- Museum number
- Object: Improement in the city. of London
A design divided into five compartments, each with its title:  In the centre: 'The Man of the People? Double Chaind!!!' Wood stands looking to the left, holding a large broom which rests on a paper at his feet: '. . . abuse, Corruption, Tyranny. Despotism'; the broom-stick is surmounted by a large Cap of 'Liberty'. He holds in his left hand 'Magna Charter', and wears a long gown with two mayoral chains symbolizing his second term. Under his left foot is a paper: 'Discovery of Conspiraters By M.W.' Near this are a pamphlet: 'Life of Wittington', and a paper: 'Wilks'. Above his head are two cherubs, irradiated, holding up a crown between them; one holds a cross, the other the balanced scales of Justice. Below the title, as if on a tablet on the front of a platform on which Wood stands: 'Scornful Man [sic] bring a City into a Snare / But wise Men turn away Wrath—Pro. C 29 v 8.' This design is flanked by Wood's activities as a City magistrate:
 'An approved plan for the correction of Prostitutes.' A young woman is suspended by ropes round her waist which pass over two pulleys and are held by Wood, who is seated (right) in his mayor's robes. Her hands are confined in a solid set of stocks decorated with the City Arms, and she is being birched by a sturdy fellow resembling John Bull. She says: "I wish my fancy man Bill turtle-nose [Curtis] was here to take my Part!!"
 'The Children of Israel, Driven from the Bank—' Wood (right), with his gown looped over an arm, stands at a street corner, pointing with angry severity at Jewish hawkers of fruit, who hasten away. The principal hawker, old and bearded, says: "D—n him I should like to smash him."
 'Disturbing the guardian of ye night from his Repose.' Wood, wearing a top-hat, and without his gown, approaches the box of a sleeping watchman, taking the (broken) lantern from the side of the box. The watchman, with closed eyes, says: "D—n it how I am troubled with the Night Mare!!" (see No. 12817). Across the road, beside a shuttered bow-window, is another watchman's box (right) with its occupant alarmed, and holding up his lantern. (For the watchman sleeping in his box cf. No. 9687.)
 'Cleansing the City of Prostitutes.' Scene at a street corner. Wood (right), wearing his gown, kicks vigorously at a group of fleeing women, saying, "Get along you nasty Whores." On the left Sir William Curtis, wearing sailor's dress, as in No. 11353, in profile to the right, his bottle-nose much exaggerated. He says: "Thats your sort [cf. No. 8073, &c.], Matt. go it we will Cleanse the Strets [sic] Speedy & soon [cf. No. 11306]."
c. November 1816
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
When Wood was elected Lord Mayor for a second term, see No. 12809, he was hailed not only as an opponent of the Ministry but as an active City magistrate: 'At one time we find him arresting offenders in person; at another advocating the interests of constitutional liberty; at another detecting and investigating horrible conspiracies, and saving the lives of simple men . . .'. 'Examiner', 20 Oct. 1816. The 'Discovery of Conspiraters' relates to a gang that had been inciting persons to burglary to obtain rewards for their conviction. The Mayor took an active part in the investigation. They were sentenced on 21 Sept. Ibid., pp. 464, 479, 495, 621. He was also and more directly concerned in investigating a similar conspiracy by which persons were induced to pass bad bank-tokens and shillings, the Bank giving a reward of 10s. for each person convicted. Ibid., p. 685 (28 Oct.). These gave rise to Hone's 'Hist. of the Memorable Blood Conspiracy . . .in 1756', 1816, for which Cruikshank engraved a frontispiece, copied from the original of 1756 (Reid, No. 596); cf. Nos. 12887, 12985, 13358. See also Nos. 12814, 12816, 12817.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number