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Posts Tagged ‘James Gillray’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Stewart 7th Earl of Galloway
13 March 1736 – 13 November 1806

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John Stewart

John Stewart 7th Earl of Galloway was a Scottish peer, styled Viscount Garlies from 1747 until 1773. He succeeded his father Alexander in 1773. He was elected one of the representative peers, representing the Peerage of Scotland in the House of Lords, in 1774 and sat there until the 1790s. From 1783 until his death he was a Lord of the Bedchamber to King George III.

The Earl, a Tory, was the target of two hostile poems by Robert Burns, John Bushby’s Lamentation and On the Earl of Galloway.
Galloway, a frequent opera-goer, was caricatured by James Gillray in An Old Encore at the Opera! of 1803. In 1762 James Boswell wrote of him that he had “a petulant forwardness that cannot fail to disgust people of sense and delicacy”.
On 14 August 1762, he married Lady Charlotte Greville (died 1763), the daughter of Francis Greville, 1st Earl of Warwick. They had two sons, both of whom died in infancy. After Charlotte’s death, he married Anne Dashwood, daughter of Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Baronet, on 13 June 1764. They had sixteen children:

  • Lady Catherine Stewart (18 March 1765 – 20 September 1836), married Sir James Graham, 1st Baronet in 1781
  • Hon. Alexander Stewart (18 February 1766 – 29 March 1766)
  • Lady Susan Stewart (10 April 1767 – 2 April 1841), married George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough in 1791
  • Adm. George Stewart, 8th Earl of Galloway (1768–1834)
  • Lady Anne Harriet Stewart (2 November 1769 – 30 January 1850), married Lord Spencer Chichester in 1795
  • Lady Elizabeth Euphemia Stewart (6 October 1771 – 12 November 1855), married William Philips Inge in 1798
  • Hon. Leveson Keith Stewart (4 October 1772 – 12 September 1780)
  • Lady Georgiana Frances Stewart (15 May 1776 – 12 April 1804)
  • Lt.-Gen. Hon. Sir William Stewart (1774–1827)
  • Rt. Rev. Hon. Charles James Stewart (15 April 1775 – 13 July 1837), Bishop of Quebec
  • Lady Charlotte Stewart (7 August 1777 – May 1842), married Sir Edward Crofton, 3rd Baronet in 1801
  • Lady Caroline Stewart (23 October 1778 – 1818), married Rev. Hon. George Rushout-Bowles in 1803; mother of George Rushout, 3rd Baron Northwick
  • Hon. Montgomery Granville John Stewart (1780–1860)
  • Hon. Edward Richard Stewart (1782–1851)
  • Lt.-Col. James Henry Keith Stewart (1783–1836)
  • Lady Georgiana Charlotte Sophia Stewart (1 February 1785 – 25 July 1809), married Col. Hon. William Bligh {1775-6 August 1845} in 1806; {Bligh was the a son of John Bligh, 3rd Earl of Darnley}; had issue of one daughter Sophia married to Henry William Parnell {1809-1896} in 1835 {His father Henry Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton was a Great uncle of Charles Stewart Parnell. A sister Emma Jane Parnell was married to Edward Bligh, 5th Earl of Darnley}. Sophia and Henry marriage had issue of four sons and one daughter.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Boydell
19 January 1720 – 12 December 1804

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John Boydell

Boydell was born, according to his monument in St Olave Old Jewry, London, at Dorrington, in the parish of Woore, Shropshire, to Josiah and Mary Boydell (née Milnes) and was educated at least partially at Merchant Taylors’ School. His father was a land surveyor and young Boydell, the oldest of seven children, was expected to follow in his footsteps. In 1731, when Boydell was eleven, the family moved to Hawarden, Flintshire. In 1739 he became house steward to MP John Lawton and accompanied him to London. A year later, like many other enterprising young men of the time, Boydell resolved to sail to the East Indies in hopes of making his fortune, but he abandoned the scheme in favour of returning to Flintshire and Elizabeth Lloyd, the woman he was courting. Whether or not he intended to pursue land surveying at this time is unclear.

In either 1740 or 1741, Boydell saw a print of Hawarden Castle by William Henry Toms and was so delighted with it that he immediately set out again for London to learn printmaking and Lloyd promised to wait for him. Boydell apprenticed himself to Toms and enrolled in St. Martin’s Lane Academy to learn drawing. Each day he worked about fourteen hours for Toms and then attended drawing classes at night. After six years, Boydell’s diligence allowed him to buy out the last year of his apprenticeship, and in 1746 he set up an independent shop on the Strand that specialised in topographical prints that cost six pence for a cheap print or one shilling for an expensive print.

Boydell’s willingness to assume responsibility for his own business so early in his career indicates that he had ambition and an enterprising spirit. Independent shops were risky in the 1740s because no strict copyright laws, other than the Engraving Copyright Act of 1734 (known as “Hogarth’s Act”), had yet been instituted. The pirating of published books and prints became a profession in its own right and greatly decreased the profits of publishers such as Boydell.

Around 1747, Boydell published his first major work, The Bridge Book, for which he drew and cut each print himself. It cost one shilling and contained six landscapes in each of which, not surprisingly, a bridge featured prominently. A year later, in 1748, Boydell, apparently financially secure, married Elizabeth Lloyd. The couple did not have any children and Elizabeth died in 1781.

