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Gin was brought to England by the Dutch after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and became very popular after the government created a market for "cuckoo grain" or "cuckoo malt" that was unfit to be used in brewing and distilling by allowing unlicensed gin and beer production, while imposing a heavy duty on all imported spirits.As thousands of gin-shops sprang up all over England, brewers fought back by increasing the number of alehouses.They rapidly spread across the Kingdom, becoming so commonplace that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village.
In Europe, they possibly first sprang up when the Romans built a system of roads two millennia ago. In addition to providing for the needs of travellers, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places.
These alehouses quickly evolved into meeting houses for the folk to socially congregate, gossip and arrange mutual help within their communities.