The law before us, my lords, seems to be the effect of that practice of which it is intended likewise to be the cause, and to be dictated by the liquor of which it so effectually promotes the use; for surely it never before was conceived by any man entrusted with the administration of public affairs, to raise taxes by the destruction of the people.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. from a speech in the House of Lords, Feb. 22, 1743, on the Gin Licensing Act, recorded in The Parliamentary History of England to the Year 1803, vol. XII.
The Act was one of several passed in the 1740s and 1750s to curb the ever-growing consumption of cheap gin.