Boydell realised early in his career that his engravings had little artistic merit, saying later that they were collected by others “more to show the improvement of art in this country [Britain], since the period of their publication, than from any idea of their own merits”. This may explain why in 1751, when he became a member of the Stationers’ Company, he started buying other artists’ plates and publishing them in addition to his own. Ordinarily an engraver, such as William Hogarth, had his own shop or took his finished engravings to a publisher. In adopting the dual role of artist and print dealer, Boydell altered the traditional organisation of print shops. He was not subject to the whims of public taste: if his engraves did not sell well, he could supplement his earnings by trading in the prints of other artists. He also understood the concerns of both the engraver and the publisher. In fact, as a publisher, he did much to help raise the level of respect for engravers in addition to furnishing them with better paying commissions.

In 1751, with his large volume of prints, Boydell moved to larger premises at 90 Cheapside. By 1755, he had published A Collection of One Hundred and Two Views, &C. in England and Wales. This cheap but successful book gave him capital to invest. He became increasingly immersed in the commercial side of the print business and like most print dealers began importing prints to sell. These included print reproductions of landscapes by artists such as Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa. The bulk of the imports came from the undisputed masters of engraving during the 18th century: the French. Boydell made a small fortune in the 1750s from these imported prints. His early success was acknowledged in 1760 when he was named a member of the Royal Society. Winifred Friedman, who has written extensively on Boydell, explains that despite this success, “[w]hat rankled Boydell was that the French would not extend credit, or exchange prints; he was required to produce hard cash. Boydell took action, and this was the turning point.”

In 1761, Boydell decided that he would attempt to trade with the French in kind—something they had refused in the past because of the poor quality of British engravings. To inaugurate this change, he had to have a truly spectacular print. To this end, he hired William Woollett, the foremost engraver in England, to engrave Richard Wilson’s Destruction of the Children of Niobe. Woollett had already successfully engraved Claude Lorrain’s 1663 painting The Father of Psyche Sacrificing at the Temple of Apollo for Boydell in 1760. Boydell paid him approximately £100 for the Niobe engraving, a staggering amount compared to the usual rates. This single act of patronage raised engravers’ fees throughout London. The print was wildly successful, but more importantly, the French accepted it as payment in kind. In fact, it was the first British print actively desired on the Continent. By 1770, the British were exporting far more prints than they were importing, largely due to Boydell.

Boydell’s business flourished and he soon hired his nephew, Josiah Boydell, to assist him. Boydell’s biographer, Sven Bruntjen, hypothesizes that one of the reasons for Boydell’s early and phenomenal success was his specialisation. Unlike “his competitors [who sold manuals, atlases and other assorted books] … his [business had an] almost exclusive concentration on the sale of reproductive prints”. Bruntjen argues that “despite the extensive sales of varied types of reproductive prints, it was the contemporary history print which accounted for the major part of Boydell’s success as a print dealer”. Most notable among these was the Death of General Wolfe a 1770 painting by Benjamin West, engraved by Woollett for Boydell in 1776. As early as 1767, Boydell had stopped engraving prints himself and began exclusively relying on commissions and trades and it was from these that he profited.

Boydell had opened up a new market with Niobe and he quickly followed up this success. With a prospering business and capital in reserve, he embarked on several ambitious projects, often simultaneously. In 1769, he began A Collection of Prints, Engraved after the Most Capital Paintings in England. Its last, and ninth volume, was finished in 1792 to great critical and financial success. In 1773, he began A Set of Prints Engraved after the Most Capital Paintings in the Collection of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Russia, Lately in the Possession of the Earl of Orford at Houghton in Norfolk, which was finished in 1788.

In addition to these projects and in the middle of his Shakespeare undertaking Boydell experimented with aquatint in An History of the River Thames, published in 1796. Bruntjen writes, “although not the first colored aquatint book, [it] was the first major one, and it was to set an example for the type of illustration that was to enjoy widespread popularity in England for some forty years”. Boydell also published The Original Work of William Hogarth in 1790 and The Poetical Works of John Milton and The Life of the Poet (i.e., Milton) in 1794.

The productivity and profitability of Boydell’s firm spurred the British print industry in general. By 1785, annual exports of British prints reached £200,000 while imports fell to £100. Boydell was acknowledged and praised throughout England as the agent of this stunning economic reversal. In 1773 he was awarded the Royal Academy Gold Medal for his services in advancing the print trade. In 1789, at the Royal Academy dinner, the Prince of Wales toasted “an English tradesman who patronizes art better than the Grand Monarque, Alderman Boydell, the Commercial Maecenas”.

Boydell’s crowning achievement was his Shakespeare project, which was to occupy much of the last two decades of his life. The project contained three parts: an illustrated edition of Shakespeare’s plays, a public gallery of paintings depicting scenes from the plays, and a folio of prints based on the paintings.

The idea of a grand Shakespeare edition was conceived at a dinner at Josiah Boydell’s home in November 1786. The guest list itself is evidence of Boydell’s extensive connections in the artistic world: Benjamin West, painter to King George III; George Romney, a renowned painter; George Nicol, bookseller to the king and painter; William Hayley, a poet; John Hoole, a scholar and translator of Tasso and Aristotle; and Daniel Braithwaite, an engineer. Most sources also list the painter Paul Sandby. Although the initial idea for the edition was probably not Boydell’s, he was the one to seize and pursue it. He wanted to use the edition to facilitate the development of a British school of history painting.

The “magnificent and accurate” Shakespeare edition which Boydell began in 1786 was the focus of the enterprise. The print folio and the gallery were simply offshoots of the main project. In an advertisement prefacing the first volume of the edition, Nicol wrote that “splendor and magnificence, united with correctness of text were the great objects of this Edition”. Boydell was responsible for the “splendor”, and George Steevens, a renowned Shakespearean editor, was responsible for the “correctness of text”. The volumes themselves were handsome, with gilded pages. Even the quality of the paper was extraordinarily high. The illustrations were printed independently and could be inserted and removed as the customer desired. The first volumes of the Dramatick Works were published in 1791 and the last in 1805. The edition was financed through a subscription campaign in which the buyers would offer partial payment up front and then pay the remaining sum on delivery. This practice was necessitated by the fact that over £350,000—an enormous sum at the time—was eventually spent on the enterprise.

