Home > History of Wine > “give him part of a Bottle of Wine, it being his Birth Day”: Twelve accounts involving a bottle of wine

“give him part of a Bottle of Wine, it being his Birth Day”: Twelve accounts involving a bottle of wine


I love perusing The Proceedings of the Old Bailey for content in anyway related to wine.  This site may sound familiar due to my Murder and Thieves series of posts.  Inspired by Sharon Howard’s investigation of phrases in the criminal proceedings, I present to you extracts from twelve different proceedings spanning the years 1683 – 1737.  This is by no means a thorough list, just one the presents a variety of events involving a Bottle of wine.  I strongly encourage you to read more of these proceedings for in the last case you will find, ” When the Wine came up, they fill’d a Glass, which I believe was a full Pint-glass, and with bitter Oaths and Imprecations, they forced me to drink it off”.

17th century English wine bottles.  The British Museum.

17th century English wine bottles. The British Museum.

1 – “the Prisoner was in Company of another Woman, picked up the Prosecutor in Fleet-street and proffered either to give or take a Bottle of Wine, which agreed on, they went to the Green-Dragon-Tavern , and there Hug’d him so long till they had pickt his Pocket of the Watch and Mony aforesaid”[1]

2 – “Indicted for stealing a Silver Tankard from John Nichols , a Vintner , to whom he went for a Bottle of Wine, and whilst it was drawing, was so nimble to steal the Tankard out of a Closet”[2]

3 – “Geo. Caskey, together with Francis Pevanson, alias Peverson , a French-man, and Daniel Ballantine an Italian having been drinking at a Musick House in Rosemary-lane, as they were coming away they would have had another Bottle of Wine; which the Master of the House refused: at which they were highly offended, broke the Windows of the House, and abused the Woman”[3]

4 – “That Lacy the Prisoner importuning the Plantiff Aldridge to drink a Bottle of Wine, who, after some Importunities going with him, and drinking some part of four Bottles of Wine; which when he had done, refusing to drink any more, going off, the Prisoner assaulted him the said Aldridge with his Fist, beating him to the Ground, very much abusing his Face”[4]

5 – “whilst the Maid of the house (whom he had sent to fetch him a Bottle of Wine, under pretence he had friends to visit him) was absent, he pick’d the lock of a Chest of Drawers that stood in his Chamber, and rifling those that were open, made his escape”[5]

6 – “That being one that practised the Trade of Night walking , she invited him to a Tavern in St. Martins le Grand , in order to partake of a Bottle of Wine, But they had scarcely begun to grow familiar, before she had dived into his Pocket, and getting his Purse of Gold, she gave him the slip”[6]

7 – “he met the Prisoner, who ask’d him for a Bottle of Wine, and he went with her, and being in the Tavern, there came another Woman to them, and then he went home with them to their Lodging; where shewing them his Ring, the Prisoner snatch’d it from him, and gave it to the other, who would not return it”[7]

8 – “asking him where he was going, he answered on Shore for his Health, and that when he return’d he would give him part of a Bottle of Wine, it being his Birth Day”[8]

9 – “that presently they went out, and after some Time came in again, that it seem’d as if they had been a quarreling, but then both of them seem’d satisfied, that they then call’d for a Bottle of Wine; that Captain Otway call’d the Deceas’d Scrub and Coward, to which the Deceas’d answer’d, he was no Coward, but a Soldier”[9]

10 – “that they all went into the Room, and she carried in a Bottle of Wine, and she heard no more, till she heard the Deceas’d was kill’d”[10]

11 – “here I and Mrs. M – drank 3 three Shilling Bowls of Punch and a Bottle of Wine: After which, he made me a present of half a Guinea, and eight Shillings in Silver, and offered me half a Guinea more to lie with him”[11]

12 – “I (thinking myself very safe) sat down, and drank Part of his Bottle of Wine, and when that Bottle was out, I called for another, in Answer to Mr. Car’s Bottle. When this Bottle was drank out, we had another”[12]


[1] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), August 1683, trial of Frances Marsh (t16830829-2).
[2] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), April 1684, trial of Lawrence Axtel Elizabeth Axtel (t16840409-25).
[3] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), September 1684, trial of George Caskey Francis Pevanson, alias Peverson Daniel Ballantine (t16840903-18).
[4] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), October 1685, trial of William Lacy (t16851014-4).
[5] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), January 1686, trial of Edward Reyon (t16860114-13).
[6] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), December 1688, trial of Jane King (t16881205-22).
[7] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), June 1714, trial of Eleanor Collins (t17140630-53).
[8] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), December 1720, trial of Edward Ely (t17201207-37).
[9] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), December 1728, trial of Thomas Otway (t17281204-13).
[10] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), August 1730, trial of David Murphey (t17300828-30).
[11] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), December 1734, trial of Martha Holcomb , alias Nichols Charles Holcomb (t17341204-28).
[12] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 27 October 2015), October 1737, trial of Thomas Car Elizabeth Adams (t17371012-3).

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