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Sir William Gordon-Cumming in court

The royal baccarat scandal was a British gambling scandal of the late 19th century involving the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). In September 1890 he was invited to a house party at Tranby Croft, Yorkshire, the home of Arthur Wilson and his family. During Edward's stay, lieutenant colonel Sir William Gordon-Cumming (pictured) was accused of cheating at baccarat and pressured into signing a document that stated he would never play cards again, in exchange for the silence of the guests. The secret was not kept for long, and Gordon-Cumming demanded a retraction from the Wilson family, who he considered to blame for divulging the news. They refused and he sued for slander. The atmosphere at trial in June 1891 was described as being like a theatre. Edward was called as a witness, the first time the heir to the throne had been compelled to appear in court since 1411. Despite discrepancies in the evidence and a strong closing speech by Gordon-Cumming's barrister, the jury found against him after a summing-up from the judge that was described by some as biased. Gordon-Cumming was dismissed from the army and ostracised from society for life, though public opinion was on his side. (Full article...)

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Orchis mascula

Orchis mascula is a herbaceous plant of the orchid family. Found in much of Europe as well as the Middle East and northwest Africa, it blooms from April to June.

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