People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
down to show how these folk, when they could not find victims elsewhere, were willing enough to prey on each other. About the year 1737, when gambling at " The Wells " was at its height, the notorious sharper Lawrence Sidney went there and became acquainted with one Jemmy Gilbert, another of the black-legged tribe, who had married the daughter of Vander-man, the owner of the Rooms on the Pantiles. Each was anxious to turn a dishonest penny even out of business hours, and at last Sidney was so fortunate as to find an opportunity to swindle his brother scoundrel. The incident is amusing enough to be recalled. One Okill, the eccentric clerk to the Chapel of Ease, kept a small lodging-house on Mount Sion, and, when it was to let, he always gave out the psalm which says, " Mount Sion is a pleasant place." This happened to be the case one Sunday when the two gamblers were at church. " Odds zounds," said Sidney, " poor Okill has not yet let his house." In the course of the week Gilbert heard that OkilPs house was occupied, and he went at once to the clerk and begged him on the following Sunday to give out the same psalm. " No, sir, I never do that after I have let the house," Okill told him; 88
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