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Coffeehouse of games.

Gamblers of early-18th-century London often took their business to Edward Lloyd's Coffee House. In Virtue, Fortune, and Faith (Univ. of Minnesota Press), historian Marieke de Goede writes that oddsmakers hanging out at Lloyd's would accept bets on "the outcome of battles, the longevity of celebrities, the succession of Louis XV's mistresses, and the outcome of trials."

In 1771, Londoners bet nearly 60,000 pounds on whether French diplomat Charles de Beaumont was male or female; though de Beaumont declined to furnish definitive proof, a judge ruled that the preponderance of evidence favored female. A Lloyd's patron could also wager that he'd be dead soon, or that his ship would be lost at sea--the types of win-by-losing gambles still available at the coffeehouse's descendant, Lloyd's of London.

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Title Annotation:betting in England
Publication:The Wilson Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jun 22, 2005
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