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Social reformers in Ireland in the 1800’s believed that peasant women who enjoyed a cup of tea would become a problem and potentially revolutionary as they were neglecting their social duties of preparing meals for their husbands etc. Tea drinking was seen as a ‘habit’, thought to be addictive and cause illicit longing, even likened to membership of a secret societies that would rebel against English rule.

Research in Durham have studied numerous pamplets and leaflets from the period and believe that fears were also generated outside Ireland.

I don’t know if it is a coincidence but George Osborne is the heir apparent to the Osborne baronetcy (of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford) – I wonder if his ancestors were invloved in outlawing tea for working class women?

 

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