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Gaming in England, c. 1540-1760

Tosney, N. B. (2008) Gaming in England, c. 1540-1760. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis is the first major study of gaming in England between c. 1540 and 1760. Gaming - which may be defined loosely as games of chance played for stakes hazarded by the players, especially cards and dice - was rife in early modern England. People from virtually all social groupings played at cards and at dice and engaged with gaming in many different ways. Chapter one provides a narrative of the development of the playing card trade, and the ways in which it was taxed, in order to place gaming in a broader economic context. It shows that over one million packs of playing cards were being produced by the late seventeenth century and examines the fraud and forgery that occurred after the Stamp Act of 1710 greatly increased the tax on cards. Much gaming was illegal; and through an analysis of legislation and legal records chapter two investigates the ways in which gaming, and especially gaming houses, were policed. Chapter three focuses on the places in which gaming was conducted, including coffeehouses and alehouses. It also discusses gaming in the home and, more generally, the ways in which gaming was a part of socialising and sociability. Chapter four examines printed debates about the morality of gaming, explores attitudes towards recreation, and explains the ways in which gaming contributed to early ideas about chance, providence and probability. Seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury gaming manuals are also considered in detail. The final chapter interrogates attitudes to cheats and cheating and addresses the ways in which credit - both social and material - might be constructed or lost at the gaming table.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.555870
Depositing User: EThOS Import (York)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 17:20
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 17:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14152

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