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- Object: Political Amusements for Young Gentlemen:-or-The Old Brentford Shuttlecock, between Old Sarum, & the the Temple of St. Steevens.
In a small space between the House Commons (left) and a rustic alehouse (right) Lord Temple and Lord Camelford play battledore and shuttlecock with the head (the features as in BMSat 9200) of Horne Tooke. In this are stuck feathers, five inscribed respectively: 'Deceit, Vanity, Jacobinism, New Morality [cf. BMSat 9240], Envy'. From the neck hang (torn) clerical bands. Camelford in back view, 'profil perdu', wears a rakish hat with curved brim (as in BMSat 9699), a naval officer's coat with sailor's striped trousers, and buckled shoes; from his coat pocket issues a paper: 'Effusion of Loyalty'. He says: "There's a Stroke for you, Messmate! and, if you kick him back, I'll return him again, dam'me! - if I should be sent on a cruise to Moorfields [i.e. Bedlam], for it! - go it, Coz:" Temple, a stout country gentleman, scarcely caricatured, wearing a stiff round hat, prepares to return the stroke vigorously, left fist clenched; he says: "Send him back? - yes, I'll send him back Twenty Thousand times, before such a high flying Jacobin-Shuttlecock shall pearch [sic] it here, in his Clerical band." Both play vigorously with legs astride. Through the wide doorway behind him, inscribed 'St Steevens', is seen the Opposition side of the House of Commons densely packed, the Speaker just visible in his chair, the Clerk staring apprehensively. All the (tiny) members wave red caps to cheer their champion, shouting "The Church for Ever, [?] dem[me]". Sheridan and Fox only are characterized.
The alehouse is a primitive thatched building with the chequers sign. On it are two placards: 'The Old Sarum Electors', five pigs in a sty eating from a trough. Below: 'The House of Call for Independent Members'. Against the building are a rustic table and bench. On the ground by Camelford is a 'List of Candidates for Old Sarum, J. H. Tooke, Black Dick [it was reported, though denied by Camelford, that he had declared his intention of returning his black servant if Tooke's election should be annulled], Thelwall' [see vol. vii]. In the background between the buildings is seen a small ruinous village, representing Old Sarum, with a bare, decayed tree. 15 March 1801
- Production date
Height: 258 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
See BMSat 9711, &c. The anomalies of the dispute over Tooke's return are wittily brought out. Camelford (a peer and therefore barred from interfering in parliamentary elections), erratic to the verge of insanity (see BMSat 8823), returned Tooke for his borough (for which there were nominally seven electors, 'Companion to the Royal Kalendar', 1801, 1804, &c); Temple (M.P. for Bucks.) opposed the return on the grounds of the sanctity of the Constitution. Tooke maintained that he had renounced his orders and was a layman. For his repudiation of his clerical orders in a ribald correspondence with Wilkes see BMSat 4863, &c. Sheridan maintained that Tooke 'had a right to sit after being returned by a certain portion of the people of England', since no counter-petition had been presented. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxv. 1324, 1331, 1340 (10 Mar. 1801). A democrat and Reformer, see BMSat 8817, he sits for the rotten borough par excellence.
Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 274-5. Wright and Evans, No. 259. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.
- Not on display
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