The London Beer Flood Of 1814 (Strange Stories)

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of october 17 1814 at the horseshoe brewery in a poor part of london called the saint guiles rookery a densely populated london slum around saint giles church inhabited by the poor and the destitute alcohol addiction emerged as a serious problem in the city but in the poor slum areas of london it was seen as a cause of infanticide starvation madness decay and suicide 4 30 pm a giant 22-foot high wooden beer fermentation tank reinforced with large iron rings that held the equivalent of over 3 500 barrels of brown porter ale started to buckle then one of the rings snapped and about an hour later at 5 30 pm the whole tank ruptured and exploded as the tank was pressurized the blast caused several neighboring huge vets to become unstable and they fell apart adding their contents to the beer that was suddenly engulfing the entire brewery it’s estimated that in a matter of seconds over 320 000 gallons of beer were released and crashed out of the brewery through its back wall and part of the roof surging down the street at its peak it was said that the tidal wave of beer and debris was over 15 feet tall in the ensuing chaos that followed the giant wave caused a nearby wall to collapse at the tavistock arms pub on great russell street crushing a barmaid named eleanor cooper to death beneath it while she was washing pots mary banfield and her four-year-old daughter hannah were having afternoon tea together in their house at new street when they were swept away by the current and hannah was killed another child three-year-old sarah bates was also killed the disturbing irony was that the next victims were at a social gathering for a funeral as the beer wave approached five people died while attending an irish wake for two-year-old john seville in a basement where they became trapped and drowned the mourners who died with a grieving mother and seville elizabeth smith 27 the wife of a bricklayer mary mulvay 30 and her son by a previous marriage thomas murray age three and catherine butler a widow age 65. scores of people had to scramble the safety out of their flooded basement flats or risk being drowned as well and brewery workers had to wade through waste-high beer to escape the carnage back at the brewery afterwards there were dozens of injured people some still trapped in the rubble but later stories emerged that rescue attempts were hampered by large amounts of people swarming around the area collecting the free beer with anything that came to hand like pots pans kennels and cups martin cornell author of amber gold and black the history of britain’s great beers explains none of the london newspapers report anyone trying to drink the beer after the flood indeed they say the crowds that gathered were pretty well behaved only much later did stories emerge about riots people getting drunk and so on they seem to have been prompted by what people thought to if it happened rather than what did happen the london morning post summed it up as looking like the area had been hit by an earthquake it was said the stench of beer lingered around for several months the owners of the brewery mew and company were taken to court but they were cleared of any negligence and it was deemed to have been an accident or as the judge put it an act of god there were persistent rumors that the company had bribed the judge but this was never taken seriously or proven this sadly meant that neither the government nor the company were obliged to pay any compensation to the victims of the disaster the victims of the flood had lost 3 000 pounds and ruined belongings though mew and company managed by cutting their losses they requested and were granted a refund on the excise tax that they had already paid on the beer that was lost mew and company estimated that the flood cost the brewery around 23 000 pounds an act was passed the following year allowing the partners to brew duty-free an amount equivalent in duties to the duty on the beer lost which saved them around 7 250 pounds the company rebuilt the brewery and continued brewing at that site until 1921. the brewery was demolished in 1922. the large wooden fermentation tanks that were reinforced with metal rings were subsequently faced out of use after the disaster and the beer making industry started to replace them with concrete fermentation tanks lined with resin asphalt slate or enamel overall the tidal wave of beer engulfed three streets destroying buildings flooded basements and tragically killed at least eight [Music] hey people history fans get me your very own limited edition simple history soldier plushie available to purchase for just three weeks from september 4th to the 18th at 24.99 us dollars plus tax and shipping and once pre-orders are fulfilled i will ship out 60 to 80 days after the campaign ends once i’m gone i’m gone head over to the link in the description below to get your limited edition simple history plushie today
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96OMuA65goo

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