- Museum number
BM Satires 13346. A Political pamphlet of 45 pages entitled: "A Political Lecture on Heads, alias Blockheads!! A Characteristic Poem: . . .Drawn from Craniological Inspection, after the Manner of Doctors Gall and Spurzheim, of Vienna. By Don Juan Asmodeus. London. Printed for the Author, and Published by John Fairburn, 2, Broadway, Ludgate-Hill (Price One Shilling)."
The folding frontispiece, opposite the title page, represents ten half length caricature portraits arranged in two rows, and, except for the last two, in separate compartments, each illustrating a section of the verse-satire. The date is after Peterloo (16 August 1819), see BM Satires No. 13258, and before the King's death (29 Jan. 1820).  'Derry-Down-Triangle', Castlereagh, with ass's ears, his head, adorned by a tiny gibbet, turned in profile to the left, holds up a scourge. On a scroll is the motto 'EIREN·GO·BRAY' (see BM Satires No. 13301).  'State Jackal', Canning, directed to the left, holds a pistol in each hand. On his head is a triangle, bells hanging from its apex as from a fool's cap. Behind him is a package inscribed 'Lisbon 20.000 weight'. For his much-attacked mission to Lisbon see No. 12872, for the duel with Castlereagh, BM Satires No. 11370, &c.  'Quack Doctor' [cf. No. 9849], Sidmouth, in profile to the left, holds a pike on which is speared a ball inscribed 'Circular Pills' [see No. 13282, &c.]. On his head is a pestle and mortar inscribed 'Drugs for John Bull'. At his back is a large 'Bible' (like Liverpool he was an Evangelical).  'Chancery Jack', the shoulders of Eldon, who scowls to the right, emerge from a 'Coal Tub' (as son of a Newcastle hoastman or coal-broker). He wears wig and gown, across his forehead is a bandage inscribed 'In Chancery'; from his mouth issues the word 'Equity'.  Liverpool, in profile to the left, spoons into his mouth liquid from a bowl of 'Water Gruel for the Poor' held in his left hand. On his head is a round tea-tray inscribed '£4.000'; on this are two cups and an urn inscribed 'Cordial Tea'.  'Croaking-Frog—' Croker sits, pen in hand, in profile to the left; on his head is a frog. At his shoulder is a flag inscribed Dry . Rot . In . Navy' above two broken anchors. He says "Fal de Raltit," and before him is a paper: 'Talavira [sic] Algiers 2000'. He has an oddly shaped seat, resting his arm on a 'Quarterly Review', above a longer (curved) block inscribed 'Couriers'. (He was Secretary to the Admiralty, see No. 12310, author of 'Talavera', a leading contributor to the 'Quarterly', and (with Arbuthnot) manager of the Press for the Ministry.)  'Dunderass—' Lord Melville (First Lord of the Admiralty), in tartan, is in profile to the left, holding a pinch of snuff. Across his chest is a broad band: 'Pickings of Dad 60.000 [see BM Satires No. 10377, &c.] Place 10.000.' He wears a curious head-dress topped by a man-of-war surrounded by smoke.  'Waterloo-Man—' Wellington, so styled by Hone, see BM Satires No. 13302, stands in profile to the left, wearing a cocked hat on which stands a cannon. He holds a dagger transfixing a bleeding heart; behind his back is a bundle inscribed 'Iquisition' [sic], across his chest is a placard: 'Coruption [sic] Prize . Money £60.000 Allowances £200.000 &c &c.' The text is a savage attack, e.g.: His soldiers 'sav'd the Spanish nation'; | Sav'd them—to send them to perdition | By 'Ferdinand's' crust [sic] 'Inquisition' [see BM Satires No. 13009] and (on Waterloo): The 'General' he'd not aught to do | But scenes of triumph to review [having lingered in Brussels]. For the campaign against pensions see BM Satires No. 12781, &c. [9 and 10] 'Chere-Amie', Lady Hertford in profile to the right, holds a sceptre and wears a crown-like coronet. She offers the Regent a large goblet of 'Noyau', saying, "Take another sup my Jewel. Grand-Lama—" The Regent leans back tipsily, his eyes almost closed. A little demon, holding a firebrand, flies towards him, flinging a noose at his head. See BM Satires No. 11853.
circa late August 1819- December 1819
Etched folded illustration and letterpress pamphlet
- Production date
Height: 205 millimetres (Approximate page height (fold out illustration sheet))
Height: 220 millimetres (Approximate page height (pamphlet))
Width: 317 millimetres (Approximate page width (fold out illustration sheet))
Width: 136 millimetres (Approximate page width (pamphlet))
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Reid, Nos. 451, 4664. Cohn, No. 664.
Pencil note ('G. Ck and I. R. Ck') on pamphlet, by G. C. according to George.
Bound as part of "Political Tracts Volume 3" a compilation of political pamphlets published circa 1819-1822, number 3 of 10 volumes. Volume 3 contains numerous pamphlets on the Queen Caroline affair. Also see "Political Tracts Volume 2", 184.a.2. for material concerning Queen Caroline.
"A Political Lecture on Tails" (1865,1111,609.) is bound in the same volume.
The title of the pamphlet alludes to the "Lecture on Heads" performed to great acclaim by George Alexander Stevens in the 1760s, see also BM Satires No. 8379 (1878,0511.1380 with further note) and 1115. See "Political Tracts Volume 4" for another variation on the "Lecture on Heads" from the satirical publication "The Black Dwarf."
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number