The rival queans, or, A scene in The beggars opera

description below

“Mrs. Clarke (left) and Mrs. Carey (right) (see British Museum Satires No. 11050) berate each other; both wear evening dress, with feathers in their hair, those of Mrs. Carey being the taller. The Duke, wearing regimentals, watches the quarrel, equally distant from both. Mrs. Clarke, arms akimbo, says: “Why how now Madam Carey, although you are so Warey In saveing of your cash, John Bull and I we both will try, And settle all your hash.” [see 1803 Isaac Cruikshank print for an earlier use of this phrase, BM impression 1868,0808.7141/ PPA108823] Mrs. Carey retorts: “Why how now Madam Clarke—— Why since you thus can chatter—— And thus betray your spark—— I wonder whats the matter with, you, Madam Clarke!!” The Duke looks at Mrs. Clarke, stopping his ears, a leg raised in angry protest; he says: “Zounds! the thunder of Valencienes was Music to this”. Behind Mrs. Clarke is a cockatoo on a high perch, screaming: “go it! go it”; a chair has been overturned, and a mastiff, its collar inscribed ‘John Bull’, barks at the Duke. A small dog behind Mrs. Carey also barks. She stands with her back to the fire. On the chimney-piece a china Cupid aims his arrow at a heart on the trunk of a tree.”–British Museum online catalogue.


  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The rival queans, or, A scene in The beggars opera [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. March 1809 by Walker, Cornhill, [March 1809]

Catalog Record


Acquired November 2022

A scene in the Crown & Anchor Tavern

A scene in the Crown & Anchor Tavern

“Fox and Sheridan (left) sit together at the head of a rectangular table on which is a punch-bowl, &c, looking with dismay at whigs (right), who advance to hurl their wigs at a large pile of wigs on the left (inscribed ‘The Heads having Scratched out of the Club’), or retire, having already done so. Fox and Sheridan wear enormous wigs, the former says, “Brother: Brother: we are all in the wrong” (showing that they are Peachum and Lockit [Like Newcastle and Fox in 1756 (British Museum Satires no. 3371), Burke and Sheridan in 1790 (British Museum Satires no. 7627), Burke and Fox in 1791 (British Museum Satires no. 7856).] in Gay’s ‘Beggar’s Opera’, II. ii). Before Fox is a list with names scored through. Sheridan grasps a bottle of ‘Sherry’. A couple advance together, in the act of hurling their large wigs at the pile; one says, “I will Scratch out my Name in hopes of getting in for the City” (probably Nathaniel Newnham, returned for the City 1784, but defeated in 1790, cf. British Museum Satires no. 7162). The other is perhaps Windham. The only one of the retiring wigless Whigs who is characterized is Burke. All say: “We have erased our Names for ever from the Club, when the Artful & Ambitious designs of a Faction are carried on under a Mask of Prudential Reform & when the leading Members are Notoriously known to Carry on a secret Correspondence with the Avowed Enemies of the Constitution they Affect to Support & Defend it is high time for all prudent & real friends to that Constitution to leave them to their Just Punishment, the Contemp of all true Friends to their King and Constitution.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • TitleA scene in the Crown & Anchor Tavern, or, A crack in the Wig Club [graphic].
  • Publication[London] : Pub. March 17, 1793, by S.W. Fores, No. 3 Piccadilly … , [17 March 1793]

Catalog Record 


Acquired June 2018