When it opened on 4 May 1789 at 52 Pall Mall, the Shakespeare Gallery contained 34 paintings and by the end of its run it had between 167 and 170. The Gallery itself was a hit with the public and became a fashionable attraction. It took over the public’s imagination and became an end in and of itself.

To illustrate the edition and to provide images for the folio, Boydell obtained the assistance of the most eminent painters and engravers of the day. Artists included Richard Westall, Thomas Stothard, George Romney, Henry Fuseli, Benjamin West, Angelica Kauffman, Robert Smirke, John Opie, and Boydell’s nephew and business partner, Josiah Boydell. Among the engravers were Francesco Bartolozzi and Thomas Kirk. Boydell’s relationships with his artists, particularly his illustrators, was generally congenial. James Northcote praised Boydell’s liberal payments. He wrote in an 1821 letter that Boydell “did more for the advancement of the arts in England than the whole mass of the nobility put together! He paid me more nobly than any other person has done; and his memory I shall every hold in reverence”.

At the beginning of the enterprise, reactions were generally positive. Two reviews from the most influential newspapers in London at the time solidified and validated the public’s interest in the project and the artists’ efforts. However, there was also some criticism. In particular the satirical engraver James Gillray appears to have been peeved at not being commissioned to engrave any of the Shakespeare scenes and, in revenge, published Shakespeare Sacrificed: Or the Offering to Avarice just six weeks after the gallery opened. Gillray followed up with further cartoons such as Boydell sacrificing the Works of Shakespeare to the Devil of Money-Bags. As the project dragged on, the criticism increased. Yet, Boydell’s project still inspired imitators. Thomas Macklin attempted to found a Poet’s Gallery similar to the Shakespeare Gallery and several histories of England on the scale of the Shakespeare edition were also started. However, like Boydell’s venture, they ultimately ended in financial disaster.

The folio, which collected together the engravings from the paintings, has been the most lasting legacy of the Boydell enterprise: it was reissued throughout the 19th century and scholars have described it as a precursor to the modern coffee table book.

Amidst all of the work generated by these publishing enterprises, Boydell still found time to be alderman of Cheap ward in 1782, master of the Stationers’ Company in 1783, sheriff of London in 1785, and Lord Mayor of London in 1790. With both a dedicated civic spirit and an eye towards business promotion, Boydell took advantage of his public positions to advocate public and private patronage of the arts. He frequently donated paintings from his own collections to the Corporation of London to be hung in the Guildhall. He hoped that his donation might spur others to similar generosity. However, he remained a solitary contributor. A catalogue was published in 1794 listing all of the works Boydell had donated to the Guildhall. In the preface, he explained why he had made such large gifts:

It may be a matter of wonder to some, what enducements I could have to present the City of London with so many expensive Pictures; the principal reasons that influence me were these: First: to show my respect for the Corporation, and my Fellow Citizens, Secondly: to give pleasure to the Public, and Foreigners in general, Thirdly: to be of service to the Artists, by shewing their works to the greatest advantage: and, Fourthly: for the mere purpose of pleasing myself.

In 1794 Boydell commissioned and donated Industry and Prudence by Robert Smirke. Most of the other works Boydell donated were similarly didactic. He was appealing to his fellow tradespeople and craftspeople with these gifts, a middle class which would have been only too pleased to see their values promoted by such a prominent figure.

In a speech before the Council to advocate the renovation of a building for the purpose of displaying public art, Boydell made the striking claim that if the rich could be persuaded to patronise art, they would forgo their wicked ways:
one might be found amongst the many spendthrifts of the present age, instead of ruining themselves by gaming, or laying snares to debauch young Females, by their false promises and many other bad vices; would be rejoiced at such an opportunity, of reclaiming themselves by withdrawing from the snares laid for them by bad and designing Men and Women, who constantly lay wait to lead astray the young and unwary that are possessed of large property, such might here have the pleasure and satisfaction to make a real Paradise on earth, by illuminating a place that would for ever shine and display their generosity.

Boydell’s middle-class consumers would have approved of his connection between morality and art.

In 1789, the French revolution broke out and four years later war erupted between Britain and France. Throughout the next tumultuous decade, trade with Europe became increasingly difficult. As Boydell’s business relied heavily on foreign trade, especially French, his livelihood was threatened. When this market was cut off due to war in 1793, Boydell’s business declined substantially. He was forced to sell the Shakespeare Gallery, via a lottery, in order for his business to remain solvent. He died in December 1804 before the lottery was drawn, but after all of its 22,000 tickets had been sold.

According to Josiah, John Boydell caught a cold by going to the Old Bailey on a damp, foggy day to do his duty as an alderman. He died on 12 December 1804 almost bankrupt, but not without great public acclaim. He was buried on 19 December 1804 at the Church of St. Olave Old Jewry, his funeral attended by the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and several artists.

