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The Raree Show! a Political Contrast to the Print of the Times, by Wm Hogarth

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Raree Show! a Political Contrast to the Print of the Times, by Wm Hogarth
  • Description

    Satire on the negotiations leading to the Peace of Paris in response to Hogarth's "The Times Part 1", but also with visual echoes of his much earlier print, "Southwark Fair". In the centre is a large theatrical booth advertising "The Full and Whole Play of Dido and Aeneas" with a show-cloth on which the lovers are depicted taking shelter in a cave; below is platform on which stand Bute and Princess Augusta accompanied by a zany, a drummer (Arthur Murphy) and a trumpeter (Tobias Smollett). Hogarth, portrayed as an ape, stands on a ladder painting a sign-board with a portrait of Pitt (echoing the sign painter in "Beer Street"); at the foot of the ladder another ape, representing the Duke of Bedford, ambassador to Paris, sits on a small table holding a sheet marked "Prelim Peace". Henry Fox looks out of a window at the top of the booth. On the left, Bute stands on stilts playing the bagpipes with a large bag of money hanging from his neck; he is supported by admiring Scotsmen and adored by a group of bishops. Behind him is an inn with the sign of the thistle advertising "Geud Scrubbing for Mon and Horse"; an ass peers throuh a window and an ass's skull hangs above. Beyond, Scotsmen rejoice as buildings burn, while three fireman sleep beside their engine; an owl representing the French ambassador, the Duke de Nivernois, flies overhead carrying on olive branch (in place of Hogarth's dove with the olive branch) . In the foreground a mastiff urinates on an impression of Hogarth's "The Times Part 1"; Charles Churchill gestures towards a bonfire on which is burning "The Wandsworth Epistle" and "The Briton" (Smollett's newspaper) while a sailor, watched by Britannia, brings a wheelbarrow laden with other journals (echoing the barrow containing "The North Briton" in Hogarth's print). Behind this group, William Beckford draws the attention of Pitt, Temple and Newcastle to the happy Scots; Cumberland, bald-headed, shakes his fist. The British lion grasps a dead French cock in his jaws and looks angrily at a Frenchman who hands coins to a Dutchman leaning on a bale marked "Neutrality" (a similar Dutchman in Hogarth's print sits on a bale smoking contentedly). Behind the lion, George Whitefield, arms outspread and a devil blowing with bellows into his ear, preaches from a three-legged stool to an old woman with a prayer-book and a man with the head of an ass. On the left, three further show-cloths hang on the wall of a house, referring to performances at "Punch Political Poppet Show with a Scotch Uproar": "Then", with the figure of Fame crowning a British commander; "Now", with a Scotsman at the prow of a boat foundering on the rocks of "New Lost Land"; "Alive from France & England" with a clown raising his fist and his foot at a Frenchman (echoing the sign, "Alive from America", in Hogarth's print); at the top of the house a Spaniard and a Frenchman, both grinning, look out of a window.


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1762
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 242 millimetres (trimmed)
    • Width: 292 millimetres (trimmed)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with the title, captions in the image, including 'The Full and Whole Play of Dido and Aeneas', four verses of four lines each 'See here my good Masters a fine Raree Show ... And acting each day in this Whimsical Nation' and scratched in upper right 'Price 1 Sh'.
        Annotated in ink by Hawkins '[in the image] H. Fox / Hogarth / Bedford / Bute / Pss Wales / Smollett / [below the image] Bute / Churchill / Wandsworth Epist. See Gent Mag. 1762 p. 405. 441 / Beckford / Pitt / Temple / Newcastle / Cumberland / Whitfield / 176[2]'.
  • Curator's comments

    Hogarth's "The Times Plate 1", published on 7 September 1762, supported moves to end the Seven Years War and was met by fierce attacks from those who feared that the treaty with France would result in the loss of territories and commercial opportunities gained. Sumpter was particularly active in producing opposition prints.
    "The Wandsworth Epistle" was a letter supporting Bute written by an unknown person from Wandsworth and dated 5 September; it was widely circulated in the City of London.
    This is an early state before the insertion of Sumpter's publication line. It was advertised in the Public Advertiser, 8 October 1762, p.1, col.1: "This Day at Noon will be publish'd. Price One Shilling. A Political Contrast to the Historical Print of the Times By William Hogarth. In which is introduced a Group of new Characters, Foreign and Domestic. Sold by Edward Sumpter, at the Bible and Crown in Fleet Street.".
    Sumpter advertised a "Second Edition" on a broadside entitled "The Kitchen in an Uproar" (BM Satires 4043) published early in 1763. His publication line, and a price of sixpence, appears above the verses on several impressions in the BM; it was probably inserted at the time of this second edition. In impressions of this later state the earlier price of one shilling at top right can sometimes be read.
    Certain elements of the design are close to the work of Jefferyes Hamett O'Neale: the lion is very similar to an example in the Ladies Amusement (first published by Sayer in 1760), and the group of Whitfield, his arms raised standing on a stool, with an animal-headed man beside him and a devil hovering above is close to BM Satire 4005, published by Sumpter on 2 May 1763.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 3975 (without publication line) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Seven Years War
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Description to follow. State without publication line.  Etching


Description to follow. State without publication line. Etching

Image description



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