Surreal law facts
The truth is always stranger than fiction.
Hammurabi, beer drinker
Hammurabi (1810-1750 BC), to whom is credited one of the first and greatest law codes ever, was fond of his beer (which they called dida or sikaru).
Numerous clay engravings show citizens of his empire drinking beer.
Indeed, his Code itself contains harsh penalties for tavern-keepers who cheat their customers. There was a goddess of brewing (Ninkasi) and one clay tablet dated to about 3,000 BC, has a recipe for beer. A song called Hymn to Ninkasi actually includes a recipe for beer.
According to the British Museum, the clay tablet pictured is dated about 3,000 BC and:
"The symbol for beer, an upright jar with pointed base, appears three times on the tablet. Beer was the most popular drink in Mesopotamia...."
He liked it so much - he bought the prison
Thomas Handford liked the prison he was so often thrown in that as soon as it was put up for sale by the local government, he bought it and lived in it until his death.
111 High Street, New Mills, England is the address (previously, Dye House Lane). A plaque on the building reads "A Drunkard's Reform".
Handford was a local petty criminal, a poacher and a habitual drunkard. He was often incarcerated at 111 High Street, the New Mills municipal prison.
Handford was out drinking with a buddy at a pub right next to the New Mills prison when the buddy suddenly fell down, dead. It scared Handford into becoming an immediate teetotaller; he never drank alcohol again right up to his death 35 years later, in 1877.
In 1854, a decade into his purge, the prison was put up for sale and Handford bought it and had the plaque put up.