- Museum number
- Object: Philanthropic consolations, after the loss of the slave-bill
Wilberforce and Bishop Horsley revel indecorously with two black women. Wilberforce and a fat woman face each other sitting cross-legged on the bolsters at opposite ends of a settee; both smoke cheroots. The woman wears a large straw hat over her turban, her breasts are uncovered. On the ground by Wilberforce is a torn pamphlet: 'Tryal of. . . & . . . [names illegible] convicted of Perjury in the case of Captn Kimber'. On the right the fat bishop embraces another woman who is poised on his knee, holding up a wine-glass. Behind him and on the extreme right is a table on which are books: 'Rochesters Jests', 'Charity covereth a Multitude of Sins' (open), 'Humanity a Masque', 'Mathematick', 'Ghost of Clarence', and a paper: 'Defence of Orthodoxy, better late than never'. Both women wear loose patterned dresses. A little grinning black boy (left) brings in a tray of filled glasses. The room is well furnished with a patterned carpet. On the wall are four pictures and a candle-sconce. Above the door appears the lower part of a picture of a man seated on the ground: 'Captn Kimber in the Cells of Newgate'. Above Wilberforce's head is a picture, 'Inkle & Yarico': Inkle discovers Yarico, a black woman, reclining under a palm tree in a mountainous landscape. (For Colman's opera, 1787, cf. BMSat 7260.) Above Horsley's head is a picture of a stage-coach driving right to left; a fat bishop (almost recognizable) looks out of the window to inspect the legs of an outside passenger which dangle from the roof. On the extreme right is a picture of 'Westminster Abbey'. 4 April 1796
- Production date
Height: 260 millimetres
Width: 360 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
Wilberforce's Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was defeated on 15 Mar. by 74 to 70. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxii. 901; Coupland, 'Wilberforce', 1923, pp. 224-5. Clarence had been one of the most vehement opponents of Abolition in the Lords. Ibid., pp. 174-5, 216; cf. also BMSat 7260. For the trial of Kimber for the murder of a negress see BMSat 8637, &c. Horsley, Bishop of Rochester and Dean of Westminster, spoke forcibly against the Slave Trade. He was a distinguished mathematician and published many scientific and theological works. He attacked the unorthodox doctrines of Priestley and opposed the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1790). Abbey, 'The English Church and its Bishops', 1887, pp. 263-9; 'D.N.B.' Cf. BMSat 8703.
See Temi Odumosu, "Africans in English Caricature 1769-1819: Black Jokes, White Humour" (Harvey Miller) 2017, p. 156.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996 Sep-Nov, York, Fairfax House, 'Come Drink the Bowl Dry'
2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature'
2007 April-May, Hull, Ferens AG (Sth Bank Tour), Blake
2007/8 Nov-Jan, Glasgow, Burrell Coll (Sth Bank Tour), Blake
2008 Jan-April, Manchester, Whitworth AG (Sth Bank Tour), Blake
2011 Feb-May, BM P&D, Exploration, Slavery and Abolition: Images of Africans in the 16th to 19th Centuries
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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