[Ads-l] Antedating "shebeen" (1743)

dave@wilton.net dave at WILTON.NET
Sat Jul 31 09:48:10 EDT 2021

Sense: illicit liquor, place where illicit liquor is sold
OED has c. 1787, Green's c.1790; neither has the sense of the liquor itself, only the place
The Trial in Ejectment (at Large) Between Campbell Craig, Lessee of James Annesley Esq; and Others, Plaintiff; and the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Anglesey, Defendant. London: J. and P. Knapton, et al., 1744, 124. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Transcript of a trial in Ireland 11–25 November 1743:
Q. What Goods were they that were taken away?
A. A Feather Bed, the Coop, some Casks, and my Lord’s Buckles that he had in his Shoes.
Q. Are you sure you had seen those Goods in my Lord’s House?
A. I can’t say so, but to be sure they were so.
Q. Where were they found?
A. At Bally Hobbart.
Q. In whole House?
A. In her Brother’s. And there were some more of them got at another Place just by Bally Hobbart. My Lord’s Buckles were taken out of her Brother’s Shoes.
Q. What Office was you in then?
A. I was High Constable at that Time.
Q. What did Joan Laffen do at this Time?
A. One while she used to sell Shebeen.
Q. You don’t mean that you saw these Goods in actual Possession of Joan Laffen?
A. No, no; but she liv’d in the House with her Brother at that Time.
The Genuine Trial at Bar, Between Campbell Craig, Lessee of of James Annesley Esq; and Others, Plaintiff; and the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Anglesey, Defendant. London: M. Cooper, 1744, 63. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Testimony of 16 November 1743:
Being asked what Reason he has to believe that Joan Laffan is not a Person to be believ’d upon her Oath; says, she is a Woman of ill Fame that keeps a Shebeen-house, and led an ill Life.
Marginal note reads: “little Ale-[hou]se”
Massey, Charles. A Collection of Resolutions Queries, &c. Wrote on Occasion of the Present Dispute in the City of Limerick. Limerick: Andrew Walsh, 1749 36. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Whether the Mayor, who by his Oath of Office, is Sworn Clerk of the Markets, is not in Conscience bound to Visit them frequently, and not to trust any low indigent Man to that Work, whose Exigencies might tempt him to send a Piece of Meat to his own Kitchen, rather than to the Goals? Whether the Shebeen or market Measure that at present used, is not made in such a Form as to Scoop up three times the Toll? and whether the Mayor does not, or ought not to know this?
Du Bois, Dorothea. The Case of Ann Countess of Anglesey, Lately Deceased; Lawful Wife of Richard Annesley [sic], Late Earl of Anglesey, and of Her Three Surviving Daughters, Lady Dorothea, Lady Caroline, and Lady Elizabeth, by the Said Earl. London: 1766, 13–14. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Hitherto the said Earl Richard had always lived in great Harmony with his said Wife, and took great Care of the Education of his three Daughters by her; but having soon after, in her Absence, contracted a Familiarity, and criminal Intercourse with one Gillin alias Julian Donovan, the Daughter of one Richard Donovan, who sold an unlicensed Kind of Ale, called Shebeen, in a cabin, in the Village of Camolin, where his Lordship’s Men Servants usually frequented, often at very untimely Hours, and sometimes stayed out of the Family whole Nights, for the sake of the said Gillin’s Company.
Justice and Policy. An Essay on the Increasing Growth and Enormities of Our Great Cities, vol. 2. Dublin: 1773, 13–14. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Here it cannot but be taken notice of how much it were to be wished, that the brewers of malt liquors in Ireland would mend their hands by brewing good drink, and not contribute so largely to the impoverishment of the kingdom, by causing so considerable a drain of cash to be sent away for porter, thereby obliging the wealthier part of the people to drink foreign liquors, another part to drink burning spirits, destructive to the human species and productive of all sorts of enormities and miseries seen in the objects who fill the jails and hospitals, or stupified and diseased with drinking foggy ale and shebeen of bad ingredients, and as bad manufacture.
Dillon, John Talbot. Travels Through Spain. London: G. Robinson, 1780, 168. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
In both countries the common people are passionate, easily provoked if their family is slighted, or their descent called in question. The Chacoli of Biscay, or the Shebeen of Ireland, makes them equally frantic.
Vessey, Francis. Appendix to the Abridgment of the Statutes of Ireland. Dublin: George Grierson, 1788. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
V. sect. 28. Ale called shebeen, seized for any offence against any revenue laws, shall be sold at any time after seizure; and if claimed by owner and adjudged not subject to seizure, claimant shall be paid so much money, as produce from such ale amounted to, provided proper permit produced for the malt, of which made.
Marginal note reads:
Shebeen ale, if seized, may be sold, if claimed, and not subject to seizure, produce paid, on permit for the malt.
“Luke Caffrey’s Kilmainham Minit.” The Irish Nosegay: or, Songster’s Companion. Dublin: P. Wogan, 1789, 142. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Pads foremost he div’d, and den round
 He caper’d de Kilmainham Minit;
 But soon, when he lay on the Ground,
 Our bisiness we taut to begin id:
 Wid de Stiff to a Shebeen we hied,
 But Det had shut fast ev’ry Grinder;
 His Brain-box hung all-a-one Side,
 And no Distiller’s Pig could be blinder;
 But dat, you know, is what we must all cum to.

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