Fifty Gallons Rum

In the course of this profession you occasionally come across little oddities that catch your attention and amuse you. When it happens to me I often share them here at Slaw. The most recent oddity to catch our attention is an interestingly named case from Nova Scotia in 1919, The King v. Fifty Gallons Rum, (1919) 53 NSR 131, 31 CCC 10. Hitherto I had been unaware that an inanimate object could be named in an criminal case. In this instance it seems that Fifty Gallons of Rum, was caught at the wrong place, at the wrong time in contravention of the NS Temperance Act 1918, s 59. At question in this case is the location of the Rum, specifically the government of Canada railway. It seems that because the Rum had not been delivered, that it did not have an owner therefore the rum itself was charged by the Crown. Interestingly, the next year the prospective owner of the rum sued because his rum had been seized and destroyed, in McGrath v. Scriven et. al. (1920) 54 NSR 1, 52 DLR 342.

Of course Rum has a rich history in Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Temperance Act was repealed by 1930. After all, this is the province that brought you, I Am the Liqour

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