MEMOIRS| OF THE| Lives, Intrigues,| AND| Comical Adventures| Of the most Famous| GAMESTERS| AND| Celebrated Sharpers| In the Reigns| of Charles II.| James II.| William III.| AND| Queen Anne.| Wherein is contain'd| The Secret History of Gaming, discovering| all the most sharping Tricks and Cheats (us'd by slight| of Hand) at Picquet, Gleek, Lanterloo, Bankafalet, Basset,| Primero, Cribbidge, Verquere, Tick-tack, Grand-Tricktrack;| and the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Italian| Games, play'd with Cards, Dice, Tables, or otherwise.| The whole calculated for the Meridians of| London, Bath, Tunbridge, and the Groom-Porters.| [rule]| By Theophilius Lucas, Esq;| [rule]| London, Printed for Jonas Brown without Temple-bar,| and Ferdinando Burleigh in Amen-Corner. 1714.
frontispiece [a group of gamesters at a table - ruffled, some have lost their wigs]/ title page/  pp. preface signed: Theophilius Lucas/  pp. "Table" alpahbetical, names of famous gamesters and sums they risked/ p.1-285/ p.[286-88] books published by J. Brown/ 12°.
Theophilus Lucas Esq., probably a pseudonym as "Captain Alexander Smith" - if not the same author.
|a||Memoirs of the Lives, Intrigues and Comical Adventures of the most famous Gamesters (London: J. Brown/ F. Burleigh, 1714).|
|b||The Memoirs of the Lives, Intrigues [...] second edition (London: J. Brown/ J. Hooke/ W. Hinchliffe/ F. Burleigh, 1714).|
The title seems to be connected with the editions of:
- Smith, Alexander, Captain, The History of the Most Noted Highway-Men (London: J. Morphew/ A. Dodd, 1714).
- Smith, Alexander, Captain, The secret History of the Lives of the Most Celebrated Beauties (J. Brown/ J. Graves/ J. Morphew, 171).
- Smith, Alexander, Captain, The Comical and Tragical History of the most noted Baylifis in and about London and Westminster [...] and particularly the Life of Jacob Broad of Merry Memory. (London: Printed for S. Briscoe, 1725).
The title promises the discovery of "all the most sharping Tricks and Cheats (us'd by slight of Hand) at Picquet, Gleek, Lanterloo, Bankafalet, Basset, Primero, Cribbidge, Verquere, Tick-tack, Grand-Tricktrack; and the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Italian Games, play'd with Cards, Dice, Tables" - which is a bit more than the book can actually offer. Some of the protagonists are not even gamsters before the author decides to let them end as such to make them deserve the listuing in this book. The contents is often highly fictitious, if not stolen from well known fictions - cf. instance p.194-96 the edisode Rozelli (in the second English edition of his Memoirs (1713), p.46-48 presented as one of his deeds. Teophilius Lucas blemishes the man who tried to kill Harley with the dubious story - a man who definitely existed.
The individual lives follow a tedious pattern: The gamesters portrayed prosper - presenting themselves often with a higher social status than they actually have. They become rich and famous if not simply notorious before they get hanged or die of plagues suiting them. The preface deals with religious devotion with all the dangers of gaming as an "enchanting Witchcraft, begotten by those Devils Avarice and Idleness", which already killed too many. Many of the victims get named (with a Tory partisanship if it comes to politics).