Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Made by distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof spirit, it was developed by 16th-century Spanish settlers as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy, being imported from Spain, it had the advantages of being produced from abundant domestically grown fruit and reducing the volume of alcoholic beverages transported to remote locations. The oldest use of the word pisco to denote Peruvian aguardiente dates from 1764; the beverage may have acquired its Quechua name from the Peruvian town of Pisco, once an important colonial port for the exportation of viticultural products, located on the coast of Peru in the valley of Pisco, by the river with the same name. From there, "Aguardiente de Pisco" was exported to Europe Spain, where the beverage's name was abbreviated to "Pisco"; the Viennese newspaper Wiener Zeitung in 1835 reported on the Peruvian spirit made from Italia grapes: A large quantity of a spirit known as Pisco de Italia, imported from Peru, was consumed in Chile.

But since the import duties are so high, a similar grape with large oval berries has been used to produce a similar drink, which has completely displaced the Peruvian. In the Medical Lexikon of Robley Dunglison it is stated that, following observations of Swiss Johann Jakob von Tschudi: In Peru, the common brandy obtained from grapes is the Aguardiente de Pisco, so called because shipped at the port of Pisco. Chilean linguist Rodolfo Lenz said that the word pisco was used all along the Pacific coast of the Americas from Arauco to Guatemala, that the word would be of Quechua origin meaning "bird"; this claim is disputed by Chilean linguist Mario Ferreccio Podesta, who supports the former Real Academia Española etymology according to which pisco was a word for a mud container. However, the Real Academia Española supported Lenz's theory, underlines the Quechua origin. Other origins for the word pisco have been explored, including a Mapudungun etymology where "pishku" has been interpreted as "something boiled in a pot", which would relate to the concept of burned wine.

The term influenced the Mexican Spanish use of the slang term pisto to denote distilled spirits generally. Unlike the land in most of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, where only few vineyards were established, some locations in the Viceroyalty of Peru were quite suitable for growing grape vines. By 1560, Peru was producing wine for commerce, it grew sufficiently strong and threatening to the Spanish mercantilist policies that in 1595 the Spanish Crown banned the establishment of new vineyards in the Americas to protect the exports of its native wine industry. As further protectionist measures, the Crown forbade exportation of Peruvian wine to Panama in 1614 and Guatemala in 1615. In 1572, there was town in Peru by the name of Santa Maria Magdalena that had a port by the name of Pisco. Pisco became a crucial route for distribution of an alcoholic beverage: aguardiente. Port of Pisco shortened the name to just Pisco, the name of the grape liqueur, originated in the area. Distillation of the wine into pisco began in earnest around the turn of the 17th century in response to these pressures.

Until the early 18th century, most aguardiente was still used to fortify wine, in order to prevent its oxidation, rather than drunk on its own. This method of conservation corresponds with fortified wines that were shipped to Italy and Spain from other parts of the world. In the 17th century production and consumption of wine and pisco were stimulated by the mining activities in Potosí, by the largest city in the New World. Historians state that the first grapes imported arrived in 1553; the production of pisco started at the end of the 16th century. After the process of fermentation and distillation the juice from the grapes was made in to liquor; this juice was stored in clay jars called piscos. The entire southern coast of Peru was struck by the 1687 Peru earthquake, which destroyed the cities of Villa de Pisco and Ica. Wine cellars in the affected area collapsed and mud containers broke, causing the nation's wine-growing industry to collapse. Still, in the early 18th century wine production in Peru exceeded that of pisco.

By 1764, pisco production dwarfed that of wine, representing 90% of the grape beverages prepared. With the suppression of the Society of Jesus in Spanish America, Jesuit vineyards were auctioned off, new owners did not have the same expertise as the Jesuits – leading to a production decline. In the late 18th century the Spanish Crown allowed the production of rum in Peru, cheaper and of lower quality than pisco. In the 19th century demand for cotton in industrialized Europe caused many Peruvian winegrowers to shift away from vineyards to more lucrative cotton planting, contributing further to the decline of wine production and the pisco industry which depended on it; this was true during the time of the American Civil War when cotton prices skyrocketed due to the Blockade of the South and its cotton fields. Pisco was popular in the US, in San Francisco and nearby areas of California during the Gold Rush in the late 1800s an

John Benbow

John Benbow was an English officer in the Royal Navy. He joined the navy aged 25 years, seeing action against Algerian pirates before leaving and joining the merchant navy where he traded until the Glorious Revolution of 1688, whereupon he returned to the Royal Navy and was commissioned. Benbow fought against France during the Nine Years War, serving on and commanding several English vessels and taking part in the battles of Beachy Head, Barfleur and La Hogue in 1690 and 1692, he went on to achieve fame during campaigns against Moor pirates. Benbow's fame and success earned him a promotion to admiral, he was involved in an incident during the Action of August 1702, where a number of his captains refused to support him while commanding a squadron of ships. Benbow instigated the trial and imprisonment or execution of a number of the captains involved, though he did not live to see these results; these events contributed to his notoriety, led to several references to him in subsequent popular culture.

