- Museum number
- Object: The rehearsal (in the green yard) of a new farce, called fire and murder!!
The title continues: 'to which will be added the Busy Body to conclude with Much Ado about Nothing.—Principle Character by Jack Flog'em, who it is supposed will shortly appear as Sir Iohn!!! "Give me another Horse!"— the Lord Mayor loudly cry'd: "Give us another Mare!"— the Smithfield mob reply'd'. John Atkins, the Lord Mayor (left), a puny fellow, as 'Walworth', the name on a paper at his feet, reins in his horse to speak to three villainous-looking ragamuffins who face him. He registers terror, and a scourge falls from his hand; in his left hand is the City mace. He wears his mayoral gown and chain with a bag-wig and a dragoon's helmet with flowing horse-tail. His saddle-cloth is embroidered with 'G.R' and crown. Behind him and on the extreme left are three dragoons with drawn sabres. The first ruffian, who has a spiked bludgeon, says: "I'm come to swear my Lord, all the People are to be Murder'd and the City fir'd (that's all I can swear for half a crown) It's a "Burning lie!"" Second ruffian (holding a knife): "You had better take your flight or there will be a Hunt, after you, and I can swear they'll make game of you." Third ruffian (with a bludgeon but not ragged like the others): "D—n me my Lord if I know what to swear! If you will be so good to invent something. I'll swear to any thing for 2s/6d." The Mayor says (answering the first rascal): "Dreadfull! I do not doubt it, Gentlemen by your respectable appearence, I might as well believe you without your Oath!—"but take prisoner That old seditious priest.,, Harrison, "Were but the ringleaders cut off—the rabble Would soon disperse.,," On the extreme right is a notice-board: '"All persons that will Swear to a D—nd lie, by applying to Jack Flog'em will Recieve from One shillg to Two and Sixpence each. N.B. no higher price will be offered. —.' Under the notice two men are conferring. One asks: "I say Oliver Cramwell how goes trade in the Informing line." The other: "little doing in the City thank the Lord M...r [scored through] but Low Price."
c. July 1819
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 351 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The timorous Mayor is ironically depicted as Walworth the Mayor who killed Wat Tyler. At Hunt's Smithfield Meeting, see No. 13252, the resolutions were seconded by Joseph Harrison of Stockport, a preacher, who at the close of the meeting was arrested by a City Marshal. At a Common Council on 23 July Atkins gave an account of the measures taken to preserve order, and of an inflammatory bill posted about the streets, which he called an incitement 'to fire the Metropolis and murder the inhabitants'. The City radicals, Wood, Waithman, and others, attacked the Mayor: they suggested that the placard was the work of agents-provocateurs (such as Oliver and Castles, see No. 12885, &c.), and protested against the introduction of horse-soldiers into the Green-yard (the City pound): according to the Mayor he only ordered the horses to be brought there. 'Examiner', 1819, pp. 477-9. It is implied that he will be knighted (like Walworth). For Atkins as scaremonger see also Nos. 13272, 13273.
In the title, 'yard' has been scored through and replaced with 'room'.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number