- Museum number
- Object: A prophetic sketch of the (wig) club as described in the 1st Book of Samuel....
The title continues: '22 Ch. 2 Ve. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he became a great Captain over them, and there were with him about four hundred men.'
The Whigs gather round a small table, with tankards of porter inscribed '4d' (see BMSat 9430, &c). Fox (three-quarter length) stands with right arm raised, fist clenched, addressing the company. He wears a bonnet-rouge and his (bandaged) left arm is in a sling. From his pocket issues 'O Conners Confession', see BMSat 9245, &c. All listen with dejected intentness. They are (left to right): Derby, his 'profil perdu' on the extreme left, Bedford, dressed as a jockey (see BMSat 9380), raising his tankard to Fox; his stool is 'Tax'd' (see BMSat 9167). Opposite him, and on Fox's right, are Erskine, Tierney, and (more prominent) Sheridan. Opposite Fox (and on Bedford's right) is Norfolk. On Fox's left, but in the background, is Nicholls, then (?) Lauderdale (or Jekyll), next Burdett, and, in prominence on the extreme right, George Hanger. Fox declaims: "Here Citizens, here - an infamous attack upon the Club the only Liquor allowed to be raised upon us, I say Citizens it is the Ministers doings he knows our distress, he knows our Situations, he has privately done it to annihilate entirely. Rouse yourselves, raise your spirits against the Porter, let off the whole artillery of your mallevolence against that fellow who so maliciously keeps us out of Place [cf. BMSat 8981] - & le me hear next Club night the Harangues you have made in the different Alehouses & Slap-Bang Shops [cheap eating-houses], against Placemen & Pensioners. - Citizens I would meet him myself, but for my lame hand." On the right are inscribed the 'Rules & Orders 1 That the Majesty of the People be the standing Toast [see BMSats 9168, 9205, &c.]. 2 That what can't be said in the House is to be said here [cf. BMSat 9343]. 3 That if any member be detected in an unlawfull Act: all the Club do voluntarily Swear to his good Character, and that he is as pure as themselves; - (Maidstone to wit) [see BMSat 9245, &c.]. 4 That the word Poverty never be mentioned in the Club, on forfeit of the persons expectations. 5 That Cheating Tradesmen of their property; under privelege of Parliament be allowed & sanctioned. 6 That every member do exert himself to the utmost, to damp the spirits of the People; & particularly by holding out the Country to be in a dreadful State. 7 That every information be conveyed over the water, that will keep up the present War [see BMSat 9194], & then charge it on the Administration. 8 That all duties be neglected to attend this Club & its private concerns" [see BMSat 9018, &c.]. 20 December 1799
- Production date
Height: 270 millimetres
Width: 343 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The identification of F. Sansom as the lettering engraver was made by Andrew Norton (correspondence, 19 February 2008).
(Description and further comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
Fox denounced the Union, see BMSat 9284, &c, in the Whig Club and in private, but did not speak on it in Parliament. Holland, 'Memoirs of the Whig Party', i. 143. See BMSat 9343. He had recently injured his hand by the bursting of a gun. 'Private Corr. of Lord G. Leveson Gower', 1916, i. 250. The Whig Club is represented as a plebeian tavern club, cf. BMSat 8220. For the Foxite attitude to war news, cf. BMSat 9248.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number