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3 - The Rise of the Lottery

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2022

Bob Harris
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

One of the most striking developments of this period was the rise and success of the official lottery, first staged in 1694. Prior to its abolition in 1823 – the last official lottery was held in 1826 – the lottery represented state-sanctioned gambling, as well spawning a whole host of derivative gambling activities. This chapter explains the operations of the lottery, in particular the markets for lottery tickets as they developed very rapidly from the 1690s, and grew to encompass the whole of Britain, penetrating deep down into as well as across British society. It emphasizes how far the early development of the lottery marketplace was enfolded within the contemporaneous financial revolution. From early on, however, it also owed much to widely diffused entrepreneurial spirit and energies, in particular those of the lottery office keepers and their proliferating agents. The lottery was thus another facet of the accelerating commercialization of British society in this period, as well as a leading exploiter of the new power of publicity unleashed by a relatively free and ebullient print industry. From newspapers to hastily printed single-sheet handbills, publicity was key to stoking contemporary interest in and demand for the lottery and its various derivatives.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • The Rise of the Lottery
  • Bob Harris, University of Oxford
  • Book: Gambling in Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009067348.005
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  • The Rise of the Lottery
  • Bob Harris, University of Oxford
  • Book: Gambling in Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009067348.005
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Rise of the Lottery
  • Bob Harris, University of Oxford
  • Book: Gambling in Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009067348.005
Available formats
×