Boydell had, almost single-handedly, made British prints a viable economic commodity and had demolished the French domination of the trade. In a letter to Sir John Anderson, asking Parliament for the private Lottery Act to sell off the Shakespeare Gallery, Boydell stated that it was “sufficient to say, that the whole course of that commerce [print trade] is changed”. The Times wrote on 7 May 1789: “Historical painting and engraving are almost exclusively indebted to Mr. Boydell for their present advancement.” Boydell also played a part in changing the nature of art patronage in Britain. Until he advocated public patronage in his various civic posts, the government had little to do with British art. According to Bruntjen, “it was due to the enthusiasm of Boydell and others that the English government eventually provided funds for the establishment of the National Gallery in 1824”. Boydell helped to make artists independent of aristocratic patronage by providing commercial opportunities for them. He “attempted to free artists from the traditional forms of state and aristocratic patronage by creating a public taste for reproductive prints of historical subjects”. Boydell’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography ends with the assessment that “no print publisher before or since has ever exerted as much influence on the course of British art”.

Boydell’s nephew and business partner, Josiah Boydell, continued his uncle’s business for some time at 90 Cheapside, but by 1818, the business was wound up by Jane Boydell, and the assets purchased by Hurst, Robinson, and Co.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Rowlandson
13 July 1756 – 21 April 1827

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Thomas Rowlandson

Thomas Rowlandson was born in July 1756 in Old Jewry, in the City of London. His father, William, had been a weaver, but had moved into trading supplies for the textile industry and after overextending himself was declared bankrupt in 1759. Life became difficult for him in London and, in late 1759, he moved his family to Richmond, North Yorkshire. Thomas’ uncle James died in 1764, and his widow Jane probably provided both the funds and accommodation which allowed Thomas to attend school in London.
Rowlandson was educated at the school of Dr Barvis in Soho Square, then “an academy of some celebrity,” where one of his classmates was Richard Burke, son of the politician Edmund Burke. As a schoolboy, Rowlandson “drew humourous characters of his master and many of his scholars before he was ten years old,” covering the margins of his schoolbooks with his artwork.

In 1765 or 1766 he started at the Soho Academy. There is no documentary evidence that Rowlandson took drawing classes at the mainly business-oriented school, but it seems likely, as on leaving school in 1772, he became a student at the Royal Academy. According to his obituary of 22 April 1827 in The Gentlemen’s Magazine, Rowlandson was sent to Paris at the age of 16 (1772), and spent two years studying in a “drawing academy.” there. In Paris he studied drawing “the human figure” and continued developing his youthful skill in caricature. It was on his return to London that he took classes at the Royal Academy, then based at Somerset House.

Rowlandson spent six years studying at the Royal Academy, but about a third of this time was spent in Paris where he may have studied under Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. He later made frequent tours to the Continent, enriching his portfolios with numerous sketches of life and character. In 1775 he exhibited a drawing of Dalilah Payeth Sampson a Visit while in Prison at Gaza at the Royal Academy and two years later received a silver medal for a bas-relief figure. He was spoken of as a promising student; had he continued his early application he would have made his mark as a painter. On the death of his aunt, he inherited £7,000 with which he plunged into the dissipations of the town and was known to sit at the gaming-table for 36 hours at a stretch.

In time poverty overtook him; and the friendship and examples of James Gillray and Henry William Bunbury seem to have suggested caricature as a means of earning a living. His drawing of Vauxhall, shown in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1784, had been engraved by Pollard, and the print was a success.

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Rowlandson’s Vaux-Hall

Rowlandson was largely employed by Rudolph Ackermann, the art publisher, who in 1809—issued in his Poetical Magazine The Schoolmaster’s Tour—a series of plates with illustrative verses by Dr. William Combe. They were the most popular of the artist’s works. Again engraved by Rowlandson himself in 1812, and issued under the title of the Tour of Dr Syntax in Search of the Picturesque, they had attained a fifth edition by 1813, and were followed in 1820 by Dr Syntax in Search of Consolation, and in 1821 by the Third Tour of Dr Syntax in Search of a Wife. He also produced a body of erotic prints and woodcuts.

The same collaboration of designer, author and publisher appeared in the English Dance of Death, issued in 1814–16 and in the Dance of Life, 1817. Rowlandson also illustrated Smollett, Goldsmith and Sterne, and his designs will be found in The Spirit of the Public Journals (1825), The English Spy (1825), and The Humorist (1831). He died in London, after a prolonged illness, on 21 April 1827.

Rowlandson’s designs were usually done in outline with the reed-pen, and delicately washed with colour. They were then etched by the artist on the copper, and afterwards aquatinted—usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being finally coloured by hand. As a designer he was characterized by his facility and ease of draughtsmanship. He dealt less frequently with politics than his fierce contemporary, Gillray, but commonly touching, in a rather gentle spirit, the various aspects and incidents of social life. His most artistic work is to be found among the more careful drawings of his earlier period; but even among the exaggerated caricature of his later time we find hints that this master of the humorous might have attained to the beautiful had he so willed.

His work included a personification of the United Kingdom named John Bull who was developed from about 1790 in conjunction with other British satirical artists such as Gillray and George Cruikshank.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Cruikshank
27 September 1792 – 1 February 1878

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George Cruikshank

Cruikshank was born in London. His father, Isaac Cruikshank, was one of the leading caricaturists of the late 1790s and Cruikshank started his career as his father’s apprentice and assistant.

His older brother, Isaac Robert, also followed in the family business as a caricaturist and illustrator. Cruikshank’s early work was caricature; but in 1823, at the age of 31, he started to focus on book illustration. He illustrated the first, 1823 English translation (by Edgar Taylor and David Jardine) of Grimms’ Fairy Tales published in two volumes as German Popular Stories.

On 16 October 1827, he married Mary Ann Walker (1807–1849). Two years after her death, on 7 March 1851, he married Eliza Widdison. The two lived at 263 Hampstead Road, North London.

