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It has been the desire of the Editor of this work-while not discouraging the progressive spirit of the age, to temper it with affectionate feelings towards what is poetical and elevated, honest and of good report, in the old national life; while in no way discountenancing great material interests, to evoke an equal activity in those feelings beyond self, on which depend remoter but infinitely greater interests; to kindle and sustain a spirit of patriotism tending to unity, peace, and prosperity in our own state, while not exclusive of feelings of benevolence, as well as justice, towards others. It was desired that these volumes should be a repertory of old fireside ideas in general, as well as a means of improving the fireside wisdom of the present day.
The BOOK OF DAYS consists of
1. Matters connected with the Church Calendar, including the Popular Festivals, Saints' Days, and other Holidays, with illustrations of Christian Antiquities in general.
2. Phenomena connected with the Seasonal Changes.
3. Folk-Lore of the United Kingdom-namely, Popular Notions and Observances connected with Times and Seasons.
4. Notable Events, Biographies, and Anecdotes connected with the Days of the Year.
5. Articles of Popular Archæology, of an entertaining character, tending to illustrate the progress of Civilisation, Manners, Literature, and Ideas in these kingdoms.
6. Curious, Fugitive, and Inedited Pieces.
Extract from a review in the TIMES.
There is, in truth, a rich supply of entertainment in its pages, and it is impossible to turn them over without coming upon some novelty, or something of which we are glad to be reminded. Let the reader get the volumes of Mr Chambers for himself; he must be of a peculiar temperament if he does not find in them lasting sources of pleasure.'
W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON; AND EDINBURGLI.
fretful mandate to the mayor of London, and the justices of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire, because, contrary to her highness' expectation,' there were many lots untaken, either of their negligence, or by some sinister disswasions of some not well-disposed persons.' She appoints one John Johnson, gentleman, to look after her interests in the matter, and to procure the people as much as maybe to lay in their monies into the lots,' and orders that he bring report of the former doings of the principal men of every parish, and in whom any default is, that this matter hath not been so well advanced as it was looked for;' so that 'there shall not one parish escape, but they shall bring in some money into the lots.' This characteristic specimen of royal dragooning for national gambling in opposition to general desire, is a very striking commencement for a history of lottery-fraud.
In the year following, a lottery for marvellous rich and beautiful armour,' was conducted for three days at the same place. In 1612, King James I., in special favor for the plantation of the English colonies in Virginia, granted a lottery to be held at the west end of St Paul's; wherof one Thomas Sharplys, a tailor of London, had the chief prize, which was 4000 crowns in fair plate.' In 1619, another lottery was held ostensibly for the same purpose. Charles L projected one in 1630, to defray the expenses of conveying water to London, after the fashion of the New River. During the Commonwealth, one was held in Grocer's Hall by the committee for lands in Ireland. It was not, however, until some years after the Restoration that lotteries became popular. They were then started under pretence of aiding the poor adherents of the crown, who had suffered in the civil wars. Gifts of plate were supposed to be made by the crown, and thus disposed of 'on the behalf of the truly loyal indigent officers.' Like other things, this speedily became a patent monopoly, was farmed by various speculators, and the lotteries were drawn in the theatres. Booksellers adopted this mode to get rid of unsaleable stock at a fancy value, and all kinds of sharping were resorted to. The Royal Oak Lottery' was that which came forth with greatest éclat, and was continued to the end of the century; it met, however, with animadversion from the sensible part of the community, and formed frequently, as well as the patentees who managed it, a subject for the satirists of the day. In 1699, a lottery was proposed with a capital prize of a thousand pounds, which sum was to be won at the risk of one penny; for that was to be the price of each share, and only one share to win.
The rage for speculation which characterised the people of England, in the early part of the last century, and which culminated in the South-sea bubble, was favourable to all kinds of lottery speculations; hence there were great goes' in whole tickets, and little goes' in their subdivisions; speculators were protected by insurance offices; even fortune-tellers were consulted about 'lucky numbers. Thus a writer in the Spectator informs us, I know a well-meaning man that is very well pleased to risk his good-fortune upon the number 1711, because it is the year of our Lord.-I have been told of a certain zealous dissenter, who, being a great enemy to popery, and believing that bad men are the most fortunate in this world, will lay two to one on the number 666 against any other
THE LAST LOTTERY IN ENGLAND.
number; because, he says, it is the number of the beast.' Guildhall was a scene of great excitement during the time of the drawing of the prizes there, and, it is a fact, that poor medical practitioners used constantly to attend, to be ready to let blood in cases when the sudden proclaiming of the fate of tickets had an overpowering effect.
On the foregoing page, we have copied a very curious representation of a lottery, originally designed for a fan-mount.
Lotteries were not confined to money-prizes, but embraced all kinds of articles. Plate and jewels were favourites; books were far from uncommon; but the strangest was a lottery for deer in Sion Park. Henry Fielding, the novelist, ridiculed the public madness in a farce produced at Drury Lane Theatre in 1731, the scene being laid in a lotteryoffice, and the action of the drama descriptive of the wiles of office-keepers, and the credulity of their victims. A whimsical pamphlet was also published about the same time, purporting to be a prospectus of 'a lottery for ladies; by which they were to obtain, as chief prize, a husband and coachand-six, for five pounds; such being the price of each share. Husbands of inferior grade, in purse and person, were put forth as second, third, or fourth rate prizes, and a lottery for wives was soon advertised on a similar plan. This was legitimate satire, as so large a variety of lotteries were started, and in spite of reason or ridicule, continued to be patronised by a gullible public. Sometimes they were turned to purposes of public utility. Thus in 1736, an act was passed for building a bridge at Westminster by lottery, consisting of 125,000 tickets at £5 each. London Bridge at that time was the only means of communication, by permanent roadway between the City and Southwark. This lottery was so far successful, that parliament sanctioned others in succession until Westminster Bridge was completed. In 1774, the brothers Adam, builders of the Adelphi Terrace and surrounding streets in the Strand, disposed of these and other premises in a lottery containing 110 prizes; the first-drawn ticket entitling the holder to a prize of the value of £5000; the last-drawn, to one of £25,000.
Lotteries, at the close of the last century, had become established by successive acts of parliament; and, being considered as means for increasing the revenue by chancellors of our exchequer, they were conducted upon a regular businessfooting by contractors in town and country. All persons dabbled in chances, and shares were subdivided, that no pocket might be spared. Poor persons were kept poor by the rage for speculation, in hopes of being richer. Idle hope was not the only demoralisation produced by lotteries; robbery and suicide came therewith. The most absurd chances were paraded as traps to catch the thoughtless, and all that ingenuity could suggest in the way of advertisement and puffing, was resorted to by lottery-office keepers. About 1815, they began to disseminate hand-bills, with poetic, or rather rhyming, appeals to the public; and about 1820, enlisted the services of wood-engravers, to make their advertisements more attractive. The subjects chosen were generally of a humorous kind, and were frequently very cleverly treated by Cruikshank and the best men of the day. They appealed, for the most part, to minds of small calibre, by depicting people of all grades expressing confidence