The origins of Dutch courage

In the 15th century a drink known as Jenever, which we now know as gin, was invented as a diuretic. During the 30 Years War (1618-1648) the English troops fighting in the Low Countries took to drinking this local tipple which soon became known as Dutch Courage. To this day Dutch Courage is associated with a drink or two before embarking on an activity that requires a bit of an extra boost to self-confidence. Gin became more and more popular in England and particularly so when William of Orange took the English throne.

In 1793 Coates & Co., Plymouth, opened a gin factory selling Plymouth Gin. By 1850 they were supplying over 1000 barrels a year of navy strength (57%) gin to the Royal Navy alone. The factory still stands and here it is:


My next picture gives few clues except that there is a boat in the foreground named Richard and Ann, Plymouth. I think, looking at the background,that this boat was in the Barbican district of Plymouth which is a lively, attractive part of Plymouth which not only houses the gin factory but an attractive marina as well. Here is a photo:


There is a completely illegible signature on the back of this print but it only cost 99p and it is very atmospheric. Here it is: