor, expressed skepticism that brandy-drinking alone could lead to spontaneous combustion (p. 65).

29. stadtAA, HWA, BWB, 12 December and 6 February 1593. See also de Pre, Physicalisch, fol.C2, “in fiebern […] Entzündungen/mit einem Wort/in allen krancheiten/so von einer warman Uhrsache entsprungen; in diesen und dergleichen kranckheiten ist der Brandtewein ein sußes Gifft…”

30. Rau, “Ärztliche Gutachten,” 15; Brunscheig, Das Buch, fols. 41, 97. Brandy was also used at least by the eighteeth century as an aphrodisiac: see Zedler, Grosses, 1084.

31. Rau, “Ärztliche Gutachten,” 25; see also Schrick, von allen, fol. 11.

32. Brunschwig, Das Buch, fols. 1–6, 41, 198–99; Schrick, von allen, fols. 8–11. Industrial uses also included softeinig sugar, curing hides, improving the taste of poor wine and spoiled spices, and curing meat; brandy was also used to keep dead bodies from stinking. Brunscwig, Das Buch, 41; strafamt, Ungichten 1589, Georg Schinhuet, 7 April.

33. The title page of Brunschwig's sixteeth-centuy Small Book of Distilling, for example, depicts a botanical garden with distilling apparatus, in which men are operating the stills, and woman are gathering plants herbs.

34. Forbes, Short Histry, 108.

35. “…Landsfarrern, Zahnbrechern, Marcktschreiern,[…] Schwartz Künstlern, Juden, Alchemisten, Disstillatorn, Salben Kramen, Winckhelartzten, und dergleichen…” StadtAA, Collegium Medicum, Fasc. Destillatores et Chyminic, December 1623.

36. Tlusty, “The Devil's Alter,” 52–55; on Augsburg's population see Rajkay, Barbara, “Die Bevölkerungsentwicklung von 1500 bis 1648,” in Geschichte der Stadt Augsburg: 2000 Jahre von der Römerzeit bis zur Gegenwart, ed. Baer, Wolfram et al. , (Stuttgart, 1985), 252–58.

37. The ability to provide at least four beds and stables for eight horses was a requirement for tavern licensing from at least 1563: Mair, Paul Hektor, Chroniken der deutschen Städte, vol. 32, Paul Hektor Mair's Chronik, 1517–1579 (Leipzig, 1917), 36; Markus Welser, Chronica der weitberühmten Kaiserlichen freien und des H. Reichs Stadt Augsburg in schwaben (1595, reprint, Augsburg, 1984), 108.

38. Roeck, Eine Stadt, 938.

39. Tlusty, “The Devil's Alter,” 52–53.

40. StadtAA, Hochzeitsamtprotokolle 1563–1648; Musterungsbücher 1615, 1619, 1645; HWA BWB.

41. Laves, Die Entwicklung, 443.

42. SadtAA, HWA BWB, 1614, 1620, 1623; for tavern bills submitted for the quartering of soldiers during the Thirty Year's War, which include brandy as a part of the morning meal (although the soldiers often consumed large amounts of wine and beer during their eveing drinking bouts, the tavern-Keepers never repoted the use of brandy during the evening), see StadtAA, Militia nr. 59, Landquartierwesen 1639–1647. See also Strafamt, Protokolle der Zucht- und Strafherren, 1537–1631, recorded fines forillegal brandy sales overwhelmingly during the months; and Spoke, Alkohol, 70.

43. Rau, “Ärztliche Gutachten,” 11–13; on Munich, SStBA, Lands vnd Policey Ordnung der Furstenthumben Obern vnd Nidern Bayern, Munich, 1616; Augsburg, StAA, Literalia, 1529; SStAA, 2° Cod.Aug 275, 1553.

44. Wiesner, Merry, Working Woman in Renaissance Germany (Newe Brunswick, 1986), 129–30.

45. Based on lists of brandysellers from StadtAA, Register zum Steur-Buch 1495; StadtAA, Musterungbücher 1610, 1615, and StadtAA, HWA BWB.

46. A position of some prestige, although not equal to the elite patrician “small” council (kleiner Rat); StadtAA, HWA BWB; Mair, Chroniken, 163–64.

47. Based on tax records (StadtAA, Steuerbücher) for 1590, 1618 and 1645. Taxes for persons who identify themselves as brandysellers (Branntweiner) for these years range from 30 kreutzer to over 25 florins in addition to the minimum head tax, indicating an above average economic stasus: see Clasen, Claus-Peter, Die Augsburger Steuerbücher um 1600 (Augsburg: 1976), 9.

