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

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Royal Tunbridge Wells
during the rest of the year at Maidstone, Rochester, and Canterbury.
All society gambled in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; much money changed hands over bets, but far more was won and lost at the card-table. So great was the damage done by the organisers of " hells," not only in London but at the fashionable spas, that in 1739 it was deemed essential—and that, too, in an age when legislation was not grand­motherly—to pass an Act of Parliament to prevent excessive and, above all, fraudulent gaming. Private lotteries were barred, and the games of faro, basset, and hazard, were prohibited, under heavy penalties—fines of two hundred pounds for each person concerned in setting up the game, fines of fifty pounds for each player. Nothing was easier than to drive a coach-and-four through this particular enactment: faro, basset, and hazard could not be played; but it was easy to invent other games. The Legislature endeavoured to remedy its blunder by passing a supplementary Act in the following year, whereby Passage, or any game with dice, known at the time or subsequently to be invented, was forbidden. There is a large section of the human race that 264
Previous Contents Next