Upon his death, it was discovered that Cruikshank had fathered 11 illegitimate children with a mistress named Adelaide Attree, his former servant, who lived close to where he lived with his wife. Adelaide was ostensibly married and had taken the married surname ‘Archibold’.

Cruikshank’s early career was renowned for his social caricatures of English life for popular publications.

He achieved early success collaborating with William Hone in his political satire The Political House That Jack Built (1819).

In the same year he produced the remarkable anti-abolitionist New Union Club. It satirised a dinner party organised by abolitionists with black guests.

His first major work was Pierce Egan’s Life in London (1821). This was followed by The Comic Almanack (1835–1853) and Omnibus (1842).

He gained notoriety with his political prints that attacked the royal family and leading politicians. In 1820 he received a royal bribe of £100 for a pledge “not to caricature His Majesty” (George IV of the United Kingdom) “in any immoral situation”. His work included a personification of England named John Bull who was developed from about 1790 in conjunction with other British satirical artists such as James Gillray, and Thomas Rowlandson.

Cruikshank replaced one of his major influences, James Gillray, as England’s most popular satirist. For a generation he delineated Tories, Whigs and Radicals impartially. Satirical material came to him from every public event – wars abroad, the enemies of Britain (he was highly patriotic), the frolic, among other qualities, such as the weird and terrible, in which he excelled. His hostility to enemies of Britain and a crude racism is evident in his illustrations commissioned to accompany William Maxwell’s History of the Irish rebellion in 1798 (1845) where his lurid depictions of incidents in the rebellion were characterised by the simian-like portrayal of Irish rebels. Among the other racially engaged works of Cruikshank there were caricatures about the “legal barbarities” of the Chinese, the subject given by his friend, Dr. W. Gourley, a participant in the ideological battle around the Arrow War, 1856–60.

For Charles Dickens, Cruikshank illustrated Sketches by Boz (1836), The Mudfog Papers (1837–38) and Oliver Twist (1838). Cruikshank even acted in Dickens’s amateur theatrical company.

On 30 December 1871 Cruikshank published a letter in The Times which claimed credit for much of the plot of Oliver Twist. The letter launched a fierce controversy around who created the work. Cruikshank was not the first Dickens illustrator to make such a claim. Robert Seymour who illustrated the Pickwick Papers suggested that the idea for that novel was originally his; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input.

The friendship between Cruikshank and Dickens soured further when Cruikshank became a fanatical teetotaler in opposition to Dickens’s views of moderation.

In Somerset Maugham’s short story “Miss King”, Cruickshank’s influence is referenced: “She wore a large white cotton nightcap (on entering Ashenden has noticed the brown wig on a stand on the dressing-table) tied under the chin and a white voluminous nightdress that came high up in the neck. Nightcap and nightdress belonged to a past age and reminded you of Cruickshank’s illustrations to the novels of Charles Dickens.”

In the late 1840s, Cruikshank’s focus shifted from book illustration to an obsession with temperance and anti-smoking. Formerly a heavy drinker, he now supported, lectured to, and supplied illustrations for the National Temperance Society and the Total Abstinence Society, among others. The best known of these are The Bottle, 8 plates (1847), with its sequel, The Drunkard’s Children, 8 plates (1848), with the ambitious work, The Worship of Bacchus, published by subscription after the artist’s oil painting, now in the Tate Gallery, London. For his efforts he was made vice president of the National Temperance League in 1856.

When the invasion scare of 1859 led to the creation of the Volunteer Movement, Cruikshank was one of those who organised Rifle Volunteer Corps (RVCs). At first his unit was the 24th Surrey RVC, which recruited from working men who were total abstainers and was named ‘Havelock’s Own’ in honour of Major-General Sir Henry Havelock, a hero of the Indian Mutiny and pioneer of Temperance Clubs in the army. However, Cruikshank received little encouragement from the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, and was rebuked for crossing into Kent to recruit. Disgusted, he disbanded his unit in 1862 and began anew in Middlesex, organising the 48th Middlesex RVC (Havelock’s Temperance Volunteers). The unit ran into financial difficulties and when Cruikshank was forced to retire due to age, he was replaced as commanding officer by Lt-Col Cuthbert Vickers, a wealthy shipowner. The 48th Middlesex merged with the 2nd City of London RVC, also a working-men’s unit, composed mainly of printers from the Fleet Street area, and the combined unit had a long history as the City of London Rifles.

After he developed palsy in later life, Cruikshank’s health and work began to decline in quality. He died on 1 February 1878 and was originally buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. In November 1878 his remains were exhumed and reburied in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Punch magazine, which presumably did not know of his large illegitimate family, said in its obituary: “There never was a purer, simpler, more straightforward or altogether more blameless man. His nature had something childlike in its transparency.”

In his lifetime he created nearly 10,000 prints, illustrations, and plates. There are collections of his works in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque commemorates Cruikshank at 293 Hampstead Road in Camden Town.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Horne Tooke
25 June 1736 – 18 March 1812

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John Horne Tooke

Tooke was born in Newport Street, Long Acre, Westminster, the third son of John Horne, a poulterer in Newport Market. As a youth at Eton College, Tooke described his father to friends as a “turkey merchant”. Before Eton, he had been at school in Soho Square, in a Kentish village, and from 1744 to 1746 at Westminster School.

On 12 January 1754 he was admitted as sizar at St John’s College, Cambridge, and took his degree of B.A. in 1758, as last but one of the senior optimes, Richard Beadon, his lifelong friend, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, being a wrangler in the same year. Horne had been admitted on 9 November 1756, as student at the Inner Temple, becoming friends with John Dunning and Lloyd Kenyon. His father wished him to take orders in the Church of England, and he was ordained deacon on 23 September 1759 and priest on 23 November 1760.