48. StadtAA, Schätze no. 179, Ungeltbuch 1459–1536; Strafamt, Strfbuch 1509–1526, fols. 70–71, records restrictions on brandy-drinking for individual drunkards in 1517; and StadtAA, Sshätze no. 16, Sammlung Städtischer Verordnungen und Erlässe, 26, records an undated decree controlling brandy-drinking that was copied in 1536 but probably in effect somewhat earlier.

49. StSBA, 2° Cod.Aug 247, Verbot der Würthshäuser, gewöhren vnd Spihlens;° Cod.Aug 246, Instruktion vn Aid d. Burgermaisterampt von Jahre 1653.

50. “Er hab aber nit vermaint das ime der pranntwein auch inmassen wie der annder wein verpott[en].” StdtAA, Strafamt, Urgichten 1541–1542, Sixt Röting, March 1542.

51. See n. 19.

52. StSBA, 2° Cod.Aug.275, Statt Augspurg Zucht vnd Policey Ordnung 1553.

53. Wiesner, Working Women, 129–30; StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1555, 1557, 1580, 1613, 1614, 1623, 1627, 1631, 1637; Strafamt, ProtocoU der Zucht- und Strafherren 1589–1591, 1591–1592, and 1592–1593; Schätze no. 16, fol. 26, Gebrannten wein betreffend.

54. Stadtarchiv Nuremberg, B15/I Ordnung deß Brandtwein brennens.

55. For the association of drinking with masculinity, see Roper, Lyndal, “Blood and Codpieces: Masculinity in the Early Modern German Town,” in her Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modem Europe (New York, 1994), 107–24;Tlusty, B. Ann, “Das ehrbare Verbrechen: “Die Kontrolle über das Trinken in Augsburg in der frühen Neuzeit,” Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Schwaben 85 (1992): 135–55; idem, “Gender and Alcohol Use in Early Modern Germany,” Social History/Histoire Sociale (November 1994): 241–59.

56. “der gemeiner Mann […] dardurch gleich am morgen frue erhitziget, vnd nachmittags sich in dem Bier abzukhülen verursacht wirdt…” StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1631.

57. “schmertzen seiner glid[e] erlitten”: StadtAA, Strafamt, Urgichten 1543–44, 10 April 1544.

58. Ibid. Block was arrested for cursing in the streets and insulting the city bailiff, and aferward insulting city authorities while he was locked in the fool's house (Narrenhaus), a cage located near the council house served asd a holding cell while exposing drunkards to public ridicule. Block was restricted to drinking wine and beer only in his own hone, which was typical for cases involving drunkenness; forbidding the use of brandy specifically was rare.

59. “Item dhweil der Prenntwein […] zu weiter füllerey anzündt…”; StsdtAA, Zuchtordnungen, Zucht und Policey Ordnung 1537; Staddt, HWA BWB, Policey Ordung, den pranntt Weyn beterffentt, Oct. 1555; ibid., 1631.

60. StadtAA, Schätze no. 16, fol. 26: Gebrannten wein betreffend (n.d., but transcribed in 1536). Ordinances controlling the production and sale of brandy in Augsburg tended to lag behind similar controls in Nuremberg, which was a larger producer of brandy in the sixteeth century. Augsburg brandy was imported at least untill 1587, primarily from Alsace. StadtAa, HWA BWB, Policey Ordnung den pranntt Weyn Betreffent, 1555; ibid., 1587.

61. StadtAA BWB HWA 1555, 1557, 1568, 1580–1588, 1614, 1623.

62. Ibid., 1557, 1568.

63. “…frembde hart arbeitsam Paurs Volckh…”: Ibid., 1580; “Vber das auch der gemanie hart arbeitende Mann […] so soch nur mit hartes vnnd grober speiß, Ja offt nur mit dem trocknen brot zu speisen, vnnd ausserhalb des Brantenweins mit lauttern Wasser zu trencken pflegen.” Ibid., 1588.

64. “…kain solch getranckh, derein vberflüssig zuzehren, sondern allein zur crafft, oder Artzney zugebrauchen.” Ibid., 1614; the limit was raised again to 12 kreutzer during the thirty years' War (1623), when inflation allowed brandy sellerss to clain the need to provide a cheaper alternative to eating and drinking in taverns; ibid., 1623.

65. StadtAA, Strafamt, Protocoll der Zucht- und Straffherren, 1589–1591. Ten of the 22 infractions were by male brandysellers, eight by male Huckers (samll shopkeepers) amd krämer (grocers), two by craftsmen's wives, two by widows (one a grocer's widow), and one by a Goldpinner. The Goldspinner's name appears 13 later in craft records as a brandyseller (Conrad Ebling, StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1613).

