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A new version of "Can't get out" / Political Sketches

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • A new version of "Can't get out"

    Title (series)

    • Political Sketches
  • Description

    No. 600. A group of men holding hands, standing in a circle (from left, Sir James Graham, unidentified man, Sir Robert Inglis, Henry Goulburn, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Ashley), around a man standing at centre, holding a book under his left arm, lettered with 'ABCDEFGH', and a stick (Thomas Wyse); a man standing outside the window at left, complaining that can not get in (Lord Brougham). 24 June 1839


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1839
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 285 millimetres
    • Width: 396 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Series title and number at top right; initialled by artist; lettered within image around the heads of the characters with 'Can't get out!', and two speech balloons, and below with title and publication details: 'Published by T. Mc Lean, 26, Haymarket, 24, June 1839. / A. Ducôte's Lithy. 70, St,, Martins Lae.'.
        With eye-shaped blindstamp at bottom left, lettered with 'Subscribers copy' and HB's monogram at centre.
  • Curator's comments

    For preliminary drawing see 1882,1209.449
    Text from 'An Illustrative Key to the Political Sketches of H.B.', London 1841:

    The gentleman in the ring, and who "can't get out," is Mr. Wyse, M.P. for the Town of Waterford, and the author of a work entitled "Education Reform; or, the Necessity of a National System of Education." The government, about this period, proposed a plan of education which was not approved of by the Conservatives, and the motion made by Lord John Russell in the House of Commons, for a grant of a sum of money to carry it into effect, was carried by the small majority of two. The Church party used all the means in their power to confine the scheme within such limits as would secure to all, whom it might embrace, an education in the tenets of the Church of England, while the supporters of government desired so to extend the plan as to admit Dissenters of every class. Mr. Wyse, one of the chief supporters of the government plan, with his primer under his arm, and a pen in his ear, is encircled by the Conservatives, and no more able to get out than Her Majesty to escape from the thraldom of her bed-chamber ladies in No. DXCVII. Sir James Graham, on the left, exhibits a lively interest in the sport. The person next to him has no very distinguishable features, and may not perhaps have been intended for any person of note, but the jolly John-Bull features of Sir Robert Harry Inglis, looking resolutely at Mr. Wyse, cannot be mistaken, especially as he joins hands, behind Mr. Wyse's back, with Mr. Goulburn; next to whom, quite on the right-hand of the picture, is Lord Ashley. Nor is it possible to mistake the next figure, though presenting only a back-view, for where is the head that can compare with that of Sir Robert Peel? but the other back view does not enable us to make so good a guess. The face of Lord Brougham, looking through the window, is an amusing piece of by-play. His anxiety to "get in" prevents him from comprehending the nature of the difficulty of any one, whose complaint is, that he "can't get out."


  • Location

    Not on display (298.c.17)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: PPA262904

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