For much of the nineteenth century in Britain, bona fide was a status applied to travelers more than three miles from home. Unlike locals, such travelers were allowed to drink at any hour and on any day, giving rise to a predictable but nonetheless striking phenomenon: the mid-Victorian booze cruise. The essay tracks the rise of traveling drinkers, while also charting the difficulty publicans had in verifying bona fide status. In the end, it uses the controversies and crimes around bona fides and the challenges faced by publicans to explore the uncertainty and, frequently, criminality surrounding nineteenth century commerce.

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