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"After this, he was in great agony, chiefly delirious, spoke of his companions by name, and seemed as if his imagination was engaged at cards. He started, had distracted looks and gestures, and, in a dreadful fit of shaking and trembling, died on Tuesday morning, the 4th of March last: and was buried the next day at the parish church of Bisley. His eyes were open when he died, and could not be closed by the common methods; so that they remained open when he was put into the coffin. From this circumstance arose a report, that he wished his eyes might never close; but this was a mistake; for, from the most creditable witnesses, I am fully convinced that no such wish was uttered; and the fact is, that he did close his eyes after he was taken with the mortification, and either dozed or slept several times.

"When the body came to be laid out, it appeared all over discoloured, or spotted; and it might be said, in the most literal sense, that his flesh rotted on his bones before he died."

But this is a digression. Among the deaths recorded in the Gents' Magazine for 1776, is "Ap. 30. William G Esq.: who, having been left £18,000, a few months before, by his father, lost it all by gaming, in less than a month; in the Rules of the King's Bench."

"Oct. 25, 1777. At the Sessions for the County of Norfolk, a tradesman of Norwich, for cheating at cards, was fined £20, and sentenced to suffer to suffer six months' imprisonment in the castle, without bail or main prize; and, in case the said fine was not paid at the expiration of the term, then to stand on the pillory, one hour, with his ears nailed to the same."

The gamblers of those days were giants in their way, there were George Selwyn, Lord Carlisle, Stephen Fox, who, on one occasion was fleeced most unmercifully at a West-end gambling house. He went into it with £13,000, and left without a farthing. His younger brother, Charles James, was a notorious gambler, and, if the following anecdote is true, not over honourable. He ranked among the

admirers of Mrs Crewe. A gentleman lost a considerable sum to this lady at play, and, being obliged to leave town suddenly, gave Mr Fox the money to pay her, begging him to apologise to the lady for his not having paid the debt of honour in person. Fox, unfortunately, lost every shilling of it before morning. Mrs Crewe often met the supposed debtor afterwards, and, surprised that he never noticed the circumstance, at length, delicately hinted the matter to him. "Bless me," said he, "I paid the money to Mr Fox three months ago." "Oh! did you, Sir?" said Mrs Crewe, goodnaturedly, "then probably he paid me, and I forgot it." Steinmetz 1 (vol. i., p. 323) says: "Fox's best friends are said to have been half-ruined in annuities given by them as securities for him to the Jews. £500,000 a year of such annuities of Fox and his 'society' were advertised to be sold at one time. Walpole wondered what Fox would do when he had sold the estates of his friends. Walpole further notes that, in the debate on the Thirty-nine Articles, Feb. 6, 1772, Fox did not shine; nor could it be wondered at. He had sat up playing at hazard, at Almack's, from Tuesday evening, the 4th, till five in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 5th. An hour before, he had recovered £12,000 that he had lost; and by dinner, which was at five o'clock, he had ended, losing £11,000! On the Thursday, he spoke in the above debate; went to dinner at half-past eleven, at night; from thence to White's, where he drank till seven the next morning; thence to Almack's, where he won £6000; and, between three and four in the afternoon, he set out for Newmarket. His brother Stephen lost £11,000 two nights after, and Charles £10,000 more on the 13th, so that in three nights the two brothers-the eldest not twenty-five years of age-lost £32,000!"

1 "The Gaming Table, &c.," by A. Steinmetz. Lon. 1870.


The Gambling ladies-Ladies Archer, Buckinghamshire, Mrs Concannon, &c. Private Faro Banks-Card-money-Gaming House end of Eighteenth Century-Anecdotes-The profits of Gaming Houses-C. J. Fox and Sir John Lade-Col. Hanger on gambling.

We have previously read how ladies of position kept gambling houses, and pleaded their privilege to do so; they, however, had to bow to the law. In the latter part of the eighteenth century many ladies opened their houses, the best known, probably, being Lady Buckinghamshire and Lady Archer. The former is said to have slept with a blunderbuss and a pair of pistols by her bedside, to protect her Faro bank; and the latter was notorious for her "make up," as we may see by the two following notices in the Morning Post.

