Sometime between August 1567 and January 1569 the parishioners of East Greenwich decided to pool their resources and participate in ‘‘a very Rich Lottery generall’ launched by an Elizabethan government anxious about the state of the country’s harbours and havens. While purchasing a lot, those acting on the parish’s behalf had to choose a saying or ‘poesy’ which would identify the rightful owners should that particular lot draw a prize. The parishioners of East Greenwich were represented by a poesy that invoked the help of the Almighty: ‘In good hope Estgreen- wich, God send us to remain, of some good lot to have the gain.’1 The parishioners of St Martin-in-the-Fields, only a few miles away, made the same decision. In their poesy, ambition for the best prize was qualified by a reminder that one must be content with God’s providence, while also celebrating a major local landmark: ‘At Charingcrosse amongs the rest, the firste and greatest lot doe we crave but what God will that shall we have.

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Keywords Local Identity, Historical Research, Good Fortune, Good Luck, Privy Council
Persistent URL
Dean, D. (2007). Locality and self in the Elizabethan lottery of the 1560s. In Local Identities in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (pp. 207–227). doi:10.1057/9780230597525