Case of frightful destitution

description below

“Eldon as a street-beggar kneels on both knees on straw placed on paving-stones, wearing a cap resembling those worn by butchers and the rags of a Chancellor’s gown over tattered breeches. He supports himself by a staff, and holds out his short powdered wig. Beside him (left) lies an empty and dilapidated bag inscribed The Old Bagg [cf. British Museum Satires No. 12883]. He looks down with a gloomy scowl, and from his closed lips rise the words: Pity the sorrows of a poor old man [cf. British Museum Satires Nos. 13991, 16236]–vide beggars petition, Tricked out of Work by a Soldier. Round his neck is tied a placard reaching below the waist, and inscribed: Pity a poor Old Man out of Place, at the age of 78 [76], and though extremely anxious, for employment, disappointed in, all his expectations of procuring the Same. His pension is only 4.000 P A [cf. British Museum Satires No. 10714] and not a Dinner has been dressed in his house within the memory of man! He has a wife to support, and a Son to provide for, who holds only Eight Appointments! Beside him an emaciated dog stands on its hindlegs holding a begging-dish, with a piteous expression.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: Case of frightful destitution [graphic] : the fatal effects of getting out of chancery!!! / [man with an umbrella] Esq. del.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket, London, [approximately January 1828]

Catalog Record


Acquired May 2023

All among the Hottentots – capering a shore

description below

King William IV dressed as a sailor dances in the centre of a semicircle of ministers who have black bodies and are partially draped. Among the ministers are Peel and Scarlett on the left, Lyndhurst and Wellington on the right both of whom wear nose-rings. Scarlett encircles Ellenborough, who, with Sugden, is behind the King. Their tribal dance celebration alludes to the relief that the ministers must have felt to be able to retain their positions with the new reign. William IV was a popular King and a stark contrast to George IV and was liable to wild bursts of passion as is suggested here. He and the Duke of Wellington (then prime minister) got on very well, hence the retainment of his ministers. He is dressed in sailor garb in reference to his years in the navy. The tribal dress of the ministers refers to the far-flung shores that William visited.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: All among the Hottentots – capering a shore [graphic] / W. Heath.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. July 19, 1830, by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket, [19 July 1830]

Catalog Record


Acquired May 2023

The politician

description below

A politician sits center in a chair before a table with a single candlestick on top. He holds the candle itself in his hand as he closely examines a sheet of paper, oblivious to the fact that the candle is burning a hole in the brim of his hat. Behind him on the wall on either side are two wall maps, one of western Europe and the tip of northern Africa and the other of the Americas and Asia.


  • Title: The politician [graphic].
  • Publication: [Alnwick] : Printed and published by W. Davison, Alnwick, [between 1812 and 1817]

Catalog Record

812.00.00.87 Impression 2

Acquired August 2022

Portraits of the late and present administration

printed text

  • Author: Green, William, active 1788-1823, author.
  • Title: Portraits of the late and present administration : faithfully drawn from the criterion of their abilities, their integrity, and their confidence with the Nation ; and an address to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales / by William Green.
  • Published: London : Printed for the author, by Bailey and Macdonald, 3, Harris’s place, Pantheon, Oxford-Street, 1807.

Catalog Record

51 A2 G79

Acquired September 2021

The green bag, it’s contents & all it’s appendages

The green bag. Detailed description below.

“A hand, ‘Manus Populi’, extends into the design from the upper margin, holding a chain from which hangs a pair of scales. On one (right), close to the ground, sits the Queen, hands crossed on her breast, saying: “My innocence will support me & my Country will protect me– 10 Great Men against one unprotected Woman are fearful odds.” The other scale, high in the air, is completely filled by a green bag, see British Museum Satires No. 13735, from the mouth of which emerges the head of George IV, crowned. Attached to the beam, by a rope round his neck, hangs a military officer, holding a huge key; as a makeweight he dangles vainly against the left side of the King’s bag. Three men standing below pull at the scale, trying to drag it down: they are Sidmouth (left), a judge in back view (? Leach), and Castlereagh (right), who says: “We cannot do it, and I told you so at first, & if she opens her bagwe shall be stifled all of us.” The King looks down at them with a distressed expression, saying: “Pull you lubbers.””–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heeston, active 1820, printmaker.
  • Title: The green bag, it’s contents & all it’s appendages are insufficient to turn the scale of public opinion [graphic] / Heeston fect.
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by S.W. Fores, 41 Piccadilly, July 11, 1820.

Catalog Record 


Acquired April 2019

Chosen candidate

Chosen candidate. Detailed description below.

A caricature on the prevalence of bribery during elections, most probably that of 1826. The successful liberal candidate stands on a platform before a cheering crowd and people waving from the windows of adjoining building. In the ‘Committee Room’ behind him, an official pays a man holding a sign inscribed ‘No bribery or corruption’ with the word ‘and’ between bribery and corruption scored through. On the right is an armchair and behind it stand two large flags; two flowers on the chair match the flower on the lapel of the candidate.

  • Artist: Lane, Theodore, 1800-1828, artist.
  • Title: Chosen candidate [art original] / by Theodore Lane.
  • Production: [London], [ca. 1826]

Catalog Record 

Drawings L265 no. 2 Box D205

Acquired March 2019