- Museum number
- Object: The Turncoats
Satrire on clergymen who changed denominational allegiance according to political convenience with an etching showing the interior of a tailor's shop. On the left, a clergyman tries on a gown asking his tailor, "Can't you make this [High Church] Gown into a [Low Church] Cloak upon Ocasion"; the tailor replies, "Yes Sr. I can very easily". In the centre, a tailor holds out a measuring tape to another clergyman, saying "Sr. let me take ye length of your Conscience"; the clergyman replies, "Let ye Gown be lin'd with a Cloak to turn at pleasure" indicating a cloak lying on the floor in front of him. Behind, a man enters through a door, saying "My Masters Customers are Viccars of Bray". To right, three men sit sewing on a tailors' board, one saying, "We need not fear Cowcumber time", another, "My Master can please Trimmers", and the third, "I'll go to St Mary Overs and pray for the Doctor[Sacheverell]"; in front of these tailors lie a pair of shears, a ball of thread, a tailor's goose (smoothing iron) and a bodkin; on the wall behind hang a coat and a cloak. Engraved title, inscriptions, and verses in three columns in which mention is made of two "turncoat" clerics, Samuel Palmer and Charles Leslie. ([London: c.1709])
- Production date
Height: 197 millimetres
Width: 253 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The print was advertised by Pennock in the Evening Post for 3 - 6 February 1711: "Just publish'd The Effigies of the Three Oculists of Great Britain, viz. Dr. Sacheverel, Sir Will. Read and Roger Grant Esq; Price 2d; The Turn-Coats, Pr.2d. The Funeral of the Low Church, or the Whigs last Will and Testament, Pr. 2d.The Jacobite Hopes, or Perkin riding in Triumph, Pr. 2d. London's Happiness in 4 Loyal Members, Pr. 1d. Faults on both sides pr. 1d. All curiously engraved on copper, and Printed on fine Paper, with Heroic Poems to each explaining the Figures. All printed for Will. Pennock at the Picture shop in Pannier Alley in Pater-Noster-Row" (information from Malcolm Jones, October 2010)
The "Vicar of Bray" was a popular song referring to a clergyman who held his benefice through successive reigns even as official religious allegiances changed; it probably referred originally to a Tudor vicar but was applied to the seventeenth-century situation.
Cowcumber (cucumber) time, i.e. the summer, was normally a period when business was slack for tailors.
Sacheverell was the chaplain of St Saviour's and St Mary Overie's Church in Southwark.
For a ballad in which "the Cloak" stands for non-conformism, see BM Satires 1109 (BL, C.20.f. Roxburghe Ballads, suppl. vol., p.32, and 643.m.9, Bagford Ballads, vol.i, p.70)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number