Collection online

Black-Dick Turn'd Taylor

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Black-Dick Turn'd Taylor
  • Description

    Lord Howe (left) sits cross-legged on a tailor's shop-board working at a naval coat which lies across his knees. He holds up a threaded needle in his right hand; in his left are shears with which he is about to cut the thread. He says, "I have now finish'd my Seven Years Plan of the N-v-l Uniform; next the Marines must be Blue, faced with White, & White Buttons. I shan't let the Guardships cruize as formerly, a bad plan, give me young Officers that know little, then I may shew my skill - The word Merit should be expung'd from the Dictionary. Next Year I must set a few more of the old Ninety Two's aside, & have smart young Admirals. I'll have a general reform soon." Beside him is a tailor's goose, &c. Behind him (right) five naval coats in course of completion hang from a row of pegs, two have elaborately wide cuffs, one of which is decorated with an anchor.
    Beneath the board on which Howe sits are demons from whose operations smoke rises to surround him. Two grotesque nude creatures (left), one very thin, the other obese, are on the top of a circular platform which rests on a mast flying an ensign. They are cooking a goose, a cabbage, and a cucumber, all emblems of the tailor, cf. BMSat 5805, &c. The place where the 'cabbage' (pilfered cloth) was kept was called Hell. Grose, 'Dict. Vulgar Tongue', 1796. Next them a large devil with a gridiron under his arm stretches out his talons, saying, "And I'll have a general Reform soon as I shall get you before you are aware of it. I've ting'd your Heart so may safely leave you to go on." 4 February 1788 Etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1788
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 238 millimetres
    • Width: 230 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within image and publication line 'Pubd Feby 4th 1788 by G. Humphrey No 48 Long Acre.'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    For the attack on Howe for his promotions and for his administrative reforms see BMSat 7126. He resigned in July 1788. The two Howes were associated with 'cabbage' in 1777, see BMSat 5399.
    Grego, 'Gillray', p. 93. Wright and Evans, No. 26.
    Reproduced, 'Social England', ed. Traill, 1904, v. 535.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 7262 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number




Image description



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Object reference number: PPA138810

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