Crockford's Club: How a Fishmonger Bankrupted the British Aristocracy

Crockford's Club in 1828.

How about a bit of history today? Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story, and and the tale of Crockford's Club is a great one: a man who sold fish for a living smelled an opportunity to garner a little bit of the British aristocracy's surplus wealth. And he knew just how to do it.

Take William Crockford, who began his career as a London fishmonger and ended it, half a century later, as perhaps the wealthiest self-made man in England. Crockford managed this feat thanks to one extraordinary talent—an unmatched skill for gambling—and one simple piece of good fortune: to be alive early in the 19th century, when peace had returned to Europe after four decades of war and a generation of bored young aristocrats, who a few years earlier would have been gainfully employed in fighting Napoleon, found themselves with far too much time on their hands.

That's right. Crockford managed to woo money right from their hands simply because they were bored and rich. Check out the full history on Past Imperfect. Link


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