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The reformers' dinner

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The reformers' dinner
  • Description

    Plate from the Satirist, iv. 521. An after-dinner orgy of toasts, resolutions, and drunkenness. A long trestle table extends across the design; the space in front is strewn with prostrate bodies, overturned chairs, tankards, glasses, bottles, &c. It is the grand Reform Dinner at the 'Crown and Anchor' on 1 May. The space behind the table is crowded. Lord Cochrane, wearing cocked hat and trousers, mounts on an anchor to slash at the crown with his sabre, the sign of the tavern (with the inscription The Crown and Anchor). Near him sits (?) Peter Finnerty waving a tankard and grasping the hand of a ruffian seated on the table. Burdett stands, waving a full glass and a bonnet rouge. Next him sits Wardle, holding a Plan for a New Government, to which a grinning chimney-sweep, decked out in the cocked hat and gold paper epaulets of May-day (cf. No. 6740), points. On the near side of the table, a man in back view, evidently Cartwright, stands on a chair, holding up one end of a long scroll headed Resolution 1. A man standing beside him (right), resembling Madocks (see No. 11334), holds up the other end, on which is Resolution 14; in his left hand is a paper: Accusation of Ministers; in his pocket is a paper: More Plans to blow up the Ministry. On the left Bosville hands out coins to a group of eager ruffians (cf. No. 11081). The other guests are proletarian or disreputable. A butcher makes a speech, holding out a paper: The Wae Ow too Rifform the Parl[iament]. A ragged bare-legged ruffian sits on the body of a drunken man, ecstatically waving his hat.
    1 June 1809


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1809
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 210 millimetres
    • Width: 380 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Published for the Satirist June 1st 1809 by S Tipper 37 Leadenhall Street"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
    At this grand Reform Dinner, Burdett was in the chair; fourteen resolutions in favour of Reform were passed. Over 2,200 people dined and many more crowded the adjacent streets. Francis Place was a steward. The meeting was not a success: Capel Lofft was howled down by intoxicated members of the general company, and Waithman denounced the pusillanimity of the Friends of the People (see No. 8087, &c.), i.e. of the Whig Reformers, thus demonstrating the abyss between Burdettites and Whigs. Pol. Reg., 6 May; M. Roberts, The Whig Party, 1807-1812, 1939, pp. 246-8. See No. 11328, &c.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 11335 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1809 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number




Image description



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