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The enraged politician or the Sunday reformer or a noble belman crying stinking fish

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The enraged politician or the Sunday reformer or a noble belman crying stinking fish
  • Description

    A street scene. Lord Belgrave leans from a window, a large Bible in one hand, the other resting on the sill and on an 'Act to Prevent Sabbath Breaking among the Poor'. He glares down at a noisy crowd which fills the space between his house and a house where through two wide-open sash-windows are visible the performers in a private and fashionable concert: two vocalists scream, accompanied by a lady pianist and by two violins, a 'cello, and flute. 'Milbank', on the street corner, indicates Grosvenor House.
    The crowd chiefly consists of newsboys who scream and blow their horns. A boy with the '[Sunda]y Observer' screams "Bloody Great News", looking up at Belgrave. A man with Ninth Edition displayed on his hat shouts "Bloody News - Great News from General S'warro" [see BMSat 9408, &c], but holds up the 'Sunday Reformer', inscribed 'The Trial of L. G. [Lady Grosvenor] for Adultry' [for the sensational suit of 'crim. con.' brought in 1770 by Belgrave's father against the Duke of Cumberland, see BMSats 4400, 4845, &c.]. There are six others, with the inscribed caps worn by newsboys (cf. BMSat 5200): the 'Volunter' [sic], 'Informer', 'Sun[day] Moniter' blow horns; two 'Sunday Review' boys scream "Bloody News", as does 'Bells weekly Messenger'. A milkmaid with her pails screams "Milk" below; a man with milk-pails: "Milk, pretty Maids". Two fish-wives shout "New Mackarel" and Mackarel; one of these wears a military coat. 25 June 1799
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1799
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 261 millimetres
    • Width: 389 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within and artist's name: 'Cruikshank Del Pub June 25 1799 by SW Fores 50 Piccadilly'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    A satire on the motion (27 May) by Lord Belgrave for a Bill to suppress Sunday newspapers, debated 30 May and 11 June, when it was defeated. He wished to increase the ineffective penalties for Sunday trading and to make the sale of newspapers on Sunday a breach of the peace. He was supported by Wilberforce and Windham and opposed by Sheridan and others. Jones (see BMSat 9401) 'thought it cruel to ruin men by this morality bill, while routs, concerts, &c. were permitted to be kept at the houses of the opulent on the Sunday'. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxiv. 1006-14. See also 'Lady Holland's Journal', 1908, i. 258. Milk and mackerel were excepted from the Sunday Observance Act.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 9404 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).  25 June 1799.  Hand-coloured etching


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 25 June 1799. Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA154563

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