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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1999-04 > 0924063294

From: "Charles.Clark" <>
Subject: Commission Agent
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 16:14:54 +1200

Your Name wrote:
> I am absolutely floored about the thought of my very proper Victorian
> great-grandfather being a bookmaker! Wonderful! Amazing! He did become an
> importer of "Wine and Spirits." Do you think that might be how he started? Was
> it common?
> He was quite wealthy when he emigrated to San Diego in 1889. But we have
> always been mystified about him. I have felt he had some secret. Could that be
> it?

If he became an importer of "Wine and Spirits" that could easily have
been what was being described when he was called a commission agent. ie
importing and selling wine and spirits on behalf of the overseas
producers thereof for a commission.
There are lots of sorts of agents - land agents such as my gggf Charles
George Stuart are one, and in fact anyone who carries out a function for
someone else for money can be described as an agent.
But I don't want to spoil the bookmaker theory, that's also a

> How would a member of the gentry feel about his daughter marrying a
> "commission agent?" Wow.

In my case James Stewart-Moore (who was landed gentry) married Elizabeth
Frances Jane, aka Bee, daughter of Charles George Stuart, a prominent
land agent in county Antrim who had for many years been agent for the
Stewart-Moore estate, among many others. I think it's fair to say she
married up, and that is reflected in the way the two families relate a
century later.
But in general one thing that can bve assumed about a commission agent,
land agent or whatever, is that he will be a self-made man, and
competent and ambitious rather than well-bred. He has to be competent
and hard-working to get his betters to retain his services.
As for the bookmaker bit, remember that it is the gentry who are perhaps
the biggest followers of the horses - the Queen and the Queen Mother
being two examples. What's that saying about racing being the sport of
kings. Look at for example. Two of
the greatest society days out in England are Ascot and the Derby. And
remember also that Prince Andrew married the daughter of his polo
manager when he married Fergie, so a bookmaker can often move in (very)
exalted circles too.

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