“Jan. 5, 1789. The Lady Archer, whose death was announced in this paper of Saturday, is not the celebrated character whose cosmetic powers have long been held in public estimation."

“Jan. 8, 1789. It is said that the dealers in Carmine and dead white, as well as the perfumers in general, have it in contemplation to present an Address to Lady Archer, in gratitude for her not having. DIED according to a late alarming report."

We get portraits of these two ladies in a satirical print by Gillray (31st March 1792), which is entitled "Modern Hospitality, or a Friendly Party in High Life," where they are shewn keeping a Faro bank; and as these fair ones were then somewhat passées, the picture has the following :—" To those earthly Divinities who charmed twenty years ago, this Honourable method of banishing mortifying reflections is

dedicated. O, Woman! Woman! everlasting is your power over us, for in youth you charm away our hearts, and, in your after years, you charm away our purses!" The players are easily recognised. Lady Archer, who sits on the extreme left, has won largely; rouleaux of gold and bank notes are before her, and, on her right hand, are two heaps of loose gold and the painted old gambler smiles as she shows her cards, saying, "The Knave wins all!" Her next-door neighbour, the Prince of Wales, who has staked and lost his last piece, lifts his hands and eyes in astonishment at the luck. Lady Buckinghamshire has doubled her stake, playing on two cards, and is, evidently, annoyed at her loss, while poor, black-muzzled Fox laments the loss of his last three pieces.

Gillray portrayed these two ladies on several occasions. There are two pictures of St James's and St Giles's, and in "Dividing the Spoil, St James's, 1796," we see Lady Archer and Lady Buckinghamshire quarrelling over gold, bank notes, a sword, and an order. One other lady, probably Lady Mount Edgecumbe, is scrutinising a bill, whilst a fourth, with a pile of gold and notes before her, looks on smilingly.

Another print (16th May 1796) is called "Faro's Daughters, or the Kenyonian Blow Up to Gamblers." Here we see Lady Archer and Mrs Concannon placed together in the pillory, where they are mutually upbraiding each other. The motif for this picture was a speech of Lord Kenyon's, who, at a trial to recover £15, won at gaming on Sunday, at a publichouse, commented very severely on the hold the vice of gaming had on all classes of society, from the highest to the lowest. The former, he said, set the example to the latter, and, he added, "They think they are too great for the law; I wish they could be punished"-and then continued, "If any prosecutions of this kind are fairly brought before me, and the parties are justly convicted, whatever be their rank or station in the country, though they be the first ladies in the land, they shall certainly exhibit themselves in the pillory."

They were getting somewhat too notorious. In spite of Lady Buckinghamshire's precautions of blunderbuss and pistols, her croupier, Martindale, announced, on 30th Jan. 1797, that the box containing the cash of the Faro bank had unaccountably disappeared. All eyes were turned towards her ladyship. Mrs, Concannon said she once lost a gold snuff-box from the table when she went to speak to Lord C. Another lady said she lost her purse there the previous winter, and a story was told that a certain lady had taken by mistake a cloak which did not belong to her at a rout given by the late Countess of Guildford. Unfortunately, a discovery was made, and when the servant knocked at the door to demand it, some very valuable lace with which it was trimmed had been taken off. Some surmised that the lady who stole the cloak might also have stolen the Faro bank.

Townsend and his meddlesome police would poke their noses into the business, and, although they did not recover the Faro bank, something did come out of their interference, as we read in the Times of 13th March 1797. "PUBLIC OFFICE, MARLBOROUGH STREET. FARO BANKS. On Saturday came on to be heard informations against Lady Buckinghamshire, Lady Elizabeth Luttrell, Mrs Sturt, and Mr Concannon, for having, on the night of the 30th of last January, played at Faro, at Lady Buckinghamshire's house, in St James's Square, and Mr Martindale was charged with being the proprietor of the table.

"The evidence went to prove that the defendants had gaming parties at their different houses in rotation; and, that when they met at Lady B.'s, the witnesses used to wait upon them in the gambling room, and that they played at E. O., Rouge et Noir, &c., from about eleven or twelve till three or four o'clock in the morning. After hearing counsel the Magistrates convicted Henry Martindale in the penalty of £200, and each of the ladies in £50. The information against Mr Concannon was quashed, on account of his being summoned by a wrong Christian name.”

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