Before long, English distillers were making jenever themselves—and dispensing with some of the fine points of production. English gin of this period was cheap and, by all accounts, rough and potent—and the general population, used to drinking beer, didn't accord it the respect that stronger spirits are due. By the early 18th century, gin had become the scourge of London—"mother's ruin," it was called—fueling poverty, prostitution, and violent crime. Wretched, gin-induced drunkenness, of the kind so memorably depicted by Fielding, Hogarth, and Cruikshank, was commonplace. A famous tavern sign of the time promised customers the chance to get "Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for two pence, straw for nothing." Gin consumption in England is said to have risen from half a million gallons in 1690 to as much as 18 million gallons in 1710.