1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Public House
PUBLIC HOUSE, in its general English acceptation, a house in respect of which a licence has been obtained for the consumption of intoxicating liquors. Public houses are frequently distinguished as "tied" and "free." A tied house is one rented from a person or firm from whom the tenant is compelled to purchase liquors or other commodities to be consumed therein. A free house has no such covenant. The keepers of public houses ("publicans" or "licensed victuallers") are subject, in the conduct of their business, to a number of restrictions laid down by various acts of parliament; while, in order to ply their trade, they require a justices' licence and an excise licence. (See Liquor Laws; Temperance.)
By the Parliamentary Elections Act (1853) a public house must not be used for elections, meetings or committee rooms. By the Payment of Wages in Public Houses Prohibition Act (1883) it is illegal to pay Wages to any Workman in a public house, except such wages as are paid by the resident owner or occupier. By the Sheriffs Act (1887) when a debtor is arrested he must not be taken to a public house without his free consent, nor must he be charged with any sum for liquor or food, except what he freely asks for.