[LMB] OT: Social structures, was Build your own Emperor

Carol Botteron cjbotteron at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 22:53:12 BST 2017

One of my favorite ancestors was Dionis Stevens Coffin (1610 England - 1676
Nantucket, Mass.)  She and her husband Tristram Coffin ran a tavern in
Newbury, Mass., and made their own ale.  In 1653 Dionis was taken to
court.  The law was that a brewer had to use four bushels of malt per
hogshead, and sell the ale for two pence per quart.  Dionis was charging
three pence a quart.  She was able to prove that she used six bushels per
hogshead, i.e. the ratio was the same.  The case was dismissed.  As far as
I can tell, the main effect was publicity for the Coffins’ good ale.  I
don’t know why the case was against Dionis alone.  We might expect that her
husband would be considered responsible for her, but apparently the court
knew who was in charge. :-}

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