Protestant descendency

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“An ancient Gothic church in the middle distance stands on a grassy hill inscribed ‘Protestant Ascendency’; under the hill (left) is a cave, ‘Cave of Catholic Ascendency’, in which are barrels of ‘Gun . Pow[der]’. A fat bare-footed friar walks away from the cave towards the picture-plane, carrying a lighted candle, and slyly laying a train of powder on the road to the cave. Standing round the church is a crowd of country people, listening to a parson who holds out to them a ‘Petition to Parliament’. They are unconscious, not only that the ground beneath them is mined, but that men (right) are tugging at a rope looped round the steeple, which is about to crash. The rope-pullers are in the foreground (right); at the extreme end is Wellington with his back to the church, straining hard. Next is Peel, wearing an orange waistcoat (cf. British Museum Satires No. 15690) badly stained by the rope; Brougham, a broom-girl dressed as in British Museum Satires No. 14769, is next, with Mackintosh in Highland costume beside him. In front of them is Burdett, very tall and thin, holding up his hat and shouting ‘Down with it–never mind the People’ [see British Museum Satires No. 16058]. In front is O’Connell, in wig and gown, shouting, ‘By St Patrick I’ve got the Rope over at Last.’ Behind these principals are more men, tugging at a second rope. On a green field topping a cliff behind the church-breakers is Eldon wearing a smock and guiding a plough; he turns to shout to the petitioners by the church, who will be crushed by the falling tower: ‘Look to your selves People.’ Along the horizon (left) is a Papist procession with lighted tapers, the Host, crosses, a grotesque Pope, and figures under a canopy. It approaches St. Paul’s whose dome rises above the sky-line. On the extreme right is the Monument (see British Museum satires no. 15688, &c.) in flames.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: Protestant descendency [graphic] : a pull at the Church / [man with an umbrella] Esq. del.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. March 19, 1829, by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket …, [19 March 1829]

Catalog RecordĀ 

829.03.19.01+

Acquired October 2018

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