The Pledge to Abstain
The temperance or abstinence Pledge was seen by many as the touchstone of the movement and breaking the pledge was to be avoided at all costs.
Some of the earliest temperance societies called for a committment only to abstain from "ardent spirits" and then for a limited period such as twelve months. Joseph Livesey's Seven Men of Preston took this a step further to include Ale, Porter and Wine (accept as medicine).
The committment to personal abstinence only was referred to as a the short pledge. A form of long pledge would include a promise "neither to give nor offer" drink to others.
Signing the Pledge was a memorable moment for many, Guy Hayler a lifelong abstainer and activist, recalled toward the end of his life, the romantic setting for his :
"Thee sign first"
Joseph Livesey and John King sign the first Toal Abstinence Pledge 1832.
Examples of Pledges
"We agree to Abstain from All Liquors of an Intoxicating Quality, whether Ale Porter or Wine or Ardent Spirits except as Medicine"