Breasting the bar earns Margaret time in the watch house
MARGARET Carey, after enjoying a couple of rums at the Strong Man Inn, Parramatta in September 1828, was ordered to spend time in the watch house “until sober” after souveniring a drinking glass in her bosom.
The Strong Man Inn, hosted by William Burgin, traded in Church Street, Parramatta.
Margaret, in company with a man, dropped into the inn, and each called for a gill of rum, a measurement equalling five imperial fluid ounces.
Burgin poured the five ounces of rum into a rummer, a large drinking-glass studded with prunts to ensure a safe grip. They were popular drinking vessels mainly in the Rhineland and the Netherlands from the 15th through the 17th century.
Margaret and her mate downed the rummer, and called for two more, before Burgin went to his dinner in another room.
When he finished his dinner, he returned to the tap room or bar, and found one of the rummers had disappeared. He quizzed Margaret as to the whereabouts of the glass, and she instantly placed her hand into her bosom and pulled out the rummer.
Burgin, who later told the magistrate that he had lost a number of glasses that way, summoned Margaret to Parramatta Court House where besides being committed to the watch house, she was ordered to replace the broken glass, and find security for her good behaviour for 12 months.