Lottery HandbillThe Duchess of York and the Lottery

Within the documents held at The William Salt Library in Staffordshire is a letter from the well known dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who was staying at Oatlands, to his friend in London, Richard Peake.

In this letter, which begins “My Dear Dick”, Sheridan asks a favour “and confide in honour bright”. He says that the Duchess of York wants to share a lottery ticket with him again (the Duchess was obviously one for a ‘bit of a flutter’). He asks Peak to purchase this and send it to Oatlands – promising to repay him on Saturday.  The letter, signed R.B.S., is undated but must have been written before 1816 when Sheridan died.

The picture at the right shows an example of a handbill from the English Lottery, which was ended in 1826.

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