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Teetotallers and the Liquor Trade

Wellingborough & Kettering News, September 4th, 1880, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Teetotalers of Rushden.
SIR —In your notice of the successful opposition of the teetotalers and others to the application for a new spirit license for Rushden your remarks imply that the action of the total abstinence party was at variance with the interests of the inhabitants. I think that your full report of the evidence adduced before the magistrates proves the contrary to be the case. It is the innkeeper who applies for increased powers for the sale of drink whose interests are opposed to those of the public. I am warranted in arriving at this conclusion because while there was a numerously signed petition against the application being granted, there was none in its favour. If the inhabitants of Rushden were of opinion that provision for the sale of drink was insufficient why did they not so signify it. That there was no legitimate demand for increased accommodation on the part of the public is conclusively proved by the fact that the solicitor who represented the publicans fell back upon the hypothetical necessities of commercial travellers, and not the requirements of the inhabitants. In nearly all these attempts to increase the liquor traffic the publican represents himself only while his opponents represent the interests of the ratepayers, who are mulcted to pay for the pauperism and crime arising from drunkenness; they are representative of the wives and families of the working class, who are the greatest sufferers from the increased facilities for drink, and they plead for unborn generations who inherit the curse handed down by the parents. Teetotalers may be intemperate in the advocacy of their principles, but they have no sordid interests to advance; their opposition to the drink traffic is at least unselfish; it is as philanthropists and lovers of their country that they engage in a contest which brings upon them much odium and persistent misrepresentation without any benefit except the satisfaction that they have tried to serve their generation.


[A petition was presented to the magistrates in favour of the license being granted.— ED]

Wellingborough News, 1st April 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

SUNDAY CLOSING—On Wednesday, the 22nd inst., a public meeting to advocate the Sunday Closing of public-houses was held in the New Hall. The Rev. W. A. Davis presided, and a fair audience attended. The speakers were Messrs. E. Whitwell and S. Knell, the deputation from the Sunday Closing Association, and the Rev. Canon Barker, Revs. G. Pung, and T. Bromage. Resolutions in favour of Sunday Closing were submitted, and on a vote being taken as to whether the closing should be all day or for two hours sale off the premises, it was unanimously decided to advocate the total closing, and it was resolved that copies of the resolution be sent to the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and the two members for the division.

Wellingborough News, 8th April 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

PETIITON to PARLIAMENT —On Thursday evening last the Hon. C. R. Spencer presented a petition from Rushden, in favour of Sunday Closing.

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