1875 Almonte Tavern License from Almonte.com
December 1 1871-Almonte Gazette— We referred in our last issue to the case of Mr. Henry Stafford, who was charged selling liquor without a license. It was brought up before the magistrates on Tuesday last, and Mr. Stafford was convicted and fined in $20 and costs. Mr. Stafford, acting under the advice of counsel, declines paying the fine, and will allow the prosecutors to seize and sell his *property if they are so inclined, to recover the amounts. Mr. Andrew Kenney, another shop-keeper, appeared on Thursday on the same charge.
The Smith Falls Record News of 21 Feb. 1889 reported: “The Ontario Government have appointed Mr. John McCann of Perth to be license commissioner in the stead of Mr. Samuel Garrett, resigned.” Later that year, an editorial in the Perth Courier of 8 Nov. 1889 noted, “John McCann of Perth has been appointed License Inspector for S. Lanark in place of Henry Stafford, who retired.
Mr. McCann has therefore resigned his position as one of the License Commissioners. The fact that Mr. Stafford is no longer License Inspector will give great satisfaction to the Temperance business in the riding. We have every hope Mr. McCann will do his duty with vigor and zeal. More of Henry Stafford here-Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage
Drink was made easy to get, was one problem: grocers in bowler hats sold it from carts; wandering vendors carried casks of it — on yokes, like milk-maids-on to the works; most landladies sold it — it was almost the only way they could cope with high rents, bad debts, and the household bills — and neither big fines nor police raids could stop illegal liquor sales in the huts.
The temperance movement advocated the use of alcohol in moderation, whereas the more radical teetotal movement favoured “total” abstention from alcohol. The temperance movement was led by middle-class social reformers and philanthropists who wanted to manage an unruly working class. They tried to convince working men to spend their wages on clothes, food, and middle-class comforts such as furniture and watches, rather than on beer or spirits. Temperance rhetoric and narratives argued that spending money on alcohol would only lead to one’s own ruin and the ruin of one’s family.
Drunkenness was only visible when it took place in public; and only certain classes of people drank in pubs or went about drunk. Drunkenness itself was not a crime, but public drunkenness could become a petty crime or nuisance when supplemented by bad behavior: working people and the poor were often jailed for “drunkenness and disorderliness” or “drunkenness and riotousness.” Since the middle class tended to drink privately, it developed the idea that drunkenness was visible only in social celebration – hence the poor seemed to be having too much fun.