We all know someone who stretches the truth somewhat after a few drinks when they’re trying to impress someone….
“You could be a model!”
“They’re 100% real!”
“At least ten inches”
“I’m only 25”
“Then I punched the shark in the nose!”
The eighteenth century was no different. For example, in August 1726 a lady named Sarah Hatchet was sitting down on a bench in St Martin’s Lane. She was trollied and had sat down waiting, perhaps, for the street to stop spinning. A man named Thomas Jones walks up and sits beside her.
Whether she wanted to impress him, seduce him or simply give him a fright, we’ll never know. But we do know that she said this:
“Give me a little water and I’ll tell you a secret!”
“What secret?” said Jones.
“Why, don’t you know a man was murdered two nights ago? Well, I held his head whilst his throat was cut!”
Such a revelation didn’t have the effect Sarah desired. Rather than ask Miss Hatchet whether they should go to her place or his, Mr Jones alerted the authorities that a criminal had confessed to him. Sarah soon found herself, horribly sober, in court.
Sarah was facing grim charges, if found guilty she would surely be hanged. Thankfully Sarah was well known for her drunken boasts and many witnesses came forward to testify that no-one could or should believe anything Sarah said after a drink. One helpfully said that after a halfpennyworth of gin Sarah sounded just like an incoherent lunatic in Bedlam asylum.
Mercifully for Sarah, another witness provided her with her alibi. On the night in question, Sarah had been passed out, blotto, next to her basket full of guinea pigs.
Sarah Hatchet was acquitted. History doesn’t record if she went on a detox!