The triumph of truth, or, The ghost of Diogenes

description below

“Diogenes stands in the House of Commons between the two front benches; both arms are thrown out towards Burdett with a dramatic gesture; in one hand is his lantern, illuminating the patriot at close range; small clouds at his feet indicate that he is a ghost. He turns his head to look steadily at three members on the front Ministerial bench (left), saying: “An Honest Man is the noblest work of God” [Pope, ‘Essay on Man’, quoted by Burns, cf. British Museum Satires No. 11562]. The three culprits (unrecognizable) register shame and terror, their hair standing on end. Burdett stands by the front bench (right) on which is his hat, displaying to the frightened Ministers (one intended for Perceval) a document headed ‘Magna Charta–Pro Rege, lege, grege’ [see British Museum Satires No. 11547]. Except for one member on the front bench, those behind Burdett stand, five being depicted, three of whom wave their hats. All the occupants of the gallery wave still more emphatically. In the background and on the left is the Speaker’s Chair; the diminutive Abbot, author of the famous Warrant, see British Museum Satires No. 11545, &c., holds up a hand in astonished alarm. Burdett was in the Tower during May, see British Museum Satires No. 11558. ‘Hair on end’ is an allusion to Lethbridge, see British Museum Satires No. 11538.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The triumph of truth, or, The ghost of Diogenes, more hair on end [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. May 1810 by T. Tegg, 111 Cheapside, [May 1810]

Catalog Record


Acquired March 2021

Spectres visiting Iohn Bull

description below

“John Bull, a fat ‘cit’, is seated beside a writing-table (right) holding up a large book. On the left hand page is inscribed ‘Vote of Thanks respecting the Expedition to Copenhagen’; John’s pen rests on the last word, but he turns in horror to gaze at the ghosts of (left to right) Fox, Pitt, and Burke. These wear shrouds and stand on clouds; all point a menacing forefinger. Fox says: “Erase those lines from your Journal”; Pitt and Burke say “Erase”. Burke wears spectacles and a Jesuit’s biretta (cf. British Museum Satires No. 6026), and holds a large book inscribed ‘Sublime & Beautiful’ [cf., e.g., British Museum Satires No. 6361]. John wears glasses, his hair rises on his head, pushing up his ill-fitting wig. He says: “Why dont you come then and transact the business yourselves? – it is impossible I can please every body. – it is come to such a pitch now that I have no peace either with the living or the dead!!!””–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Spectres visiting Iohn Bull [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. Feby. 23, 1808, by Walker, No. 7 Cornhill, [23 February 1808]

Catalog Record


Acquired November 2020

Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas

description below

“A scene from a play: a soldier admired by a lady at her dressing table stands before a table of heads and ghosts, with an elderly couple to the right.”–British Museum online catalogue.


  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas [graphic] / drawn & etch’d by W. Heath.
  • Publication: [Dublin] ; [London] : Pubd. 22nd Jany. 1825 by Wm. Heath at the new Panorama, 15 Grafton St., Dublin, and Henry Heath, London, [22 January 1825]

Catalog Record 


Acquired January 2020

The ghost of Eustace Budgel Esqr. to the *man in blue

The ghost of Eustace Budgel Esqr. to the *man in blue. Detailed description below

“A broadside satirising Robert Walpole with an etching in two parts. In the left-hand scene Frederick, Prince of Wales, stands with the Duke of Argyll and other gentlemen, pointing to the left where George II embraces Britannia. In the foreground, the grotesque figure of Walpole, wearing a coronet, kneels holding in five hands, bags of French and Spanish gold and another lettered, “I am Lord Corruption”. Behind him stands his daughter, Lady Mary, toying with a coronet. On the ground beside Walpole, the French cock perches on the back of the exhausted Imperial Eagle, but the British lion watching the conflict growls, “Now I’m rousing”. In the background, the white horse of Hanover kicks a man off a high rock; the man cries, “I’m lost”; a ship lies at anchor off Cartagena observed from another high rock to right by Admiral Vernon whose impetus towards the city is restrained by General Wentworth; below these two men sits Admiral Haddock chained to a rock (a reference to the limitation of his resources in dealing with the combined Spanish and French Mediterranean fleets). In the right-hand scene Walpole raises his hands in horror at the appearance in a cloud of smoke of the ghost of Eustace Budgell who holds out a paper described in the verses to left as a “black Account …Full twenty Winters of Misdeeds”; on the table at which Walpole is sitting is a large candlestick and letters addressed “A son Eminence” (Cardinal Fleury) and “à don [Sebastian] de la Quadra” and a book on “The Art of Bribery”. Budgell’s ghost raises his hand above his head to point at a scene of a beheading in the background above which flies Time while Justice sits on a column beside the scaffold and a crowd cheers below; over a doorway to right is a portrait of a Cardinal, presumably intended for Wolsey who is mentioned in the verses on the right. Engraved title and dedication to the Prince of Wales on a cloth above the scene supported by two putti; verses in two columns on either side condemning Walpole for his maladministration and celebrating the new prominence of the Prince of Wales and his followers; lines of music in two columns below the etching.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Title: The ghost of Eustace Budgel Esqr. to the *man in blue [graphic] : most humbly inscrib’d to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales *see the Chinese Orphan, a tragedy for the reason of this term / designd by N.S. ; engrav’d by G.S.
  • Publication: [London] : Printed for Eliza Haywood at Fame in the Piazza, Covent Garden, and sold by the printsellers and pamphlet shops of London and Westminster, according to act of Parliament, [1742]

Catalog Record 

742.00.00.10++ Impression 2

Acquired January 2019

An apparition

In a churchyard, a resurrection man holding a lantern, his hat and shovel at his feet, is surprised by ghost, rising from grave. In the background is a church and in the foreground, a skull and bone.

  • PrintmakerNewton, Richard, 1777-1798, printmaker.
  • TitleAn apparition [graphic].
  • Edition[State with aquatint].
  • PublicationLondon : Pubd. by W. Holland, No. 50 Oxford Street, May 1, 1790.

Catalog Record & Digital Collection


Acquired November 2016

Visits from the world of spirits, or, Interesting anecdotes of the dead…

Cover: Cover: Visits from the world of spirits, or, Interesting anecdotes of the dead ...Visits from the world of spirits, or, Interesting anecdotes of the dead … : being an impartial survey of the most remarkable accounts of apparitions, dreams, ghosts, spectres, and visions … together with some originals / to which is prefixed, an introduction, by the editor.

Published: London : Printed for the proprietor; and sold by L. Wayland, No. 2 Middle-Row, Holborn; and all the booksellers intown and country, MDCCXCI [1791]

63 791 V58

With an armorial bookplate: Letter G with a crown. Bound in contemporary tree calf.

Title page: Visits from the world of spirits...Subjects (Library of Congress): Apparitions; Ghosts.

Lewis Walpole Library new acquisitions: July, 2010