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- Object: The present State of Surgery, or Modern Practice
Satire on the dispute among medical men about the treatment of George Clarke who had been hit on the head in the violence at the Brentford hustings on 8 December and died a few days later. On the left, surgeons and apothecaries suggest variously a clyster, trepanning and “A Court Plaister [that] will remove ye seat of ye Disorder”; Clarke himself is seated on a chair. On the right a group of onlookers describe Clarke as suffering from a fever; one man says, “Thank God we need not fear being knocked on ye Head then”, another comments “I catch’d a Fever from a bludgeon at Brentford myself” and another, referring to Edward McQuirk and Balfe two Irish chairmen said to have been employed by Sir William Proctor (John WIlkes's opponent), adds “I wish those Irish Dogs had kept ye distemper to themselves It’s worse than the Itch”.
An impression of this plate faces page 145 of the Universal Museum for April 1769
Etching and engraving
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Height: 118 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 188 millimetres (trimmed?)
- Curator's comments
- Stephens notes that the relevant text in the Universal Museum reports how Mr Stirling, an apothecary, declared that Clarke died of a fever whereas Mr Foote, "when called to examine [the corpse] with the jury, Dec. 15, 1768 ... was of the opinion that 'with large evacuations, bleeding, opening medicines, &c., &c. there might be every probability of his recovering.'"
In the entry for BM Satires 4271, Stephens refers to the debate over Foote's competence to form an opinion, e.g., Letters to Juniius, 18 March 1769 and 19 March 1770; Foote's deposition at the trial of Balfe and McQuirk quoted in The Gentleman's Magazine, 1769, p.161, and The Public Ledger, 13 April 1769, which reported, "... while a certain party of gentlemen were assembled together, in order to consult about vindicating themselves against Mr. Foot's Appeal, the Ghost of Mr. Clarke appeared, and behaved in a most gross and insulting manner to the whole committee, which so terrified them all, that they have been very ill ever since ...".
- Not on display
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- Prints and Drawings
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