For a few months he was usher (i.e., an assistant teacher) at a boarding school at Blackheath. On 26 September 1760 he became perpetual curate of New Brentford, the incumbency of which his father had purchased for him. Tooke retained this poor living until 1773. During part of this time (1763–1764) he traveled on a tour in France, acting as a “bear-leader” (i.e., a travelling tutor) to a wealthy man.

The excitement created by the actions of John Wilkes led Horne into politics, and in 1765 he brought out a scathing pamphlet on Bute and Mansfield, entitled “The Petition of an Englishman”.

In the autumn of 1765 he escorted another rich young man to Italy. In Paris he met Wilkes, and from Montpellier, in January 1766, addressed a letter to him which began the quarrel between them. In the summer of 1767 Horne returned, and in 1768 secured the return of Wilkes to parliament for Middlesex. With inexhaustible energy he promoted the legal proceedings over the riot in St George’s Fields, when a youth named Allen was killed, and exposed the irregularity in the judge’s order for the execution of two Spitalfields weavers. His dispute with George Onslow, MP for Surrey, who at first supported and then threw over Wilkes for place, culminated in a civil action, ultimately decided, after the reversal of a verdict which had been obtained through the charge of Lord Mansfield, in Horne’s favour, and in the loss by his opponent of his seat in parliament. An influential association, called “The Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights,” was founded, mainly through the exertions of Horne and Wilkes, with the support of John Wheble, in 1769, but the members were soon divided into two opposite camps, and in 1771 Horne and Wilkes, their respective leaders, broke out into open dispute.

On 1 July 1771 Horne obtained at Cambridge, though not without some opposition from members of both the political parties, his degree of M.A. Earlier in that year he claimed for the public the right of printing an account of parliamentary debates, and after a long struggle, the right was definitely established. In the same year (1771), Horne argued with Junius, and ended in disarming his masked antagonist.

Horne resigned his benefice in 1773 and began the study of the law and philology. An accident, however, occurred at this moment which largely affected his future. His friend William Tooke had purchased a considerable estate, including Purley Lodge, south of the town of Croydon in Surrey. The possession of this property brought about frequent disputes with an adjoining landowner, Thomas de Grey, and, after many actions in the courts, Thomas de Grey’s friends endeavoured to obtain, by a bill forced through the houses of parliament, the privileges which the law had not assigned to him (February 1774). Horne, thereupon, by a bold libel on the Speaker, drew public attention to the case, and though he himself was placed for a time in the custody of the serjeant-at-arms, the clauses which were injurious to the interest of Tooke were eliminated from the bill. Tooke declared his intention of making Horne the heir to his fortune, and during his lifetime he bestowed upon him large gifts of money.

No sooner had this matter been happily settled than Horne found himself involved in serious trouble. For his conduct in signing the advertisement soliciting subscriptions for the relief of the relatives of the Americans “murdered by the king’s troops at Lexington and Concord,” he was tried at the Guildhall on 4 July 1777, before Lord Mansfield, found guilty, and committed to the King’s Bench Prison in St George’s Fields, from which he only emerged after a year’s durance, and after a loss in fines and costs amounting to £1200.

Soon after his deliverance he applied to be called to the bar, but his application was rejected on the grounds that his orders in the Church were indelible. Horne thereupon tried his fortune, but without success, on farming some land in Huntingdonshire. Two tracts about this time exercised great influence in the country. One of them, Fads Addressed to Landholders, etc. (1780), written by Horne in conjunction with others, criticizing the measures of Lord North’s ministry, passed through numerous editions; the other, A Letter on Parliamentary Reform (1782), addressed by him to Dunning, set out a scheme of reform, which he afterwards withdrew in favour of that advocated by William Pitt the Younger.

On his return from Huntingdonshire he became once more a frequent guest at Tooke’s house at Purley, and in 1782 assumed the name of Horne Tooke. In 1786 Horne Tooke conferred perpetual fame upon his benefactor’s country house by adopting, as a second title of his elaborate philological treatise of “Epea Pteroenta” — the expression ἔπεα πτερόεντα, épea pteróenta (see “Winged words”), comes from Homer — the more popular though misleading title of The Diversions of Purley. The treatise at once attracted attention in England and the Continent. The first part was published in 1786, the second in 1805. The best edition is that which was published in 1829, under the editorship of Richard Taylor, with the additions written in the author’s interleaved copy.

Between 1782 and 1790 Tooke gave his support to Pitt, and in the election for Westminster, in 1784, threw all his energies into opposition to Fox. With Fox he was never on terms of friendship, and Samuel Rogers, in his Table Talk, asserts that their antipathy was so pronounced that at a dinner party given by a prominent Whig not the slightest notice was taken by Fox of the presence of Horne Tooke. It was after the election of Westminster in 1788 that Tooke depicted the rival statesmen (Lord Chatham and Lord Holland, William Pitt and Charles James Fox) in his celebrated pamphlet Two Pair of Portraits.

At the general election of 1790, Horne Tooke came forward as a candidate for that distinguished constituency, in opposition to Fox and Lord Hood, but was defeated; and, at a second attempt in 1796, he was again at the bottom of the poll. In the meantime, the excesses of the French republicans had provoked reaction in England, and the Tory ministry adopted a policy of repression. He was arrested early on the morning of 16 May 1794, and conveyed to the Tower of London. His trial for high treason lasted for six days (17 to 22 November) and ended in his acquittal, the jury taking only eight minutes to settle their verdict.

