- Museum number
- Object: A scene in the crown & anchor tavern or a crack in the wig club
Fox and Sheridan (left) sit together at the head of a rectangular table on which is a punch-bowl, &c, looking with dismay at whigs (right), who advance to hurl their wigs at a large pile of wigs on the left (inscribed 'The Heads having Scratched out of the Club'), or retire, having already done so. Fox and Sheridan wear enormous wigs, the former says, "Brother: Brother: we are all in the wrong" (showing that they are Peachum and Lockit [Like Newcastle and Fox in 1756 (BMSat 3371), Burke and Sheridan in 1790 (BMSat 7627), Burke and Fox in 1791 (BMSat 7856).] in Gay's 'Beggar's Opera', II. ii). Before Fox is a list with names scored through. Sheridan grasps a bottle of 'Sherry'. A couple advance together, in the act of hurling their large wigs at the pile; one says, "I will Scratch out my Name in hopes of getting in for the City" (probably Nathaniel Newnham, returned for the City 1784, but defeated in 1790, cf. BMSat 7162). The other is perhaps Windham. The only one of the retiring wigless Whigs who is characterized is Burke. All say: "We have erased our Names for ever from the Club, when the Artful & Ambitious designs of a Faction are carried on under a Mask of Prudential Reform & when the leading Members are Notoriously known to Carry on a secret Correspondence with the Avowed Enemies of the Constitution they Affect to Support & Defend it is high time for all prudent & real friends to that Constitution to leave them to their Just Punishment, the Contemp of all true Friends to their King and Constitution. 17 March 1793.
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 345 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
At a specially numerous meeting of the Whig Club [The meeting was during the last illness of the Earl of Bessborough, d. 11 Mar. 1793.] (at the London Tavern), a letter was read from 45 members resigning from the club on account of its political attitude, especially its approval on 20 Feb. of 'Mr Fox's political conduct and sentiments during the present session of parliament'. The signatories include Burke and his son, Windham, and Newnham. Press cutting, n.d., Place MSS. B.M. Add. 27,837, fo. 46 B. For the disruption of the Whig party see 'Life and Letters of Sir G. Elliot', ii. 80 ff.; 'Auckland Corr.', ii. 487, 495, 498. Lord Holland calls it 'a feverish and unnatural separation', after which the greater part of the Whigs soon drifted back to Fox. 'Memoirs of the Whig Party', 1852, i. 78. See also (e.g.) BMSats 8140, 8286, 8316, 8330, 8338, 8618. For the Crown and Anchor cf. BMSat 7892.
Andrew Edmunds believes this print not to be by Cruikshank (by email, May 2018).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number