Tuesday 17 October 2017

14 pints of ale a day for workers in 16th century

Ale and bread were considered the most important components of the early modern Irish diet Stock photo: Depositphotos
Ale and bread were considered the most important components of the early modern Irish diet Stock photo: Depositphotos
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Beer was ranked alongside bread as the most important dietary staple in early modern Ireland, and some workers were granted a daily allowance of 14 pints of ale.

Dr Susan Flavin, lecturer in early modern history at Anglia Ruskin University, examined evidence from household accounts, soldiers' rations and port books from 16th century Ireland.

She found that ale and beer were viewed as a vital source of calories and nutrition, and were consumed in incredible quantities.

Records from January 1565 show that stone masons working at a quarry in Clontarf were provided with an allowance of 14 pints of ale per day by the proctor of Christ Church Cathedral.

Documents from Dublin Castle showed the household staff consumed 264,000 pints of beer in 1590, an average of eight pints each per day.

Irish Independent

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