Horne Tooke’s public life after this event was only distinguished by one act of importance. Through the influence of the second Lord Camelford, the fighting peer, he was returned to parliament in 1801 for the pocket borough of Old Sarum. Lord Temple endeavoured to secure his exclusion on the ground that he had taken orders in the Church, and one of James Gillray’s caricatures delineates the two politicians, Temple and Camelford, playing at battledore and shuttlecock, with Horne Tooke as the shuttlecock. The ministry of Addington would not support this suggestion, but a bill was at once introduced by them and carried into law, which rendered all persons in holy orders ineligible to sit in the House of Commons, and Horne Tooke sat for only that parliament.

The last years of Tooke’s life were spent in retirement, in a house on the west side of Wimbledon Common. The traditions of Tooke’s Sunday parties lasted unimpaired up to this point, and the most pleasant pages penned by Tooke’s biographer describe the politicians and the men of letters who gathered around Tooke’s hospitable board. Tooke’s conversational powers rivalled those of Samuel Johnson; and, if more of Tooke’s sayings have not been chronicled for the benefit of posterity, the defect is due to the absence of a James Boswell. Through the liberality of Tooke’s friends, Tooke’s last days were freed from the pressure of poverty, and Tooke was enabled to place his illegitimate son in a position which soon brought him wealth, and to leave a competency to his two illegitimate daughters.

Illness seized Tooke early in 1810, and for the next two years his sufferings were acute. He died in his house at Wimbledon, London, and was buried with his mother at Ealing, the tomb which he had prepared in the garden attached to his house at Wimbledon was found unsuitable for the interment. An altar-tomb still stands to his memory in Ealing churchyard. A catalogue of his library was printed in 1813.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Gillray
13 August 1756 – 1 June 1815

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James Gillray

He was born in Chelsea. His father, a native of Lanark, had served as a soldier, losing an arm at the Battle of Fontenoy, and was admitted, first as an inmate, and afterwards as an outdoor pensioner, at Chelsea Hospital. Gillray commenced life by learning letter-engraving, at which he soon became adept. This employment, however, proved irksome to James, so he wandered about for a time with a company of strolling players. After a very checkered experience he returned to London and was admitted as a student in the Royal Academy, supporting himself by engraving, and probably issuing a considerable number of caricatures under fictitious names. His caricatures are almost all in etching, some also with aquatint, and a few using stipple technique. None can correctly be described as engravings, although this term is often loosely used to describe them. Hogarth’s works were the delight and study of his early years. Paddy on Horseback, which appeared in 1779, is the first caricature which is certainly his. Two caricatures on Admiral Rodney’s naval victory at the Battle of the Saintes, issued in 1782, were among the first of the memorable series of his political sketches.

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Very Slippy-Weather (1808)

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L’Assemblée Nationale (1804) was called “the most talented caricature that has ever appeared”

The name of Gillray’s publisher and print seller, Miss Hannah Humphrey—whose shop was first at 227 Strand, then in New Bond Street, then in Old Bond Street, and finally in St James’s Street—is inextricably associated with that of the caricaturist himself. Gillray lived with Miss (often called Mrs) Humphrey during the entire period of his fame. It is believed that he several times thought of marrying her, and that on one occasion the pair were on their way to the church, when Gillray said: “This is a foolish affair, methinks, Miss Humphrey. We live very comfortably together; we had better let well alone.” There is no evidence, however, to support the stories which scandalmongers invented about their relations. One of Gillray’s prints, “Twopenny Whist,” is a depiction of four individuals playing cards, and the character shown second from the left, an ageing lady with eyeglasses and a bonnet, is widely believed to be an accurate depiction of Miss Humphrey.

Gillray’s plates were exposed in Humphrey’s shop window, where eager crowds examined them. One of his later prints, Very Slippy-Weather, shows Miss Humphrey’s shop in St. James’s Street in the background. In the shop window a number of Gillray’s previously published prints, such as Tiddy-Doll the Great French Gingerbread Maker, Drawing Out a New Batch of Kings; His Man, Talley Mixing up the Dough, a satire on Napoleon’s king-making proclivities, are shown in the shop window. His last work, from a design by Bunbury, is entitled Interior of a Barber’s Shop in Assize Time, and is dated 1811. While he was engaged on it he became mad, although he had occasional intervals of sanity, which he employed on his last work. The approach of madness may have been hastened by his intemperate habits. Gillray died on 1 June 1815 in London, and was buried in St James’s churchyard, Piccadilly.

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The reception of the Diplomatique (Macartney) and his suite, at the Court of Pekin. Published in September 1792.

A number of his most trenchant satires are directed against George III, who, after examining some of Gillray’s sketches, said “I don’t understand these caricatures.” Gillray revenged himself for this utterance by his splendid caricature entitled, A Connoisseur Examining a Cooper, which he is doing by means of a candle on a “save-all”; so that the sketch satirises at once the king’s pretensions to knowledge of art and his miserly habits.

During the French Revolution, Gillray took a conservative stance; and he issued caricature after caricature ridiculing the French and Napoleon (usually using Jacobin), and glorifying John Bull. A number of these were published in the Anti-Jacobin Review. He is not, however, to be thought of as a keen political adherent of either the Whig or the Tory party; his caricatures satirized members of all sides of the political spectrum.

The times in which Gillray lived were peculiarly favourable to the growth of a great school of caricature. Party warfare was carried on with great vigour and not a little bitterness; and personalities were freely indulged in on both sides. Gillray’s incomparable wit and humour, knowledge of life, fertility of resource, keen sense of the ludicrous, and beauty of execution, at once gave him the first place among caricaturists. He is honourably distinguished in the history of caricature by the fact that his sketches are real works of art. The ideas embodied in some of them are sublime and poetically magnificent in their intensity of meaning, while the forthrightness—which some have called coarseness—which others display is characteristic of the general freedom of treatment common in all intellectual departments in the 18th century. The historical value of Gillray’s work has been recognized by many discerning students of history. As has been well remarked: “Lord Stanhope has turned Gillray to account as a veracious reporter of speeches, as well as a suggestive illustrator of events.”

