125 years ago

On 7 September, 1891, Charles Wells placed an extraordinary advertisement in The Times, seeking financial backing for a return trip to Monte Carlo.  (A few weeks previously, he had won £40,000 – worth £4 million today.  Now he was offering the equivalent of £3 million to anyone who would put up the stake money for his next expedition to the casino):

THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS MONTHLY (£1,000 daily) to PARTNER, with absolute security.  Partner may be cashier, or name one, advertiser not wishing to touch any of the partner’s money and will provide all his own expenses.  No further liability than £6,000.  Full information and undeniable proof.  Write Perseverance, May’s Advertising offices, 162, Piccadilly, W.

Was this a scam, similar to those he had practised over the previous few years?  Or a genuine offer?  It is known that he received several replies, and the question is discussed further in The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo (pages 75-79).

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