- Museum number
- Object: What's all This! The Motley Team of State
Satire on Robert Walpole and attempts to remove him from office. Walpole, illuminated by rays, stands in a cart, at the tail of which walks Dr Conyers Middleton, drawn from right to left by six broken down horses and asses on the leader of which rides the postillion Lord Hervey, identified by his fan ("Lord Fanny") and the Seal around his neck; overhead flies a devil with a banner lettered, "The Death of M[iddleto]n in the Life of Cicero. Walpole raises his arms in surprise at a Trojan horse appearing to follow him. Argyll wearing a tartan sash and a purse of £1000 at his waist is seated onthe horse's back saying "77 Commissions baits for votes, in Parliament; a monkey swings from a tree behind him holding a ribbon lettered, "C. La. John". A trapdoor, against which rests a ladder, is open in the belly of the horse revealing the heads of two men within, a ribbon from the mouth of one is lettered, "for giveing a girl of 14", the phrase continuing around the opening, "to 4 score/in ye fleet". A head with an expression of alarm appears beneath the horse, obscured by shadow. Beside the horse stands an officer brandishing a stick and saying, "he wants, caning"; to his right, stands a group of three men and a women, one man, wearing clerical or legal bands holds up a bell, a clergyman grasps him by the hand saying, "I may sell gin again". At lower right stands the Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamberlain, holding his wand of office and saying, "My wages runs deep" (see BM Satires 2491); a small black page holds his train. In the centre, a woman on all fours has pulled up her skirts to allow elegant man with a monkey's head to kiss her backside through a short ladder; she winks and holds up the first two fingers of her right hand; the monkey-man is identified as the surgeon, Esquire Carey of Pall Mall, by a ribobon lettered, "your Taa; Pall-mal", a clyster pipe, and a hat with a label inside reading, "Carey in ye Minor". Behind Carey, appears a small bald-headed man, his wig falling off, who holds up his hands saying, "Direectors of ye Assical Print & Procession, by ye Authors of Manners" (a reference to BM Satires 2494 and to Paul Whitehead's anti-Walpole satire "Manners" published in February 1739. On the left, is a group of those in opposition to Walpole, identified by the legend beneath in which they disparage Walpole, each voices an insult including a reference to his Secret Service, to the Black Joke (a suggestive ballad) and to a Lapland witch (reputed to have the power to conjure up winds and tempests): 1. Lord Chesterfield, defecating on to the satirical print entitled "Funeral of Faction" (BM Satires 2487); 2. Lord Cobham; 3. John Myddelton; 4. William Pulteney; 5. the Duchess of Marlborough; 6. Samuel Sandys holding his nose has he looks down at Chesterfield. In the background stands the recently established Foundling Hospital with a sign above its door reading, "This House is full" and a roundel with a woman laying down a child; a sailor sits on an inn sign (with two ships) lettered "he'll inslave us" and pointing towards Walpole; he holds a tankard in his other hand. 1741
- Production date
Height: 202 millimetres
Width: 323 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The print was advertised in the Daily Post, 13 April 1741: "This Day is publish'd, Price 6d. What's all this! The motley Team of State; wherein is exhibited the Humours of the Trojan Horse, Justice, &c. in the Belly, for giving a Girl of Fourteen to Fourscore; the Gin Parson and the Directors of the Assical Print [see BM Satires 2494] and Procession finding the Mason Word: Being an Answer to some very melancholy Prints God knows. Publish'd by G. Bickham at the Blackmoor's Head, both in Exeter-Exchange and May's Buildings, Covent-Garden; and at the Print and Pamphlet Shops in London and Westminster, Where my had, The Original Motion and Reason (BM Satires 2485), with the Negociators (BM Satires 2463), which makes a compleat Set of Political Prints."; see also BM Satires 2479 and 2491.
Hervey was a patron of Conyers Middleton, encouraging him in his "Life of Cicero" (published 1741) to imply parallels with Walpole's long service in the government and his political skill, in particular his ability to represent those who opposed him as enemies of the state.
See Hogarth, "The Mystery of Masonry" (Paulson 55) and "The Devil upon Two Sticks" after Gravelot (BM Satires 2439), the sailor sitting on the inn sign (BM Satires 2455)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number