The True Story Of The Severed Hand

The True Story Of The Severed Hand


What have pirates, slaves, gangsters, guano and a severed hand got to do with rum? Read on! 🖐

Some of you may have been wondering what inspired the somewhat macabre name, Severed Hand Rum. Sure, it appears to have all the typical piratesque hallmarks that’s usually associated with rum but in actuality, the name has nothing to do with Black Beards, cutlasses, pieces of eight, or sea shanties for that matter.

Many of you will already know much of what we do at Black Powder is influenced and inspired by our family home, Preese Hall. The site has been around since the Domesday Book 1086 so it’s safe to say it has an incredible history! Fast forward slightly to 1865 to this article from The Preston Guardian

Some workmen, whilst employed in emptying a number of guano bags on Saturday last, at Preese Hall Farm, in Weeton, which belongs to T. Miller, Esq made a very strange discovery. The guano had come from Liverpool, to which port it had been shipped from Peru, and after a number of bags containing it had been emptied, one of the men observed a human hand amongst the manure; it had just rolled out of one of the sacks. On being picked up the hand was found to be in a wonderful state of preservation. The hand was full-grown, and the flesh, muscles, skin, etc seemed to be quite perfect; but after it had been exposed to the atmosphere for a short time decomposition set in rapidly. No one can account for the hand being amongst the guano. 

Yikes! To this day no one knows whether the hand belonged to an unfortunate Peruvian slave or as a result of some Peaky Blinder-type shenanigans at Liverpool Docks! Suffice it to say we thought we should continue to preserve the severed hand story and in homage named our rum after it!

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