The Court Leet kept detailed records of daily life in 16th century Manchester. Surprisingly, the authorities were rather strict when it came to boozing:
Anyone brewing ale in Manchester had to be able to provide two beds and the innkeeper was required to put forth the 'Syne of a Hand' to indicate that he had ale to sell. It could be sold at no more than 4d. a gallon for "outdoor consumption" and no more than 6 d. a gallon to be drunk on the premises . Wedding guests (who were expected to contribute to the refreshments) were limited to a contribution of 4 d., to discourage excessive ale consumption on these festive occasions which were generally held at alehouses .
Alehouses were frequently the subject of harsh Court Leet regulation. Offences such as gaming and selling ale during "tyme of morning prayer" were severely dealt with, whilst drunken men found "abroad" in the streets at night were not only imprisoned in the dungeon, but had to pay a 6d. fine to the constable which was donated to the poor. Unfortunate alehouse keepers, if found in a state of intoxication themselves, could also be "discharged from alehouse keeping" .
1. A History of Lancashire, Henry Fishwick (1894)
2. A History of Manchester, Stuart Hylton (2003).