- Museum number
- Object: Windsor Castle in a consumption, or the little man's mistake
The figures have numbers referring to the dialogue. Windsor Castle is falling into ruins, part of it shored up by beams; a stream of water pours through an archway. In the foreground are groups of small figures discussing the repairs: "The Little Man" appears to be "No. 1", or "Mr T--ds--y", evidently T. Tildesley, Clerk of the Board of Works at Windsor Castle and the Queen's Lodge. He is in naval dress, and stands (right) holding a handkerchief to his eyes, saying "I would rather been [sic] buried in the ruins than thus treated". A group of officers of the Board of Works is seated at a round table (left) with books and plans. Among these are (11) "Sir Wm. C--mb--rs" [Chambers], see BMSat 5157, the Comptroller; (12) "Mr S--db--y" [Thomas Sandby, Architect]; (13) "Mr C------se" [Kenton Couse, Secretary and Clerk Itinerant]. On one of the towers stands the Devil with a trident, and on the top of the broken wall (6) "SI--gs--y", who says, "Huzza, boys, this is a rare job for me". Labourers are working at the walls. It appears from the dialogue that Tildesley is to be dismissed because, owing to his alterations by stopping up drains or watercourses, the building has been endangered; moreover, he has acted without consulting the Board of Works, and is accused of a "firey pitch, tow and tar temper". The disasters, says the Clerk to the Board, are "no wonder ... when sailors are appointed surveyors". "All the tradesmen" say "If a worse come in his place it must be that gentleman [the devil] upon the adjacent tower".
In the centre is (8) smoking a pipe and holding a cane who is "Mr W--ds--r" [? George III], he says, "Well B------th, I understand that part of the Castle is tumbling down, if so I shall have more labourers to pay all the winter. Let me have a fresh pipe and a pint upon the strength of it." Surveying implements lie on the ground. 3 February 1781
Etching with letterpress text beneath the plate
- Production date
Height: 191 millimetres (plate)
Height: 405 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 344 millimetres (plate)
Width: 366 millimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
See also BMSat 5898.
The print was published after Matthew Darly's death, presumably by Mary Darly working from a new address, 159 Fleet Street.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number