66. “Jedoch dass das nidersitzen nit mißbraucht…;”; StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1614.

67. “Demnach aber diser zeit die frembden Soldaten […] wann inen nicht nach iren begern geben vnnd aufgetragen wirdt, nun grosse vngelegenheit leibs vnnd lebens gefahr zuegewarthen, inmassen sie dann alsobaldt mit gantz betrolichen wortten kommen, dass sie die leuth beschedigen, erschießen, fenster einwerffen, die thüeren ein sprengen, ja gar hauß vnd hoff anzünden wellen…” Ibid., 1632. On the spread of spirits use during the Thirty Years' War, see August Jegal, “Ernärungsfürsorge des Altnürnberger Rates,” Mitteilungen des vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 37 (1940), 73–199, 159.

68. StadtAA, Militaria Nr. 59 Lanquaritierwesen 1639–1647.

69. StadtAA, Strafamt, Urgichten 1541–1542, Sixt Röting, March 1542; Strafbuch 1633–1653, 327; Urgichten 1592c, Jacob Frantz, 30 September 1592; Urgichten 1592d, Felicitas Reischlerin, 30 September–1 10 1592; Recichsstadt Chroniken no. 27, Chronik von Augsburg bis 1697, 15 December 1600; HWA BWB, 1604, Anders Kölling; Strafamt, Urgichten 1595d, 29 December, Leonhartd seitz, which describes soldiers who engaged in a tavern drinking bout with brandy in the countryside.

70. StSBA, Lands und Policey Ordnung der Fürstenthumben Obern und Nidern Bayern, Munchen 1616; StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1688; StadtAA, Ratsbücher Nr. 83, 1686–1689; HWA, Bier und Weinwirte 1520–1811 1, 24 January 1737; ibid., 23 February 1745. Regulations by this time applied also to coffee houses.

71. “Parnntwein vß Waizen Bierheffen vnnd annderer besern materi […] so zu trinckhen an iren gesundt schedlich auch der Waitzen dardurch vnnutzlich verschwendt wirdt”; StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1570. Distilling “brandy” from beer yeast was forbidden in other cities at least as early as 1530; Rau, “Ärztliche Gutachten,” 8.

72. Ungeld was an excise tax collected on the production and sale of certain consumable goods, including wine, beer, brandy, wood, and honey, established in Augsburg in the thirteenth century. The Ungald Lords, appointed by the council, were responsible for levying the tax and controlling the sales of these commodities. see also Baer, Wolfarm et al., eds., Augsburger Stadtlexikon (Augsburg, 1985), 384–85.

73. “…der Pranntwein so auß obngedeuter falscher materi geprannt…” StadtAA, HWA BWB 1537–1698, 1570.

74. Ibid., correspondence from 1570–1674.

75. “…der gemeiner Mann […] sehr betrogen, dadurch gleich am morgen frue erhitziget, und nachmittags sich in dem Bier abzukhüelen, verursacht wirdt, dass Zechen auch so wohl bey tag, alls bey nacht,…” StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1631.

76. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1589; Strafamt, Strafbuch 1588–1596, fol 37.

77. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1589; Stadtarchiv Nuremberg, B15/IV Branntwein Ordnung, 1567.

78. Based on income estimates for the sixteenth century in Augsburg, from Dirlmeire, Ulf, Untersuchungen zu Enikommensverhältnissen und Lebenshaltunskosten in oberdeutschen Städten des Spätmittelalters (Heidelberg, 1978), 206–12.

79. “ein Zeitlang aus der Stat geschaft.” StadtAA HWA BWB, 1590; Strafamt, Strafbuch 1588–1596, fols. 94–95.

80. StadtAA, Urgichten 1602c, 15 July 1602.

81. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1604, 1613.

82. Also called Wacholderbeerwasser. Schrick, von allen, fol. 10. Schrich's recipe appeared 50 years earlier than the first recipe for juniper-flavored brandy in the Dutch language, which has been cited as the “beginning of the history of gin.” See Austin, Alcohol in Western Society, 168; Forbes, A Short History, 159;Roueché, Berton, “Alcohol in Human Culture,” in Alcohol and Civilization, ed. Lucia, Salvatore (New York, 1963). Roueché attributed the “discovery” of gin the Dutch professor Franciscus Sylvius, whose major role in the growth of the gin industry was not its initiation, but its introduction in Holland from which it quickly spread to England.

83. “…darauff schlechten verstandt, also weing verstand, hat.” The Augsburg authorities claimed that hiding taste of the spirits with juniper was a means to “fool” the common man: StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1613. On the use juniper to mask the taste of grain alcohol, which was considered unpleasant, see Roueché, “Alcohol,” 173; Zedler, Grosses, 1088–89.

