Collection online

Ministerial races.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Ministerial races.
  • Description

    Plate to 'Town Talk', ii. 437. [The impression described is not folded, showing that it was issued separately.] Five horses with human heads, ridden by jockeys, race for the half-open door of the Treasury (left), across a wide cobbled pavement. The Regent and Lady Hertford with Lord Hertford standing behind holding his Lord Chamberlain's wand, stand on the pavement (left) watching the finish. The winning horse, Liverpool, is a piebald, with an earl's coronet round his neck, and branded 'H'. Next is Wellesley, a marquis's coronet round his neck, ridden by a jockey in oriental dress with a jewelled turban, who looks over his shoulder, saying: "Come Grey push on you'll let Pye Ball win else." Next is Moira, a blue ribbon round his neck representing the Garter granted on 12 June (which he had refused on 28 Feb., see 'Corr. of George IV', i. 29, 34-5), close behind is Grey; last is Grenville. Lady Hertford, as umpire, exclaims: "Bravo Pye Ball you have fairly won." Lord Hertford cries: "Huzza Pye Ball for ever." The Regent turns to a stout John Bull, to say: "Come Johny out with your Cash your favorite has lost you see." John puts out a protesting hand, saying, "No No D—e if I do! I'm off, why its a proper cross and Jostle I d'ont like the Umpire neither." John wears a top-hat and top-boots, his pockets bulge with money-bags, and he holds a cudgel. In the roadway is a cob or pony with the face of Sheridan, branded 'P R', ridden by the stout Yarmouth, from whose pocket projects a paper: 'The Milling Hero a Poem', see No. 11746, &c.; he is too large for his mount, and says: "Softly! Softly! poor Old Sherry, Oh my poor bones are in danger!" The animal kicks, saying: "It's a d—d dirty Job to carry such a — but as I carried your Master [the Regent] through before you hold fast and I'll take you to the end." In the foreground (right) a man stands full-face, shouting; he holds a tall pole on which is a placard:
    'The Treasury Sweepstakes for high-bred Hunters
    4 Heats
    The M-ch-ss of H—s Pyebald Colt Liverpool ------- 1, dr, dr, 1
    Iohn Bulls favorite ch. f. Moira -------dr, 2, 1, 3
    The Fox Clubs b. f ----Grey ----4, 3, 2, dr
    The East-India Company's Oriental filly Wellesly 3, 1, 3, 2
    The well known Pit [Pitt] bred horse Grenville 2, 4, 4, 4
    This match was very hardly contested, the Jockey Club
    decided that the first heat was unfairly won, and the
    last it is supposed will be subject to a similar decree;
    but the P— R— to whom the decision of the Club was
    referrd overruled the first objection. Bets at starting
    2 to 1 on Moira; and at the commencement of the third
    heat 2 to 1 on Moira against the field
    Same Day
    The Exchequer plate for Colts half bred
    The Earl of Liverpool's black Colt Vansittart 1, 3, 3, 1
    Marquis of Wellesleys gr C. Grant 3, 1, 2, 3
    Earl Moirds ch. G Huchisson 2, 2, 1, 2
    This Race like the preceeding one has excited much
    difference of opinion amongst the members of the Club.
    N.B A match will be made before the Club breaks up between the R—s old Hack and any Noted Horse that may be chosen to start against him, the Hack will carry double and any bet staked on his winning
    Mac Sycophant [McMahon] Secty.'
    Beside this notice are betting men. Three say: "How pye Ball dashes in, he has jockey'd them there he goes!"; "Da—me Johny seems in a Passion"; "Aye he 's [word scored through] Humbugg'd! The other spectators: Why the knowing ones are taken in"; "dish'd by Jupiter" [the Prince], and, "I rather think they are dish'd by Juno, she seems to be umpire." In the background are other spectators, on foot, on horseback, and in a coach.
    1 July 1812
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1812
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 275 millimetres
    • Width: 427 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Pubd July 1st 1812 for the Proprietors of Town Talk."
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    For the ministerial crisis see No. 11888, &c. As always, Lady Hertford is alleged to control the Prince. The heats for the Treasury stakes correspond to the men entrusted by the Regent with the task of forming a Ministry: Liverpool, dislodged by the vote of the House, Wellesley, and Moira. Grey was not approached by the Prince, and Grenville was second to Grey in the negotiations. On the reinstatement of Liverpool (8 June), Stuart-Wortley again, but unsuccessfully, moved (11 June) for an Address to the Regent for 'such an Administration as may be entitled to the support of the nation'. 'Parl., Deb.' xxiii. 397-465.
    The second race is for the Chancellorship of the Exchequer; Liverpool had appointed Vansittart on 20 May, just before his resignation, see No. 11886. Wellesley's Chancellor would have been Huskisson (if Canning had refused); or Lord Hutchinson, see No. 11916, a friend of the Regent, may be intended. Charles Grant, also a Canningite, afterwards Lord Glenelg, became a Lord of the Treasury in 1813. The relations between Sheridan and Yarmouth relate to the Household question, see No. 11890, &c. For the race-theme cf. No. 11906.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 11889 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1812 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)   Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA84716

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help