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Accidents in high life or, Royal hobby's broke down! Dedicated to the Society for the Suppression of Vice.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Accidents in high life or, Royal hobby's broke down! Dedicated to the Society for the Suppression of Vice.
  • Description

    The Regent and Lady Hertford fall head first from a velocipede or hobby-horse (see No. 13399), the pole supporting the saddle having broken. The end of the bar, curving over the front wheel, and surmounted by a coronet, is inscribed 'Royal Roley Poley'. The Regent has (inconspicuous) ass's ears; his coat-collar is inscribed 'Royal Horse Collar'. On one foot is a buckled pump, on the other a sandal adjusted to gouty toes. He says: "Oh dear! Oh dear! who wod have thought the Pole had been so rotten! —I wish I had a new one:—however this Hertford Road is so d—d rough I'll not drive on it any more—I'll go the Richmond road next time." Lady Hertford (right) grasps a birch-road in her right hand, her coronet falls off. She screams: "Oh! My Back!—Oh! My Side!! curse you & the Pole too: I was a great fool to trust myself with such an Old Stick—I've got into a pretty mess by it! what will the M—q—s say to it?!!! !!! !!!"
    In the background, on a grassy slope near a stone inscribed 'Mile from Windsor', the Duke of York falls violently from his velocipede; he wears boots with huge spurs; his left elbow rests on a cushion inscribed '10,000 pr annm'. He exclaims: "Oh! my Arm!!!—D—n the Spurs! 'tis a d—d good thing I did'nt break my Neck!! indeed it would have been a hell of a fall as it is, if it had not been for this Cushion."
    24 April 1819
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1819
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 245 millimetres
    • Width: 349 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within image and publication line: "Pubd. Apl. 24th. 1819 by E. King 25 Chancery Lane"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    For the Regent and Lady Hertford on a velocipede see No. 13213, &c. The first allusion to the Regent's alleged infatuation with the Duchess of Richmond, see No. 13231, &c. For the Duke of York's accident see No. 13226, &c.; for his grant of £10,000, No. 13214, &c.
    Reid, No. 887. Cohn, No. 864. The Bruton impression was autographed 'Sorry to say this is by me, G. C.' Layard, p. 75 f.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 13222 bibliographic details
    • Cohn 1924 864 bibliographic details
    • Reid 1871 887 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XIXc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    1992 Jun-Nov, Essen, Villa Hugel, 'London 1800-1838'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  1819  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1819 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA93834

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