The Pegged Tankard
Originating in wooden tankards, the peg system was introduced by King Edgar I the Peaceful; he was the King of England 959 to 975AD. The interior of the tankards would be fitted with wooden pegs or nails to divide the volume equally into eighths.
This innovative system was used to bring awareness to the amount of liquor being digested. At this time, a tankard would be capable of holding approximately two quarts of ale (over two litres) -which would be consumed at a rapid rate.
The Saxon kings’ prior influence over alcohol in taverns caused this new King- in addition to the church- to step in and set the peg law. This law stated that when vessels incorporating the pegs were drank from, if a drinker had more than one peg’s worth of ale, they were fined a penny.
A Royal Reference
It is interesting to see early forms of alcohol awareness, particularly one in existence such a long time ago. At this time, laws and taxes were implemented to force consumers to fall in line. This is still the case today, however there is also the addition of displayed advertisements reminding people take responsibility of their own liquor intake.
Rachel O'Keefe-Coulson – Multimedia Executive
Rachel O'Keefe is our 'silver lady' spending her days handling silverware and processing these items for the AC Silver website. Amazingly, Rachel’s favourite items of silverware are spoons, for which she has developed a true affinity.