- Museum number
- Object: The Westminster watchman.
Fox, dressed as a watchman, stands full-face, his right hand grasping his staff (inscribed 'Uprightness'), his left on his hip. Over his head is the word 'Liberty'; his lantern stands on the ground beside him sending forth rays inscribed 'Truth'. His dog (left) is 'Vigilance'. Zigzag flashes of lightning among clouds, inscribed 'Ministerial Thunderbolts', threaten him from all sides.
In the background (right) two sham watchmen are running off to the right holding staves and dark lanterns, which contrast with that of Fox, which sheds its rays in all directions. The foremost is Sir Cecil Wray in military uniform, saying, "For Chelsea Ho a"; the other wearing a hooded cloak over his naval uniform is Lord Hood saying, "For Greenwich Ho a". They are followed by two dogs. Beneath the design is etched, 'To the Independent Electors of Westminster This Print of their Staunch Old Watchman The Guardian of their Rights and Privileges is dedicated by a gratefull
This is followed by an engraved inscription: 'N.B. Beware of Counterfeits as the Greenwich and Chelsea Watchmen are upon the look out!' c.12 April 1784
- Production date
Height: 173 millimetres (cropped)
Width: 232 millimetres (cropped)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
This plate illustrates the 'Westminster Election', p. 166, where it faces an address to the electors from 'An Independent Elector', dated 12 Apr., where Fox is called 'your faithful watchman over ministerial encroachment'. There had been no suggestion of abolishing Greenwich Hospital; for Wray's proposals about Chelsea Hospital see BMSat 6475, &c. For the dark lantern as emblem of Temple's intrigue see BMSat 6417, &c.
Reissued (or perhaps etched for), 'Westminster Election', p. 166.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', i. 126-7 (reproduction). Reproduced, Grego, 'Hist. of Parliamentary Elections', 1892, p. 277.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number