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The Curious Cat

By  Sarah Schiewe 2023

The Enchanted Mr Botanicals, is decorated with gin botanicals and he maybe just a little bit tipsy.  He tells the story of 18th century London, when gin-drinking became a rampant issue among London's poor, leading to widespread drunkenness and societal problems.  Gin was blamed for all the city’s evils, from crime and prostitution to child abuse and death.  The Gin Act of 1736 prohibited the sale of gin in small quantities and was intended to kerb drinking with harsh penalties but led to overcrowded jails, public unrest and increased the populace's desire for gin.

A young Irish man, Captain Dudley devised a scheme involving a wooden sign, known as the Enchanted Cat, to discreetly dispense illegal gin from his home. London was full of copycats and cat signs began popping up all over the city. These illegal gin-sellers became known as Puss and Mew shops.

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