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- Object: The Consultation of Surgeons
Satire on the medical profession from the Oxford Magazine, 1769, facing page 88; the suggestion is that members of the College of Surgeons were bribed to conclude that George Clarke's death was not caused by the blow to his head received during the riots at the Brentford election in December 1768 (see BM Satires 4224). A group of surgeons surround a table. The president of the meeting in a large chair holds up a bag of money saying “This Convinces me that Cl[ar]k did not dye of the Wound he receiv’d at Br[entfor]d”; the index finger of his other hand points to a paper lying on the table on which is written “It does not appear to us that he died. . .”. Other surgeons add, “Gold is good Evidence and carries great Weight”, “Another such bag would convince me that Cl[ar]k never receiv’d any blow”, “By my Saul his head was too thick to be broken or he would ne’er ha ganged to Br[entfor]d” (this man wearing a Scotch bonnet), and “Devil burn me but that some surgeon was a blockhead: how should a Foot be able to judge of the Head?”; Mr Foot, or Foote, was a surgeon who declared that Clarke had died from the blow to his head. 1769
Etching and engraving
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Height: 105 millimetres (image)
Width: 157 millimetres (image)
- Curator's comments
- Two Irish chairmen, said to have been employed by Sir William Proctor, Wilkes's opponent in the election, were found guilty of the murder of George Clarke on on 14 January 1769; they were pardoned after the College of Surgeons had been consulted.
According to the Oxford Magazine the consultation, or 'Chirurgical Examination' was held in secret. The Gentleman's Magazine, 1769, p.136, gave the names of those present as Benjamin Cowell, William Bromfield, Stafford Crane, John Ranby, Caesar Hawkins, David Middleton, Christopner Fullager, Robert Young, Percival Pott and Mr Gregory.
Stephens gives references to accounts of the affair: Horace Walpole, "Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Third", III, p.307, The Gentleman's Magazine, 1769, pp. 52 and 135-40, and the The North Briton, nos. 85 and 96.
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