Connect with us

Bookmakers

First Bookmaker Guillotined

Leonard Collins

Published

on

First bookmaker executed guillotined in 1794
Guillotined on this day in 1794, France's first bookmaker paid the ultimate price for his barbaric treatment of peasants

The 21st November 1794 saw France's first bookmaker, Aristocrat Garett-Palombes de Timmes de Salignac, Duc de la Scutteur de Chambonais, guillotined by revolutionaries for his barbaric treatment of peasants and racegoers.

Nicknamed ‘Le F*cking Bastard’ de Timmes was the original bookmaker, pretending the horses he owned were well-backed but ensuring a huge profit from losing match races.

Managing to escape the first round of aristocratic executions, de Timmes was a native of the Vendée region, a place the Revolution reached with little enthusiasm.

De Timmes accumulated enormous gambling debts playing Pétanque, owing 20,767 Livres Tournois (£158K today) shortly before the Revolution of 1789.

Owning large swathes of farmland across the départements of Loire-Inférieure (Loire-Atlantique), Maine-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, and the Vendée, de Timmes was despised in perpetuity as much as during his own life time.

Peasant Shooter

Known for his barbaric treatment of his agricultural workers and greed, de Timmes was the proud creator of Tir au Paysannes, a human variant of
clay pigeon shooting.

Forcing two of his employees to sprint across the soft soil vegetable patches, de Timmes would take pot shots at them with a Charleville Musket.

While de Timmes threatened them with dismissal if they refused, he often shot them anyway if they agreed.

‘Le Fixeur’

To avoid bankruptcy De Timmes had horse racing to fall back on. As an owner-breeder with over 200 horses in training, De Timmes took to ‘fixing’ his match races.

Talking up the chances of his own runners De Timmes’ horses were very popular bets on all known form and appearance – on which he would lay enormous liabilities.

If his horse won, de Timmes would lose considerably. However the ‘butcher’ ensured this would never happen.

With a win looking almost certainly guaranteed, race day punters – a mixture of aristocrats, peasants and clergy – believed all they had to do was gallop down and come back, but de Timmes had other plans.

Instructing his jockeys (usually a servant in his employment) to fall off on the far end of a racecourse, De Timmes engineered the race so that a win for his horse never happened.

If the riders failed to fall off, marksmen positioned in trees would shoot them off. As was his won't, De Timmes would shoot them anyway even if they had executed his plan to the letter.

Execution

His downfall came after suspicious Republican forces wondered why all of his beaten favourites had so many skilled riders fall off, make mistakes, take the wrong course, give their runners far too much to do, change the horses strides, or fail to ride to with an ounce of credibility.

De Timmes was finally put to death by Guillotine after peasant leaders Jacques Cathelineau, Gaston Bourdic, and Jean-Nicolas Stofflet had backed de Timmes’ classic winner, Le Confit on the advice of her bookmaker-owner.

Striding out 40 lengths clear, Le Confit looked sure to land the prize for raceday punters who had backed her at odds of 16-90.

However, 30 yards before the line jockey Everard Bouger jumped off and shot himself sixteen times.

A riot quickly ensued and de Timmes was taken prisoner by the revolutionaries.

Following execution by guillotine, agents of the Republic and counter revolutionaries alike came together in a celebration football match lasting 90 minutes, played with de Timmes’ severed head.

Most Popular

Copyright © The Scutter 2020 All Rights Reserved