This steel engraving published by William Hogarth under the title "Gin Lane" was part of a campaign against the excessive consumption of gin among the poorer social classes of London. This campaign was conducted in the mid-18th century under the aegis of the writer and magistrate Henry Fielding (1707–1754). In 1751, the sale of this high-proof liquor in ordinary shops was prohibited. This measure was aimed at bringing an end to the kind of excesses that are depicted in the engraving.
William Hogarth (1697–1764), Gin Lane, steel engraving, 38.5 x 32 cm, 1751; source: British Museum. © The Trustees of the British Museum.