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Sawney in the bog-house

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Sawney in the bog-house
  • Description

    A satire on the Scots; an imitation but not a copy of the satire with the same title, BMSat 2678, c. 1745, repeated in 1762, see BMSat 3988, which according to Angelo was by George Bickham. A Scot in Highland dress and wearing a feathered cap is seated in a latrine, his legs thrust down two holes in the board. He grasps in his left hand a rolled document inscribed "Act for [esta]blishing Popery". Behind him a stone wall is indicated on which is etched (left) a thistle growing out of a reversed crown, inscribed "Nemo me impune lacessit". On the right. and over Sawney's head is engraved:

    "'Tis a bra' bonny seat, o' my saul, Sawney cries,
    I never beheld sic before with me Eyes,
    Such a place in aw' Scotland I never could meet,
    For the High and the Low ease themselves in the Street." 4 June 1779


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1779
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 356 millimetres
    • Width: 252 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within image and publication line: "Publish'd. 4th. June 1779 by Mrs Holt No 111 Oxford Street London".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
    The thistle and the crown express the common accusation that the Scots were Jacobites. The 'Act for establishing Popery' is the Catholic Relief Act, against which there were deliberately instigated and serious riots in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Feb. 1779, see BMSat 5534, 5548, 5678.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 5539 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  4 June 1779  Etching


Image description



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Object reference number: PPA82714

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