royal proclamation, Charles II

At the gate of the Royal Exchange of Wednesday, 29 December 1675, passers-by would have noticed a flurry of activity. Messengers of the King's printers were fixing a Royal Proclamation to the pillars, its importance proclaimed by its ominous black letter typeface and royal coat of arms. Intrigued onlookers read, under the signature 'Charles R.', 'A Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses'.1 'The Multitude of Coffee-houses of late years set up within this Kingdom', it declared, were the 'the great resort of Idle and disaffected persons' and as such have 'produced very evil and dangerous effects'. In such places, the proclamation rumbled, tradesmen wasted valuable time when they should be employed about their 'Lawful Calling and Affairs'. More seriously, at their coffee-house meetings, 'divers False, Malitious and Scandalous Reports are devised and spread abroad, to the Defamation of his Majesties Government, and to the Disturbance of the Peace and Quiet of the Realm'. As a result, the King declaimed, it was thought 'fit and necessary, That the said Coffee-houses be (for the future) Put Down and Suppressed'. All coffee-house keepers were commanded o desist from retailing their 'coffee, chocolate, sherbet and tea' from 10 January 1676, only twelve days away. To the coffee-house keepers this was an unmitigated disaster, the ruination of their business. To the people of London too this was a calamity: a challenge to their liberty of assembly and free speech.

breaking bad

When we were researching our book Isoldens Liebestrank (Iseult's Love Potion) and asked Peter Stafford what he considered to be the best aphrodisiac, he replied clearly and succinctly: "Speed."

Plants Containing Caffeine


Behavioural Disorder: Caffeinism

Cayenne, pepper, plant, herb, stimulant, tonic, circulatory

Image of Cayenne retrieved from Yelp on May 31st, 2013.

chocolate, aztec

Linnaeus - you who brought order out of botanical chaos-- a million chocolate lovers salute you.

coffee, house, industrial

It was less than 200 years ago that people first figured out that the buzz they got from coffee and tea was the same buzz, produced by the same chemical agent.

Ginseng, harvesting, foraging

Power and medicine were never very far apart in ancient China.

Green's August Flower, eventually known as Gill Green

For Dyspepsia due to Hyperacidity.
Antacid, Laxative, Carminative

Active Ingredients:

  • Alcohol (7%)
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