Benbow was born the son of Martha Benbow. The astrologer John Partridge recorded the exact time and date of his birth as being at noon on 10 March 1653, this is the date used by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Encyclopædia Britannica, the local historical accounts of Joseph Nightingale published in 1818. A biography within an 1819 publication of The Gentleman's Magazine, records in a short biography entitled Life and Exploits of Admiral Benbow by D. Parkes that he was born in 1650, as does the 1861 Sea kings and naval heroes by John George Edgar. Edgar records that Benbow's father died when Benbow was young, while Parkes' account describes his father as being in the service of the Army under Charles I and not dying until Benbow was in his teens. Encyclopædia Britannica writes. Meanwhile, his uncle, was executed by Charles I. Both Parkes and the National Museum of the Royal Navy concur that Benbow was born in Coton Hill in Shrewsbury and Nightingale asserts that the death of both uncle and father, the family's association with Charles I in the years following his execution, ensured that the "family were brought low."

Benbow's lack of possessions, Nightingale writes, turned him to a career at sea. Benbow entered the Royal Navy on 30 April 1678, he became master's mate aboard the 64-gun HMS Rupert under the command of Captain Arthur Herbert, whilst she was fitting out at Portsmouth. He sailed with her to the Mediterranean, where Herbert was promoted to the rank of vice-admiral whilst serving under the commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, Admiral Sir John Narborough. During this period the English fleet was in action against the Barbary pirates of North Africa that were preying upon European shipping. Rupert herself captured an Algerine warship in 1678, commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Tiger Prize. Benbow distinguished himself well in a number of actions against the Algerine vessels, won Herbert's approval. On Narborough's return to England, Herbert was appointed acting commander-in-chief, made Benbow master aboard HMS Nonsuch on 15 June 1679. Nonsuch would remain at Tangiers and off the African coast and had a number of successive captains who would go on to achieve flag rank, including George Rooke, Cloudesley Shovell and Francis Wheler.

All were impressed by Benbow, would afterwards help to advance his career. Nonsuch was next in action on 8 August 1681, this time against the Algerine warship Golden Horse. Golden Horse had been engaged by HMS Adventure, under the command of Captain William Booth, when Nonsuch arrived on the scene Golden Horse surrendered. A dispute arose over the question of the prize money and how it should be shared out, comments were made amongst Nonsuch's crew against those of Adventure. Benbow's repetition of these came to Booth's knowledge, the captain brought a court-martial against Benbow, however this revealed that Benbow had only been repeating these words rather than being their originator. Benbow was ordered to forfeit three months' pay, amounting to £12 15s. To Adventure's crew, to "ask Captain Booth's pardon on board His Majesty's ship Bristol, declaring that he had no malicious intent in speaking those words. Nonsuch returned to England and was paid off on 9 November 1681. Benbow left the Navy and entered the merchant service, sailing a merchant vessel from London and Bristol to ports in Italy and Spain.

By 1686 he was a "tough merchant seaman" and the owner and commander of a frigate named Benbow, trading with the Levant. In May 1687 he commanded a merchant vessel, Malaga Merchant, was aboard her when she was attacked by a Salé pirate, he beat off the attack. It was claimed afterwards that he cut off and salted the heads of thirteen Moors who were slain aboard his ship, took them into Cadiz to claim a reward from the magistrates. A Moorish skull-cap, "coated with varnish and set in silver" and bearing the inscription "First adventure of Captain John Benbow, gift to Richard Ridley, 1687" is referred to in 1844 by Charles Dickens in Bentley's Miscellany where he speaks of Shrewsbury's history, the 1885 Dictionary of National Biography relates the story. Benbow only returned to the Navy after the Glorious Revolution in 1688, his first recorded commission was to the post of third lieutenant of HMS Elizabeth on 1 June 1689, under the command of Captain David Mitchell. His first command came o

Tom Burke (footballer, born 1862)

Thomas "Tom" Burke was a Welsh international footballer who played for Wrexham Olympic and Newton Heath LYR. Burke won a total of eight caps for Wales. Burke began his career with Wrexham Grosvenor, but moved on to Wrexham February and Wrexham Olympic before making a transfer to Liverpool Cambrians. From there, he was signed by Newton Heath in 1886; the club's parent company, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, was able to employ Burke as a painter – as was his trade – at the nearby Carriage and Wagon Works, from which the club had been born. In his first season at Newton Heath, Burke played at left-half, but switched to right-half by the following season, played at centre-half or inside-right on occasion; when Burke's time at Newton Heath came to an end, after making 29 appearances for the Heathens, he moved back to Wrexham to play for Wrexham Victoria. He died in 1914 at the age of 50 as a result of lead poisoning. BibliographyDykes, Garth; the United Alphabet: A Complete Who's Who of Manchester United F.

C. Leicester: ACL & Polar Publishing. ISBN 0-9514862-6-8. Shury, Alan; the Definitive Newton Heath F. C. SoccerData. ISBN 1-899468-16-1. Notes Profile at Profile at