Collection online

The Modern Don Quixote or, The Fire King.| Satirist August 1st 1814.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Modern Don Quixote or, The Fire King.| Satirist August 1st 1814.
  • Description

    Plate from the 'Tripod or New Satirist'. [One impression is not folded, showing that it was issued separately.] A satire on the celebrations in the three royal parks on 1 Aug. In the centre is a miniature fort on which, supported on two blazing barrels of 'Gunpowder', is a rocking-horse in violent action. On the horse sits the Regent, as Don Quixote, with three feathers in his barber's bowl which serves as (Mambrino's) helmet, and wearing high cavalry boots over his armour. Lord Yarmouth, as Sancho, sits behind clasping his master; a basket containing bottles, &c., one labelled 'Curacoa', is attached to his waist. Both are blindfolded. The Prince waves his right arm, shouting, "Now for Glory Yarmouth Now for Blazes." Fireworks explode all round. A man, evidently Col. Congreve, wearing a braided overcoat reaching to the ground, applies a match to the horse's rump to 'ginger' it; from this issue flames and a shower of coins which descend into the hat which he holds at arm's length. Three men attack the Regent from the left, where a short ladder leans against the fort. Lord Grenville has reached the top; he wears a black mask over his face and directs a blast from a pair of bellows at the Regent's face. He is being supported by the thin Lord Grey who is climbing up the ladder, and like Grenville has large posteriors, to show that he belongs to the Broad-Bottoms (see No. 10530). The third kneels on the fort to apply a firebrand inscribed 'Civil List' to the blazing barrel. A fourth (? Tierney or Whitbread) stands behind the rocking-horse flourishing a firebrand.
    On the ground immediately below is Eldon in his Chancellor's wig and robe, as a Jewish pedlar with a beard; a box of trinkets is slung from his neck. The Purse of the Great Seal hangs from this box, which he is displaying to Lord Liverpool, who is dressed as an elderly woman in an old-fashioned manner and holding a fan, but with a masculine pigtail. She bends over the box, pointing a forefinger. Just behind Liverpool (right) is Melville, the First Lord of the Admiralty, dressed as a sailor but wearing a tam-o'-shanter. He has a wheelbarrow on which is a model man-of-war with furled sails, a broom at the masthead signifying that she is for sale, and flying a pennant inscribed 'The Melvel'. He is shouting and holds out a sheaf of ballads, in the character of a discharged sailor, begging for alms. Sidmouth stands behind him (right), gazing up at the back of the rocking-horse. On the extreme right a harlequin (the Archbishop of Canterbury) and Lady Hertford, wearing a coronet, dance side by side, smiling towards each other. The harlequin wears a mask, a clerical wig and bands, and a short apron on which a church is depicted with the inscription 'A view of Cantabury Cathedral'; he holds a short crosier in place of his wooden sword. As a pendant to this couple are the Princess of Wales and Brougham. He wears a mask, legal wig, and gown; a broom leans against him, while he puts his right hand on his heart, and bows with an insinuating grin, holding the Princess's left hand. She smiles inscrutably. Behind these foreground figures a crowd is indicated: men with torches or firebrands on the left and pleased spectators on the right.
    In the middle distance, and flanking the rocking-horse, are (left) a naval battle, and (right) a Chinese bridge with a tall pagoda standing on it. One ship explodes, another sinks; little figures fly into the air, and climb up the masts of the sinking ship. Above them is a blazing balloon from which an aeronaut falls head first; another descends by parachute.
    1 August 1814
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1814
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 205 millimetres
    • Width: 365 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and artist's name 'G Cruikshank fect'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    The erection of buildings in the Parks for celebrations of the peace, the centenary of the House of Brunswick, and the anniversary of the Battle of the Nile (on 1 Aug.), had for many weeks been attacked by the Opposition and in the Press on the grounds of folly, expense, &c. Col. Sir William Congreve was in charge of the fireworks, and defended them in Parliament. The painted canvas fort (in the Green Park) received a cannonade by which it was obscured by smoke, while it was transformed into an illuminated Temple of Concord adorned with transparencies, and inscribed 'The Triumph of England under the Regency'. It was complained beforehand that the parks would be made into a Bartholomew Fair, and this to some degree happened in Hyde Park. The spectacle began with a balloon ascent by Mr. Sadler, son of the famous aeronaut. The chief attraction was the Naumachia on the Serpentine, representing the Battle of the Nile (see No. 9250, &c.); six men-of-war at anchor were attacked by three others, and were burned by fire-ships. The Chinese Bridge (cf. No. 12300) and Pagoda (from which rockets were fired) in St. James's Park were great attractions; they were intended to be permanent, but were destroyed by fire. [Contemporary prints of the buildings, fireworks, naval battles, &c., are in B.M. Maps, K. xxvi.—6—1, m, n; 7—x, y, z, aa-ss.] Castlereagh, on 25 July, welcomed the repeated attacks on the preparations as showing that there was no serious ground of complaint. See 'Parl. Deb.' xxviii. 420-3, 480-3, 696-9, 837-9; 'Europ. Mag.' lxvi. 174-6; 'Gent. Mag.' lxxxiv. 2, pp. 179 ff.; 'Examiner', 1814, pp. 503-5; 'Farington Diary', vii. 274 f.; Summerson, 'John Nash', 1935, pp. 149-51. Other allusions are to the hostility of the Whigs to the Regent, see No. 11855, &c.; to the Archbishop as a companion of the Regent (arising from the Press assertion that he had been summoned to the Connaught House conclave, cf. No. 12300, &c.); to Brougham (self-interested and devious) as the Princess's adviser, see No. 12030, &c. The hard fate of junior naval officers on half-pay was raised in Parliament on 13 July. On 14 July, in a debate on the Civil List, the Regent's extravagance was attacked by Tierney. For Liverpool as a woman cf. No. 9733. For the fête see also Nos. 12302-6. Cf. Nos. 12556, 12873. The first satire on the fête was Rowlandson's 'The Naumachia to Commemorate a Peace', pub. Tegg, July 23, reproduced Grand-Carteret, 'Napoléon', No. 320. Other prints by Cruikshank are 'Four Views taken in the Parks . . .', pub. Harrild (Reid, No. 352); 'The Sham Naval Engagement . . .' (Reid, No. 358); 'The AD-miralty Inspector . . .', pub. Harrild (Reid, No. 359).
    Reid, No. 351. Cohn, No. 809.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 12301 bibliographic details
    • Reid 1871 351 bibliographic details
    • Cohn 1924 809 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XIXc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2014 May-Oct, Hannover, Lower Saxony State Museum, 'Hanoverians'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 August 1814.  Hand-coloured etching.


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 August 1814. 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: PPA149535

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