- Museum number
- Object: The Prevailing Candidate, or the Election carried by Bribery and the Devil
Satire on the general election of 1722 showing a grand room with two long windows and a pier glass between; to the left of this is a screen with seven folds. On the right three men, one holding a staff of office, can be discerned behind the screen reflected in the glass. From the left side of the screen an electoral candidate walks towards a voter grasping him by his right hand and with his left slipping a purse into the man's pocket. The voter is identified in the verses as a member of a corporation in a borough where only such members could vote; his leg is shackled by a chain. His wife listens to a clergyman who stands in a doorway assuring her "bribery no sin". The devil hovers over the candidate touching the voter on the shoulder and holding a blank scroll. Two boys in the foreground point to the transaction, one holding a wooden shoe, symbol of the oppressive French regime. The screen itself is adorned with little stars, at the top the years 1715-1722 are marked on the seven folds and the names of various acts passed by the previous government, "Quarantine Act .../South Sea Act/Act to indemnify S.S. V[illai]ns/Part of ye Succession Act repeal'd/Septennial Act". Four verses in two columns beneath.
- Production date
- 1721 (circa)
Height: 163 millimetres (printed area)
Width: 171 millimetres (printed area)
Width: 203 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The composition relates to BM Satires 1710 thus linking the cover-up of those in power who were implicated in the South Sea Bubble with the election of 1722.
The Septennial Act increased the number of years between elections from three to seven.
An old annotation in a copy of Stephens's catalogue (P&D Tt.6.31) records that the copper plate was in the possession of Robert Wilkinson of Fenchurch Street in 1817; Wilkinson acquired John Bowles's stock and this print may, therefore, have been published originally by the Bowles family.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: South Sea Bubble 1720
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number