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Monstrous Craws, at a New Coalition Feast (1787)

His contemporary political influence is borne witness to in a letter from Lord Bateman, dated 3 November 1798. “The Opposition,” he writes to Gillray, “are as low as we can wish them. You have been of infinite service in lowering them, and making them ridiculous.” Gillray’s extraordinary industry may be inferred from the fact that nearly 1000 caricatures have been attributed to him; while some consider him the author of as many as 1600 or 1700. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, “Gillray is as invaluable to the student of English manners as to the political student, attacking the social follies of the time with scathing satire; and nothing escapes his notice, not even a trifling change of fashion in dress. The great tact Gillray displays in hitting on the ludicrous side of any subject is only equalled by the exquisite finish of his sketches—the finest of which reach an epic grandeur and Miltonic sublimity of conception.”

Gillray’s caricatures are generally divided into two classes, the political series and the social, though it is important not to attribute to the term “series” any concept of continuity or completeness. The political caricatures comprise an important and invaluable component of the history extant of the latter part of the reign of George III. They were circulated not only in Britain but also throughout Europe, and exerted a powerful influence both in Britain and abroad. In the political prints, George III, George’s wife Queen Charlotte, the Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent, then King George IV), Fox, Pitt the Younger, Burke and Napoleon Bonaparte are the most prominent figures. In 1788 appeared two fine caricatures by Gillray. Blood on Thunder fording the Red Sea represents Lord Thurlow carrying Warren Hastings through a sea of gore: Hastings looks very comfortable, and is carrying two large bags of money. Market-Day pictures the ministerialists of the time as cattle for sale.

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A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion (1792)

Among Gillray’s best satires on George III are: Farmer George and his Wife, two companion plates, in one of which the king is toasting muffins for breakfast, and in the other the queen is frying sprats; The Anti-Saccharites, where the royal pair propose to dispense with sugar, to the great horror of the family; A Connoisseur Examining a Cooper; the paired plates A Voluptuary under the Horrors of Digestion and Temperance enjoying a Frugal Meal, satirising the excesses of the Prince Regent (later George IV of the United Kingdom) and the miserliness of his father, George III of the United Kingdom respectively; Royal Affability; A Lesson in Apple Dumplings; and The Pigs Possessed.

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Temperance Enjoying a Frugal Meal (1792)

Other political caricatures include: Britannia between Scylla and Charybdis, a picture in which Pitt, so often Gillray’s butt, figures in a favourable light; The Bridal Night; The Apotheosis of Hoche, which concentrates the excesses of the French Revolution in one view; The Nursery with Britannia reposing in Peace; The First Kiss these Ten Years (1803), another satire on the peace, which is said to have greatly amused Napoleon; The Hand-Writing upon the Wall; The Confederated Coalition, a swipe at the coalition which superseded the Addington ministry; Uncorking Old Sherry; The Plumb-Pudding in Danger (probably the best known political print ever published); Making Decent; Comforts of a Bed of Roses; View of the Hustings in Covent Garden; Phaethon Alarmed; and Pandora opening her Box.

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The world being carved up into spheres of influence between Pitt and Napoleon

As well as being blatant in his observations, Gillray could be incredibly subtle, and puncture vanity with a remarkably deft approach. The outstanding example of this is his print Fashionable Contrasts;—or—The Duchess’s little Shoe yeilding [sic] to the Magnitude of the Duke’s Foot. This was a devastating image aimed at the ridiculous sycophancy directed by the press towards Frederica Charlotte Ulrica, Duchess of York, and the supposed daintiness of her feet. The print showed only the feet and ankles of the Duke and Duchess of York, in an obviously copulatory position, with the Duke’s feet enlarged and the Duchess’s feet drawn very small. This print silenced forever the sycophancy of the press regarding the union of the Duke and Duchess.

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The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation! (1802)

 

The miscellaneous series of caricatures, although they have scarcely the historical importance of the political series, are more readily intelligible, and are even more amusing. Among the finest are: Shakespeare Sacrificed; Flemish Characters (two plates); Two-Penny Whist (which features an image of Hannah Humphrey); Oh that this too solid flesh would melt; Sandwich-Carrots; The Gout; Comfort to the Corns; Begone Dull Care; The Cow-Pock, which gives humorous expression to the popular dread of vaccination; Dilletanti Theatricals; and Harmony before Matrimony and Matrimonial Harmonics—two exceedingly good sketches in violent contrast to each other.

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Doublûres of Characters;—or—striking Resemblances in Phisiognomy.—“If you would know Mens Hearts, look in their Faces.” (1798)

 

Gillray’s eyesight began to fail in 1806. He began wearing spectacles but they were unsatisfactory. Unable to work to his previous high standards, James Gillray became depressed and started drinking heavily. He produced his last print in September 1809. As a result of his heavy drinking Gillray suffered from gout throughout his later life.

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The loss of the faro bank; or – the rook’s pigeon’d (1797)

 

 

In July 1811 Gillray attempted to kill himself by throwing himself out of an attic window above Humphrey’s shop in St James’s Street. Gillray lapsed into insanity and was looked after by Hannah Humphrey until his death on 1 June 1815.

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The whore’s last shift (1779)

 

 

James Gillray was buried in the courtyard of St James’s Church, in Piccadilly, London.

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The Gout (1799)

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