- Museum number
- Object: The Robbing Hood debating society.
Plate to the Satirist, iv. 1. Explanatory text, 'The Satirist and Pickpockets', pp. 1-15. Ruffianly fellows sit or stand at a long rough table at one end of which is a ramshackle rostrum (left. Pockets are being picked, and the spoil is being passed to the man in the rostrum, who holds a hammer. Facing him, a man holding a Speech for opening the Debate seems to be speaking, while he clutches the handle of a knife. Near him Gale Jones sits at the table, identified by a paper: Gale Jones's Letter to the Whigs. His neighbour, holding Mi spech at the Robbing Hud, leans across the table to take a wallet from the pocket of a man deep in conversation with a man who picks his other pocket. This thief is having his own pocket picked by a ragged fellow seated on his right. Next the latter is a butcher with his steel hanging from the waist. On the right a fashionably dressed man (Thomas Hague) stands in back view, turning to speak to two ragamuffins; in his pocket are papers: List of Extortion[s]; Peep o the Hague; Englishman's [Letter]. On the opposite side of the table a man stands shouting with extended arms and clenched fists; from his breast-pocket project a pistol and a paper: Hogan Pamphlet Peter [Finnerty], showing that he is either Dennis Hogan or Finnerty. Two men listen, grinning and clapping. The room is in heavy shadow with strong lights.
1 January 1809
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 171 millimetres (printed image)
Width: 346 millimetres (printed image)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
An attack on pamphleteers who had fallen out with the Satirist and are represented as associates of thieves and assassins. The debating society is probably the British Forum (cf. Nos. 11183, 11538); it is called 'the Old Robin Hood Debating Society' 'recently founded by Peter Finnerty'. (The Robin Hood was attacked by Fielding (1752) and others as a collection of ignorant and factious tradesmen, and was for long a stock subject of ridicule, see Nos. 4860, 6331.) The attack on the Duke of York by Wardle, see No. 11216, &c, is foreshadowed. This was opened, Oct. 1808, by Hogan's pamphlet, An Appeal to the Public, and a farewell Address to the Army. By Brevet Major Hogan, late a Captain in the thirty-second Regiment of Infantry; in which he resigned his Commission in consequence of the treatment he experienced from the Duke of York . . . According to the Satirist (iii. 524-8, &c.) this was by Finnerty (see Nos. 9886, 11219, 11328). The pamphlet by Thomas Hague, A Letter to . . . the Duke of York, or an Exposition of the Circumstances that led to the late Appointment of Sir Hew Dalrymple . . . 1808, was to show that the Duke of Kent, 'a real soldier', ought to have been sent to Portugal. This supports the general belief that the Duke was behind the attack on his brother, originated by a cabal of 'disappointed and malignant men'. Holland, Further Memoirs of the Whig Party, p. 26. Hague published also An Englishman's Letter to his Majesty and Traits of all the Royal Dukes, see No. 11023, following them up with a handbill accusing the Duke of Sussex of trying to prevent their sale. For this he was convicted of libel on 23 Feb. 1809. See Ann. Reg., p. 316 f. Gale Jones, see No. 8685, had lapsed into obscurity between his imprisonment for sedition in 1797 and the proceedings at the British Forum in 1810 that led to Burdett's imprisonment, see No. 11538.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Satirist
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