The Licensing Act becomes law

Mainly the work of Liberal Home Secretary, Henry Bruce (1st Baron Aberdare) the Act restricted closing times, regulated the content of beer, made magistrates the licensing authority and gave boroughs the option of becoming completely dry. It was not popular with drinkers, landlords or brewers nor with the police who had to enforce new closing hours. Many took the view they would still rather see ‘an England free than an England compulsorily sober’.