When William of Orange prohibited the importing of alcohol to England in the early Eighteenth Century, many gin lovers began the production and consumption of domestic English gin,the majority being of dubious quality. Its popularity was such, especially amongst the poor, that gin was distilled and sold in one fifth of all London homes.
The excessive and uncontrolled consumption provoked a rapid degradation of society, a period given the name 'Gin Craze'. In trying to curb this so-called ‘social evil’, the 1736 Gin Act was introduced during the reign of George II, whereby an annual levy of £50 was imposed on those wishing to produce and sell gin. After six years, just two distilleries had agreed to pay this tax.
Shortly after the Gin Act 1736, a family of independent London Distillers came up with an original gin recipe, known ironically amongst themselves as ‘Fifty Pounds’ in honour of the Gin Act levy. This recreation of that gin has been a long time coming.