- Museum number
- Object: The virtuous and inspir'd state of Whigism in Bristol 1781
An electioneering procession. A candidate (Henry Cruger) seated in a chaise drawn (right to left) by two men; behind them is the Devil. Cruger is saying "I come to Establish America's Independance. Listen to my Voice behold my People". In his left hand he holds a striped flag inscribed "The Voice of Rebellion is a supreme Law which passeth all Understanding". The men drawing the chaise are saying, "America shall be independent" and "We'll have his Head if the Devil & You will help Us". One tramples on the royal crown, the other on the scales of Justice. The Devil says, "I'll help You my Children Down with their Ch-----h & K-----g".
Behind the chaise walks a bull, decorated with rosettes, as if to represent John Bull decked out for sacrifice, and ridden by an American sailor who holds out a flag inscribed with thirteen stars. At his back is a bundle inscribed "Secreted Copies". He is saying "You English Scoundrels hers the American Flesh & Blood of a Bull."
In front two men with favours in their hats are conversing: one (left) says "You have made Your Escape for Forgery robery & a Rape P------n [Parson] Green". The other (right), who wears a parson's wig and bands, answers, "And tis my Belief You'r a Pauper & Thief Mr Chairman". A pregnant woman holds up a broken pitcher saying "Croker shall have it"; a child standing beside her asks "Is that Daddy Croker Mammy". Behind her a man waves his
hat saying "D------n your Eyes you Bch cry Croker". A chimney-sweep (right) holds up his brush shouting "No blue [word obliterated], Obadiah & St Abigal for ever." c.February 1781
- Production date
Height: 140 millimetres
Width: 197 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
Henry Cruger was member for Bristol from 1774 to 1780, when (like Burke) he was defeated at the general election. Sir Henry Lippincott, one of the successful candidates, died shortly afterwards, and there was a close contest between Cruger and George Daubeny. By 20 Feb. 1781 both candidates had obtained 2,474 votes. 'Public Advertiser', 20 Feb. 1781. His election was financed by the Treasury, see 'Parliamentary Papers of John Robinson', ed. Laprade, 1922, p. 37; 'Corr. of George III', v. 466, 470. See also Oldfield, 'Representative History', iv. 415. Cruger was born and educated in America, and his correspondence shows that he had in fact been eager for the independence of America. [He congratulates John Hancock (5 Mar. 1783) and his countrymen on "the accomplishment of our most sanguine wishes - the Liberty and Independency of America", and informs him of the connexion he has formed with men "whose attachment to the American Cause and whose open exertions in it, have at times brought upon them the most furious persecutions of the Enemies of Liberty. As we have long been united in one political principle, which at length is happily Triumphant, we are encouraged to form a Commercial Connexion . . .". 'New-England Historical and Genealogical Register', xxviii. 51.]
Namier, 'England in the Age of the American Revolution', p. 297. At the election of 1780 the American flag was hoisted on many of the churches to suggest that he wished for the success of America. Einstein, 'Divided Loyalties', 1933, p.260. He became Mayor of Bristol in 1781, and again M.P. for Bristol in 1784.
Evidently the work of an amateur.
A companion print to BMSat 5833.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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