- Museum number
- Object: The national pop-shop in Threadneedle Street 1826.
Two designs, side by side, one the exterior, the other the interior, of a pawnshop (the Bank of England).  Four Ministers affix the sign of three balls to the corner of the building; Canning, on a dilapidated ladder, fixes the metal plate to the wall with hammer and nail. He says: For my life I cannot see why they object to a Pawn brokers shop. Peel, identified by Peel-ings hanging from his pocket, supports the ladder, saying, Mind the steps, they are worn out. Liverpool and Robinson (in his Chancellor of the Exchequer's gown) hold between them a forked pole on which they support the horizontal bracket of the three balls, inscribed respectively King, Lords, Commons. Liverpool, in a court-suit, has a padlocked box on his back inscribed Exchequer Bills; he says: This is the only assistance they may expect from me. Robinson: I am afraid this old stick will break. The wall on which they fix the sign has two big placards: Money lent on Pledges Instituted, A.D. 1826 and: Rotton Rags and Paper Hanging Manufactory. Below is a drawing of a body hanging from a high gibbet and the inscription: Commit no Nuisance. In the (background (left) a crowd of little figures register distress, with cries of: Despair! Despair!; Desperation help! help!; Ruined and undone; O! Lord O! Lord! Behind are buildings placarded: To be Sold and Ware Houses To Let. A climbing-boy emerges from a chimney-top, holding up his brush and calling Sweep! Sweep!
 Inside the pawnshop-Bank are two counters. Behind one (right) the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, an ancient crone (as in BM Satires 9016), stands inspecting a pair of breeches, handed in by an Irishwoman smoking a pipe. On the wall behind her is inscribed Old Ladie . . The Spout; on and under the counter are money-bags. She asks: Have you no better security than this my my [sic] good woman? for tho I have kept shop here 150  years, I never was offered such an Article before. The woman answers: The devil a bit my good old Soul, and god bless you, but sure they are invaluable, for they are Paddy's Jewel Case my darling. Before her stands John Bull, ragged, stalwart, anxious, and angry, proffering Magna Charta; his Empty pocket is inside out. He says: Lady Threadneedle, can you lend your Old Friend Iohn Bull any thing on this Old Parchment? He holds on a lead a thin bulldog, its collar inscribed Bull, which is gnawing a bare bone. Behind them stand his wife and two children, both crying; a little boy holding a bone says: I wa-nt something to eat Father; a little girl holding a spoon sobs: O! O! dear! Mrs. Bull says: The dear Children what will become of them! we are all starving. Cobbett stands with his back to the Bull family, facing the other counter, where stands a smart clerk with a pen behind his ear. Under his arm is Co[b]betts R[egi]ster; in his pocket is a paper inscribed Prophesy, and he holds a big gridiron. He says: Well my Paper Hanging friend I wish to Pop this Gridiron up your Spout, what advance will you give me IN GOLD? The man answers with a pleased grin: Can't accommodate you Sir. Beside them stands an emaciated and ragged weaver, holding a roll of silk and with a paper inscribed Silk Weavers under his arm. He says: My stomach is quit raw. Behind the counter is a towering pile of money-bags. On the wall, besides a blunderbuss labelled Loaded, are four large placards:  Take notice No Money changed after quiting This Shop.  Old Rags Bought.  Three Millions to be Lent on  Ships Houses Land Furnature Jewels &c &c. March 1826
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
A satire on:
(1) Liverpool's refusal to issue Exchequer Bills to relieve commercial distress, and his alternative plan by which the Bank was induced to make advances, see No. 15118. This was found to be authorized by a forgotten clause in the Bank Charter, but was further sanctioned by statute (7 Geo. IV, c. 7).
(2) On the various controversies relating to gold versus paper, which were being exploited by Cobbett, who from the beginning of 1826 (as often before) headed his Weekly Register with a gridiron, symbol of his prophecy that the return to a gold standard was impossible without the repudiation of the National Debt. See Pol. Reg., 13 Nov. 1819, 4, 11 Feb. 1826, &c, and Melville, Life and Letters of Cobbett, 1913, ii. 258 f. Bank of England notes had been successfully used during the run on the Bank in December, see No. 14814, &c; these were associated with executions for note-forgery, see No. 13198, &c, hence the allusions to hanging. In 1826 there was distress among silk weavers attributed to the replacement of the prohibition of foreign silk by a protective duty of 30 per cent., and there was agitation for repeal or modification of the measure. See Smart, Econ. Annals of the Nineteenth Century, ii. 364 ff.; Brock, Lord Liverpool and Liberal Toryism, 1941, pp. 200-14. See No. 15128.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number