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Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records

Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records

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ESSEX COUNTY INN, TAVERN AND RETAILER LICENSE RECORDS, 1733-1842, 1904

Sponsor:

Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Essex County (Mass.)
Title:Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records
Dates:1733/1842, 1904
Quantity:6 linear feet (10 boxes)
Abstract:The Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records consist mainly of lists submitted to the Massachusetts Court of General Sessions by the Selectmen of Essex County towns recommending persons for licensing as "taverners" and retailers of spirituous liquors.
Identification:MSS 465

Series List

SERIES I. Residents Approbated by Town Selectmen
SERIES II. County Record Books of License Holders
SERIES III. Other County Records

Scope and Content Note

The Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records consist mainly of lists submitted to the Massachusetts Court of General Sessions by the Selectmen of Essex County towns recommending persons for licensing as "taverners" and retailers of spirituous liquors.


Series I. Residents Approbated by Town Selectmen contains the recommendations submitted by Selectmen to the Court of General Sessions for licensing of taverners. These documents attest to an individual as "a person of sober life and conversation." The series also contains lists of citizens that were licensed in the previous year with recommendations for renewal or denial of their license. This series also includes affidavits attesting that individuals have taken the oath as required by law, signed oaths of licensed individuals and petitions filed by those denied approbation by the Selectmen. The records are arranged by town and date.


Series II. County Record Books of License Holders include ledgers of license holders for the entire county. These ledgers are arranged by date.


Series III. Other County Records include an undated transcript of lists of innholders and retailers of Essex County; invoices related to posting of notices and legal fees related to licensing; and the register of The Monomack, a hotel in Merrimac, Massachusetts for part of the year 1904. There is also a folder of miscellaneous documents which includes a list of sellers of tea dated July 1752; an invoice paid by the County of Essex for travel costs to attend the execution of Henry Blackburn; invoices related to doctors' and coroners' fees; court fees and recording fees at the Registry of Deeds; and an order from Oriental Insurance Company. These documents date from 1752 to 1842 and are arranged chronologically.


Historical Sketch

Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records

In the early decades of the seventeenth century, one simply had to ask permission from the Governor or Deputy-Governor if they wished to sell alcohol. In 1639 individual towns in Essex county were "to present a man to be allowed to sell wine and strong water" to the General Court which would then grant or deny permission. In 1681 it was formalized that the Selectmen of the town were to approve persons to be licensed before they were eligible to be licensed by the Court. At this time it was required that licenses be renewed annually. By 1789 license holders were also required to sign an oath that stated "I do swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will, to the utmost of my power, defend the constitution and government thereof against traitorous conspiracies, and all hostile and violent attempts whatsoever. So help me God."


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Blackburn, Henry, d. 1796
Monomack Hotel (Merrimac, Mass.)
Amesbury (Mass.)--Selectmen
Andover (Mass.)--Selectmen
Beverly (Mass.)--Selectmen
Danvers (Mass.)--Selectmen
Gloucester (Mass.)--Selectmen
Haverhill (Mass.)--Selectmen
Hotelkeepers
Hotels
Hotels--Massachusetts--Essex County
Ipswich (Mass.)--Selectmen
License system--Massachusetts
Lynn (Mass.)--Selectmen
Manchester (Mass.)--Selectmen
Marblehead (Mass.)--Selectmen
Newbury (Mass.)--Selectmen
Newburyport (Mass.)--Selectmen
Rowley (Mass.)--Selectmen
Salem (Mass.)--Selectmen
Taverns (Inns)--1700-1850
Taverns (Inns)--Massachusetts--History--18th century
License agreements

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Essex County Inn, Tavern and Retailer License Records, MSS 465, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was purchased in 1970. This material was originally arranged as Fam. Mss. 295.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Jennifer Hornsby, April 2013.


Related Material

Conroy, David W. Drink and the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995.


Stearns, Asahel and Lemuel Shaw. The General Laws of Massachusetts from the Adoption of the Constitution to February, 1822. Boston: Wells & Lilly and Cummings & Hilliard, 1823.


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