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for a wager, to ride a blind horse round Sheerness racecourse without guiding the reins with his hands; this he performed to the no small amusement of the spectators, by cutting the reins asunder, and fastening the several parts to his feet in his stirrups.

Perhaps the best known match of modern times was one made at the Ascot meeting of 1888, of £1000 to £500 that a coach could not be driven to Brighton and back in eight hours. James Selby, a professional whip, started from the White Horse Cellar, Piccadilly, punctually at 10 A.M. on July 13, and arrived at Brighton, at the Old Ship, at 1.56 P.M. The coach was turned round and the return journey instantly started; White Horse Cellar being reached at 5.50 P.M. thus winning the match by ten minutes. died at the end of the year.


The betting book of White's Club, dates from the year 1743-the older book and all the other records of the Club having been destroyed in the fire of 1743. The following are some of the wagers therein recorded. The early ones are principally pitting lives against one another.

Feb. y 3, 1743/4. Lord Montford betts Mr Wardour twenty Guineas on each, that Mr Shephard outlives Sir Hans Sloan, the Dutchess Dowager of Marlborough, and Duke of Somerset.-Voide.

Mr Jno Jeffreys betts Mr Stephen Jansen Fifty Guineas, that thirteen Members of Parliament don't Die from the first

of Jan 1744/5 to the first of Jan' 1745/6 exclusive of what may be killed in battle.

Ld Leicester betts Lord Montfort One Hundred Guineas that Six or more Peers of the British Parliament, including Catholics, Minors, Bishops, and Sixteen Scotch Lords, shall Die between the 2 of Decem' 1744, and the First of Decem' 1745 inclusive.

16 July 1746. Mr Heath wagers Mr Fanshawe five guineas that the eldest son of the Pretender is dead, on, or before this day. To be returned if the Pretender was dead.

-pd. Nov 28.

Oct 20th 1746.

Mr Heath gave Col. Perry Twenty Pounds, for which Col. Perry is to pay Mr Heath one hundred pounds if ever he loses more than one hundred pounds in any four and twenty hours.

Novy 14, 1746. Mr Fox betts Mr John Jeffreys five guineas on Number Two against Number One in the present Lottery.

Lord Montfort wagers S Wm. Stanhope 20 guineas that Lady Mary Coke has a child beford Ly Kildare, and 20 guineas more that Ly Mary Coke has a child before Ly Fawkener.

January the 14th, 1747/8. Mr Fanshawe wagers Lord Dalkeith one guinea, that his peruke is better than his Lordship's, to be judged of by the majority of members the next time they both shall meet.

These are fair specimens, and, after this date, the bets begin to be political and personal, and devoid of interest.


Horse Racing-Early mention-Thirteenth Century-Racing for bells-Racing in Hyde Park—Newmarket—Oliver Cromwell and Running horses—Charles II.-James II.-Anne-Her fondness for racing-Sporting in her reignEpsom-Tregonwell Frampton-The three Georges-A duel-Turf anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century.

BUT this style of betting is harmless compared to that curse of the England of our time, betting upon horse racing, which can be compared to nothing but a social cancer, eating into the very vitals of the nation; and it is especially a pity that so noble an animal as the horse should be made the unconscious medium of such a degrading passion as gamblingstill, the fact exists, and horse racing from its commencement must be treated in a history of gambling in England.

Horses must have been introduced into this country at a very early age, for, when Cæsar invaded Britain, he was opposed by vast numbers of horsemen, and many centuries had not elapsed before there was competition, as to speed, among the animals. William of Malmesbury tells us that running horses were sent from France by Stugh, the founder of the house of Capet, as a present to King Athelstan. We never hear of any races being run, and Fitzstephen, who was secretary to Sir Thomas à Becket, and lived in the reign of Henry II., scarcely describes what we should term a horse race. Speaking of a certain Smoothfield, outside London (Smithfield), he says:


There, every Friday, unless it be one of the more solemn festivals, is a noted show of well bred horses for sale. earls, barons and knights, who are, at the time resident in the City, as well as most of the Citizens, flock thither, either to look on, or buy. It is pleasant to see the nags, with their

sleek and shining coats, smoothly ambling along, raising and setting down, alternatively, as it were, their feet on either side in one part are horses better adapted to esquires; these, whose pace is rougher, but yet expeditious, lift up and set down, as it were, the two opposite fore and hind feet together in another, the young blood colts not yet accustomed to the bridle. In a third, are the horses for burden, strong and stout limbed; and, in a fourth, the more valuable chargers, of an elegant shape and noble height, with nimbly moving ears, erect necks, and plump haunches. In the movement of these, the purchasers observe, first, their easy pace, and, then, their gallop, which is when their fore feet are raised from the ground, and set down together, and the hind ones in like manner alternately. When a race is to be run by such horses as these, and, perhaps, by others, which, in like manner, according to their breed, are strong for carriage and vigorous for the course, the people raise a shout, and order the common horses to be withdrawn to another part of the field. The jockeys, who are boys expert in the management of horses, which they regulate by means of curb bridles, sometimes by threes, and sometimes by twos, according as the match is made, prepare themselves for the Contest. Their chief aim is to prevent a competitor getting before them. The horses, too, after their manner, are eager for the race; their limbs tremble, and, impatient of delay, they cannot stand still; upon the signal being given, they stretch out their limbs, hurry over the course, and are borne along with unremitting speed. The riders, inspired with the love of praise, and the hope of victory, clap spurs to their flying horses, lashing them with their whips, and inciting them with their shouts."

In a metrical romance of the thirteenth century, "Syr Beuys of Hampton," printed by W. Copland in 1550, there is mention of a race

"In somer in whitsontyde

wban knights most on borsbacke ride

a cours let they make on a daye

Stedes and palfraye for to assaye

wbicbe borse that best may ren

tbre myles the cours was then
who that might ryd should

bave XLI. of redy golde.”

Edward III. bought some running horses at £13, 6s. 8d. each; and in the ninth year of his reign the King of Navarre made him a present of two running horses. Still, very little is heard of race horses until the time of Elizabeth and James I. Bishop Hall, of Exeter and Norwich, in one of his Satires, writes:

"Dost thou prize

Thy brute beasts' worth by their dam's qualities?
Say'st thou, this colt shall prove a swift-paced steed,
Only because a jennet did him breed?

Or say'st thou, this same horse shall win the prize,
Because his dam was swiftest Trunchifice,1

Or Runcevall his syre; himself a galloway?
While, like a tireling jade, he lags half way."

In 1599, private matches by gentlemen, who were their own riders, were very common, and, in the reign of James I., public races were established at various places, where the discipline and mode of preparing the horses for running, etc., were much the same as they are now. The most celebrated races of that time were called the "Bell Courses," the prize of the winner being a bell-hence the saying of "to bear the bell"; and a tradition of it still remains in the couplet with which children's races are started.

"Bell horses! Bell horses! what time of day?
One o'clock, two o'clock, three, and away!"

Perhaps the oldest record that we have of these silver bells is those of Paisley, which date from 1620, or 1608, as on that date there is an entry in the town books showing the purchase of a silver bell. The silver bells are now run for, but there are 100 guineas attached to them. Silver

1 Truncifer is a famous horse mentioned in the metrical romance of Sir Bevis of Hampton.

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