Parliament passed the Beer Act which removed the tax on beer and laid
down that anyone paying rates (used for the upkeep of the poor), could apply
for a license, costing just two guineas from Customs and Excise, to brew
beer and sell it on their own premises to the public.
would no longer be involved in this aspect of the licensing
process so there were no checks on the suitability of people
involved or the premises. Almost overnight, Beer Houses sprang up
across the country as people (including enterprising Stentifords,
Stedifords et al) realised the significance of the change. By 1838, it
was estimated that there were over 46,000 private dwellings being used
for the sale and consumption of alcohol.