The Fuddling Cup, the Tyg, and the Puzzle Pot are all of Queen Elizabeth's day, when it was not regarded one of the sins to be seen going, as Sir John Falstaff would say, to take mine ease in mine inn. A fuddling cup consists of a series of mugs, the number varying from three to six, joined together by the handles interlacing each other and internally connected up one with another by small holes. It will therefore be apparent that if a drinker desires to empty the cups - he must drain the lot if he empties one - he must not by any means be a fuddler at the job or the contents will be hopelessly spilt.
In the British Museum there is an inscription on a fuddling cup of six vessels: My friend is he that loves me well, but who he is I cannot tell. 1790. The art of emptying these fuddling cups is to stand up and suck in the liquor by the lips whilst the cup or cups remain stationary on the table in a horizontal position. What amusement they must have caused in those bad old days of yore, but we can console ourselves with the knowledge that Drake and Frobisher did not disdain to play with them in public while awaiting the coming of the Spanish Armada, and Raleigh possessed some for private enjoyment when he took upon himself to be a courtier and a wit.
Reproduced from the book:
Drinking Vessels of Bygone Days
by G. J. MONSON-FITZJOHN, B.Sc.,F.R.Hist.S.
author of Quaint Signs of Olde Inns, etc.