- Museum number
- Object: The confessional or concession without the veto. | Satirist 1st September 1812
Plate from the 'Satirist', xi. 175, described (pp. 175-81) as a dream of England under Emancipation without the Veto. A priest is seated under a canopy as if in a confessional with side-windows; one foot rests regally on a stool. English Ministers kneel on his left, all making confessions which he passes on through a trumpet in the form of a mitred fish. He does this for the information of Ireland and Napoleon. A demon looks from under his chair towards the Englishmen, who all wear rosaries and have black draperies over their heads. The foremost (the Home Secretary, Lord Fingall) says: "Ireland is ripe for revolt discontents prevail in our midland Counties Oh Ludd!!!" Next, Buckingham, in admiral's uniform as First Lord, says: "We are equipping a strong fleet for the Mediterranean." Goold (an Irish barrister) as Lord Chancellor says: "I will keep the —s [King's, i.e. Regent's] conscience quiet." The Commander-in-Chief, apparently Lord Kenmare, says: "Our force in the Peninsula consists of 54,000 men of which only 30,000 are effective—no more troops shall be sent." Grenville, as Premier, says: "We have just concluded an alliance offensive and defensive with the Protestant Powers in the North."
On the left are Irish ragamuffins, highly delighted with two officers' uniforms and a judge's wig and gown. One puts on the wig and gown, saying, "By J—s Paddy honey this will do." Another, struggling into a much-laced coat: "Arrah be aisey man!!! blood & fire dont you see I'm a General." A sabre and sabretache inscribed 'G R' lie at his (bare) feet. A third picks up an officer's coat, exclaiming, "Och!!! by my own soul but I'mm done for now! Phelim, Phelim where are you joy? here's the divil's own beautifull state Regimentals ready made to my fist sure!!!" Phelim, groaning: "Oh Gramachree whack!!! faith and its yourself O'Doody that they'll be after fitting." A builder's labourer with a hod brandishes a sabre: "Hurroo!!! success to Father O'Flanigan and divil burn the Hod I say." Behind them are two saints in niches. The most prominent is 'Sl Cloud': Napoleon in imperial robes, wearing a cross and holding an orb. He looks down at the Irishmen and listens to the words from the priest's trumpet: 'Cabinet Secrets United Kingdom'. He stands on the decollated head of a Pope (cf. No. 10060). Next and on the extreme left is 'St Patrick', mitred, with book and crosier.
1 September 1812
Hand-coloured etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 193 millimetres
Width: 365 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The scene is a side-chapel of a magnificent basilican church, whose nave, drawn with precision and probably adapted from an engraving, is on the right. Double arches, mosaic and frescoes, a Gothic canopy over the altar suggest San Paolo fuori le Mura. It represents, however, St. Peter's miraculously transported to England and replacing St. Paul's. In the nave lawyers compete for the prizes of their profession, racing towards a bar from which hang judges' wigs, and the mace and purse of the Great Seal. One figure (not racing) only is characterized, he appears to be O'Connell. Others mentioned are 'the Keoghs and O'Gormans'.
A view of the supposed consequences of Emancipation without safeguard, and with a Ministry hostile (as Grenville was) to the Peninsular war. In 1812 speedy Emancipation was expected, see No. 12016. The Veto, cf. No. 12073, was a scheme for control over the election of bishops, brought forward, 25 May 1808, by Grattan as a concession to the 'No Popery' that had characterized the 1807 election. By 1810 Irish Catholic opinion had condemned it, and by 1812 the Whigs showed readiness to drop it. Fingall (1789-1836), see No. 11570, and Kenmare (1754-3 Oct. 1812), a Unionist, were moderate leaders of the Irish Catholics. Goold (1766-1846) was a Protestant opponent of the Union, and a distinguished Master of Chancery in Ireland. John Keogh (1740-1817) had been replaced by O'Connell as a leader of the Catholics; Cornelius was an opponent of the Veto. The extremer Catholics who rejected the Veto aimed at repeal of the Union and disestablishment of the Church. 'Ludd' is a reference to 'Captain Ludd' of the machine-breaking riots in the Midlands.
Listed by Broadley.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number