- Museum number
- Object: O! O! There's a Minister of the Gospel!!!!
A satire on the trial of the Rev. Richard Blacow of Liverpool. As a black cow (right) he stands on one hind-leg on the Counsels' table facing the judge (left). He wears a clerical hat, wig, and bands, and from his mouth come the words "Before God, I am not guilty of the Charge"; his tongue is inscribed Slander. Brougham, the prosecuting counsel, stands below the judge's seat, pointing a minatory finger at the cow, with a triumphant smile. The judge, Holroyd, says: In my opinion it is a libel. On the table are papers: Rex v Blackcow Scandalous & Malicious Libel—against the late Queen [Brougham's brief]; and under the cow's hoof: Keep thy tongue from evil Speaking Lying and Slandering'' Church Catechism. Beside this: Foul and Filthy Defence. The four barristers at the table register astonishment; one (right) says: "Well argued Master! 'Fore God! your worship needs say no more in behalf of your own Character." Schanco [sic] Panza. The jury-box extends across the court behind the table. From the twelve jurymen rise the word Guilty [three times].
1 October 1821
- Production date
Height: 214 millimetres
Width: 355 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
The trial was at Lancaster Assizes, 14 Sept., for a libel against the Queen in a sermon (see No. 13975). He had compared the Goddess of Reason worshipped by the Jacobins with the Goddess of Lust (the Queen), whom the Radicals had 'elevated ... on the pedestal of shame' (cf. No. 14129). He conducted his own defence (a lamentable self-exposure), insisting that his whole sermon (30 pp.) should be read to the court; he said: 'But when the foul, filthy and abominable charges against her were established—' when he was interrupted by Brougham and stopped by Holroyd. Nevertheless, when he finished his long harangue there was 'a general stir throughout the Court: we believe of applause'. Times, 17 Sept. 1821. The verdict, after 15 minutes, was guilty. He was sentenced in the King's Bench, 26 Nov., to six months' imprisonment, a fine of £100, and to give security for five years, in £500, with two sureties in £100 each. The Times, in a leader, 27 Nov., called the sentence too light, but termed it mercy, at which Queen Caroline would have rejoiced. The Trial was printed by Dolby. A fourth edition of the sermon, preached 26 Nov. 1820, was published in 1820.
A pencil sketch for this is in the V. & A. (CC. 18 B). Also another in which Blacow is 'The Bonassus [see No. 14192] or the wonderful Black Cow'.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number