The new Beerhouse Act came into operation. At King’s Lynn “the day was kept as a jubilee by all the devotees of Sir John Barleycorn. Nearly 50 new houses were opened for the sale of beer, and drunkenness, rioting and fighting were prevalent in many of the streets.”
The Act liberalised the brewing and sale or beer, the aim being to make it more popular than cheap, rot gut spirits such as gin. Critics said it led to more alcohol being consumed. Certainly, a lot more pubs opened as a result, many of them named after the reigning monarch of the day, William IV.