- Museum number
- Object: The Oratory
Satire on Orator Henley and his followers. A view of his Oratory in Clare Market with Henley preaching from an open-air platform in front of the building, one cloven hoof protruding from beneath his robe. A monkey wearing clerical bands holds a rope which is attached to Henley's right hand; a small chest of pills, a medicine bottle and a pamphlet lettered "The Hyp Doctor" lie at his feet. In the foreground is a procession of men, lettered, "Ha!", "Ha!", "Te Hee", "He!" and "Silly Cur"; the latter wearing a laurel wreath is identified by Hawkins as Colley Cibber, and the others, two of whom wear ruffs, may be intended as actors or clowns; a puritan at their head, is urged by Henley's "Scout" towards the door of the Oratory, outside which stands a butcher acting as doorman; inside a man pays a clergyman at "The Treasury". On the extreme left, a man squats defecating on Henley's publications. Behind him a coach bears Folly, holding her bauble, towards an inn with the sign of the dunce's cap; a gallows labelled "Merit" stands beside it and an angel holding a ribbon labelled "Modesty" flies off.
- Production date
- 1731 (circa)
Height: 98 millimetres (image)
Height: 250 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 256 millimetres (image)
Width: 263 millimetres (trimmed?)
- Curator's comments
- Henley issued his weekly newspaper, the "Hyp Doctor" (i.e. the "Hypochondriac Doctor"), from 1730 onwards in opposition to the tory "Craftsman"; the present print plays on the title to suggest that Henley was a mountebank. It was alleged that initially Henley received £100 a year from the government to subsidise publication.
The angel is derived from one in Rembrandt's "Archangel Raphael quitting Tobias and his Family" (Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv.no.1736 (Bredius 503); see also BM Satires 1807.
Stephens notes that the verses appeared in the Grub Street Journal for 13 May 1731, not 18 May as lettered.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number