On this day 125 years ago: 3 August 1891

man broke bank monte carlo charles deville wells gambler fraudster extraordinaire
The casino at Monte Carlo – a present-day view of one of the gambling salons

Monday, 3 August, was a bank holiday — one of the country’s few days off work, a rare day of rest for the majority of people.  Britain woke from its weekend slumber — and then went back to sleep again for a bit longer.

It was a day for trips to the seaside, to the countryside, to circuses, fairs, and other attractions.  In the London area over 50,000 visited the Crystal Palace, while an estimated 80,000 made their way to Hampstead Heath for the fair.

That day’s newspapers carried fresh reports of Wells and his incredible gambling feats at Monte Carlo — a good-luck story that resonated perfectly with the happy holiday atmosphere.

REMARKABLE WINNINGS (Reuter’s Telegram)

Mr. Wells, who won within a few days £20,000 at the table here, won a further sum of £6,000 yesterday.  Extraordinary luck again favoured him today, for he won no less than £14,000 at trente-et-quarante.  The table was surrounded by a large crowd, and intense excitement prevailed, such persistent good fortune having never been witnessed before.  Mr. Wells, whose winnings commence to have an effect on the bank, keeps two secretaries to assist him in his transactions.

Charles Deville Wells was already on his way to becoming a legend.  Yet in many ways his unbelievable story was only just beginning …

[This ends my day-by-day account of the events of 125 years ago.  But there will be more daily coverage of “future” events in the Charles Deville Wells timeline.  I’ll be posting more information about his adventures over the days, weeks and months to come.  Watch this space!]

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