William Ewart Gladstone
In the early l800s, there were no licensing laws, and it is estimated that in Liverpool, one dwelling in seven sold beer. But most of the social problems then were not caused by beer drinking, but by spirit drinking. Wellington had the idea that if he could encourage people to drink beer rather than spirits, it would solve a great many social problems. In 1830, he passed the Beer House Act. Any householder could obtain a licence to sell beer for two guineas. 24,342 licenses were issued in Liverpool alone.