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Questions & commands; or the mistaken road to He-r-f-rd; a Sunday evenings amusement

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Questions & commands; or the mistaken road to He-r-f-rd; a Sunday evenings amusement
  • Description

    In a large room lit by candles in sconces, a round game is in progress. The guests are ladies, undergraduates, and elderly parsons, some sit in a circle, while others look over their heads. An elderly parson grovels on his hands and knees, putting his head under the petticoats of a lady who sits (left) with her hands raised in surprise. He acts at the direction of a boy (Prince William of Gloucester) wearing the gown of (?) a fellow commoner over a coat with a star, who stands (right) in profile to the left, stretching his right arm with an autocratic gesture; a spaniel licks his feet. A stout parson seated behind him on the extreme left scowls and clenches his fist at the scene. The lady (the Duchess of Gloucester) sits between a fashionably dressed undergraduate wearing the gown of (?) a fellow commoner, and a stout parson who holds up his hands in astonishment. The undergraduates and some of the parsons appear amused, others frown disapprovingly. On the extreme left is a small round table on which are two candles and playing-cards. 11 February 1788 Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1788
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 350 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, artist's name and publication line 'Pubd Feby 11th 1788, by H. Humphrey. New Bond Street.'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    The scene is the Master's Lodge, Jesus College; the grovelling parson is the Master, Dr. Richard Beadon, seeking preferment on the death (9 Jan. 1788) of Harley, Bishop of Hereford, through the influence of the Duchess of Gloucester. Prince William of Gloucester (1776-1834) resided for some time at Trinity College, Cambridge, receiving the M.A. degree in 1790.
    Wright and Evans, and Grego, identify the abject parson as John Butler, Bishop of Oxford, who was translated to Hereford in March 1788. But a press-cutting with an impression in the Victoria and Albert Museum expresses the indignation of Dr. Beadon's friends at the scurrility with which he has been treated: 'Friends of the discipline and welfare of the University of Cambridge cannot refrain from bearing testimony of praise and regard to one who has so much distinguished himself on various occasions.' Beadon, 'the worthy and learned Orator of the University', became Bishop of Gloucester in 1789. Abbey, 'The English Church and its Bishops', ii. 274. Cf. BMSat 7241.
    Grego, 'Gillray', p. 95. Wright and Evans, No. 34. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 7266 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1788 Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1788 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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