Alehouse Characters #2: The Drunken Constable

the many-headed monster

Mark Hailwood

This is the second in a series of posts to mark the publication of my new book, Alehouses and Good Fellowship in Early Modern England. Each post focuses on a character that features in the book, and uses them to highlight some of my key themes and arguments.

On an October evening, in the year 1604, a weary traveller by the name of John Oultings entered Turner’s alehouse in the Essex parish of Layer Marney. It was around 6 o’clock, and Oultings ordered himself some beer and cheese, and requested a room in which to rest overnight. It was the kind of routine stopover that was a common occurrence in England’s seventeenth-century alehouses, as the institution represented an important component of the country’s hospitality infrastructure.

So far, then, nothing particularly remarkable. But what Oultings was to witness during his stay was a sequence of rather more intriguing…

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