84. StadtAA, HWA, BWB, Conradt Ebling et al., 7 September 1613.

85. “Hab weder gerecht noch ungerecht brentwein nie getragen, [sondern] nur krametbeerwasser…” StadtAA, Strafamt Urgichten 1594d, Matheis Egkh, 17 December 1594; Strafamt, Strafbuch 1588–1596, fol. 224.

86. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1623.

87. StadtAA, Collegium Medicum, Destillatores et Chymici, Deputierte über die Apoteckhen, December 1623.

88. StadtAA, HWA BWB, Branntwein Ordung 1623.

89. “…selbiger auch so weit erwachsen, dass schier an allen Orthen vnd gassen der Statt dergleichen Getranckh gebrennt,” ibid., 1631.

90. “…vnsere Wasser den menschen, wann er die, wie aale andere guete sadchen, mit mässigkeit gebraucht, nicht schädlich, sondern nutzlich sein […] vnsere gebrante wasser vil gesunder vnd heilsamer den menschen seiend, dann vnserer widerparth[en] gemeine vnd schlechten brantenwein…” StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1631.

91. Ibid.

92. On comparative prices, see Rau, “Ärztliche Gutachten,” 7; StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1637.

93. Austin, Alcohol in Western Society, 219; Forbes, A Short History, 103; stadtarchiv Nuremberg, B15/I Ordnung dess Brandtwein brennens, 1648; Stadtarchiv Nuremberg, A6/1677, Einschleichen des Brandweins 1655.

94. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 13–22 January 1637, Johann Schaur.

95. See for example StadtAA, Strafamt, Urgichten 1602c, Sara Ballier, 15 July 1602, who testified that she didn't know that producing grain spirits was illegal if she was dependent upon it to get by; on a subsequent arrest she noted that she didn't think the punishment would be serious since so many others were also selling the product (Urgichten 1603d, 20 October 1603).

96. “habe nit vermeint, dass so erschröeklich und heffig verbotten seye”. StadtAA, HWA BWB, Anna Thomain, 1643.

97. Ibid; StadtAA, Strafamt, Strafbuch 1633–1653, 271.

98. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1674.

99. StadtAA, Einnehmerbücher, 1510–1680; see also Tlusty, “The Devil's Altar,” 172–83.

100. “…hierdurch gemainer Statt am Ungelt schaden […] verursacht” StadtAA, Strafamt, Strafbuch 1633–1653, 271.

101. StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1574.

102. StadtAA, HWA BWB, Hans Martin Eberlin, 1676.

103. StadtAA, Alphabetisches Register über die Namen in dem Musterungsregister von 1615; Alphabetisches Register über die Beschreibung der Stadt Augsburg von 1645; Strafamt, Strafbuch 1654–1699 fol. 662.

104. StadtAA, Ratserlasse, Policey- Zierd- Kleider- Hochzeit- Kind Tauf- und Leich- Ordnung, Augsburg, 1683, 30.

105. StadtAA, HWA BWB, Johann Jacob Weissens, 1688. The 1688 decision allowing brewers to distill their own “brandy” for sale in beer taverns (noted above) was almost certainly referring to spirits from beer yeast, although the language is not explicit: StadtAA, HWA BWB, 1688; StadtAA, Ratsbücher no. 83, 1686–1689, 312.

106. StSBA, 4° Cod.Aug.1020, Ordnungen I Abt. 99, Brandewein Brenner Ordnung 1746.

107. Forbes, A Short History, 132, 159. William Hogarth's socially critical etchings of the mid-eighteenth century, Beer Street and Gin Lane, illustrate not only the disorderly effects of the abuse of the inexpensive spirits, but also the threat Hogarth believed gin posed to the economy as it surpassed beer in popularity. Similar concerns were voiced in Germany during the eighteenth century: Medick., “Plebejische Kultur,” 203–4; StadtAA, Ordnungen und Statuten, Karton 3 no. 114, Brandewein-Brenner Ordnung 1746.

108. Medick, “Plebejische Kultur,” 187.

109. For another model of the negative affects of competitive infighting on the alcohol trade, see Gutzke, David W., Protecting the Pub: Brewers and Publicans against Temperance (Wolfeboro, N.H., 1989).

110. Van Dülmen, , Entstehung, 208–9; Michael Stolleis, “‘von dem grewlichen Laster der Trunckenheit,” 177–91.

111. Warner also notes the lack of literature addressing the social history of alcohol during the early modern period; “In Another City,” 485–86.

Water of Life, Water of Death: The Controversy over Brandy and Gin in Early Modern Augsburg

  • B. Ann Tlusty

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed