Court Set Rates for Taverns

Fairfax Minute Book

March 3rd, 1807 Court record of rates for liquors for tavern keepers. Anyone who did not display their tavern’s rates would be subject to a court ordered fine.

Courts set rates for taverns. In a Fairfax Minute book entry from March 3rd of 1807, the Court recorded the rates for liquors for tavern keepers. The list includes rates for “a warm dinner with cider beer,” English or American porter, apple brandy, and “one night’s lodgings with clean sheets.” It also offered pastures for horses. Anyone who did not display their tavern’s rates would be subject to a court ordered fine. [1] Courts were responsible for the rates charged at taverns and they were strict in maintaining them and alerting travelers of what they would be required to pay. This allowed for travelers to pay a fair amount for their stay, as well as protecting tavern keepers from customers, since presumably if one’s rates are on display, then one can request help from the law if a customer tries to get away with paying less.

[1] “Fairfax Minute Book.” 1807. In Fairfax Minute Book, 41.