English Public Finance from the Revolution of 1688: With Chapters on the Bank of England

By Harvey E. Fisk | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
State Lotteries and Lottery Loans
(1694-1826)

THE first lottery loan was raised in 1694. The lottery principle had long been known and used on the Continent and was not entirely new to England.


The First English Lotteries

The first English lottery of which there is any record was one projected in the reign of Elizabeth and issued under her patronage in the year 1569. The bill announcing it states that "the same Lotterie is erected by her majestie's orders to the intent that such commoditie as may chaunce to arise thereof, after the charges borne, may be converted towardes the reparation of the havens and Strength of the Realme, and towards such other publique good workes." We have no record as to the amount which it yielded.

A loan by lottery was raised in the time of James I, the proceeds being used to defray the expenses attending the establishment of the colonies in America.

The first lottery loan of King William III was for £1,000,000. It was offered in shares of ten pounds. Annuities of £14 per cent. for 16 years were variously apportioned, £14 per cent. on every share and a larger proportion for the holders of 2,500 fortunate tickets. The principal prize was £1,000. The annuity of £140,000 was made a charge upon the salt duties. The operation was called the Million Lottery and the annuities the Salt Lottery Annuities.

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