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rebbel's avatar

What game could "Milking Cromock" have been?

Asked by rebbel (23444 points ) December 29th, 2011

In a British comical quiz show (QI) the existence of forbidden games was raised (scroll to Nobody Knows), of which one was called “Milking Cromock”.
The rules, or what it entailed, are no longer known.
Do you have any idea?
Or, even better, can you come up with a possible description of “Milking Cromock”?

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1 Answer

flutherother's avatar

To play ‘Milking Cromock’ was to risk the severest penalties, including being hung drawn and quartered, but despite this, such were the attractions of the game, it continued to flourish well into the 19th Century.

The rules of the game are today unclear however we know it was played among ladies and gentlemen for recklessly high stakes. Those whose skill or whose luck failed them not uncommonly left the games establishment naked having wagered their very clothes on the play. A peculiarity of the game was its appeal to all classes in society. The aristocracy would play ‘Milking Cromock’ with paupers in cheap lodging houses and conversely, those at the very bottom of society were often invited to the homes of the gentry to continue a game.

The game died out mysteriously around the middle of the 19th Century and today almost nothing is known of how it was played. Should you visit the British Museum in London you may chance to find a small silver or pewter token that bears the blurred image of the head of Pan and which appears to have been damaged by fire. Unlabelled, this token is believed by some to have been used in the playing of ‘Milking Cromock’ but what its significance was to the game is no longer known.

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