The Graces they were culling posies…

description below

“Three grotesquely ugly old maids stoop delightedly over a Cupid who sleeps against a rose-bush, arrow in hand, his unstrung bow beside him. On the back of one sits an ape; a lap-dog is beside her. A parrot sits on the bonnet of another, the third kneels. On a mound (right) a cock stands crowing: ‘Cock a doodle doo.'”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
  • Title: The Graces they were culling posies and found young love among the roses [graphic].
  • Publication: [London?] : [publisher not identified], [between 1817 and 1819?]

Catalog Record


Acquired September 2023

The royal rose

hand-drawn yellow rose

rose with the head of Princess Charlotte as the center, the stigma.

  • Printmaker: Tomkins, Peltro William, 1759-1840, printmaker, publisher, dedicator.
  • Title: The royal rose [graphic] / from the life by Henning, designed & engraved by P.W. Tomkins, engraver to Her Majesty.
  • Edition: Proof.
  • Publication: London : Published Decr. 16, 1817, by P.W. Tomkins, 53, New Bond Street, [16 December 1817]

Catalog Record

817.12.16.01+ Impression 2

Acquired July 2023

Iohn Bull on a bed of roses

description below

“John Bull, a plebeian, stout and dishevelled, lies on his back on a tangle of large roses with vicious thorns. These are on a heap of stones and under the stump of a decayed oak tree (left). He exclaims: “Oh Lord! Oh Lord! if this be the Bed of Roses they make such a noise about I’d sooner lye with the Old Sow and her Farrow in the Dog Days! – My Dame will roar woundidly when she comes to bed! Ecod it’s as bad as lying on a Harrow upside down.” The stones (left to right) are ‘Expedition to Holland’ [1799, see British Museum Satires No. 9412, &c], ‘Expedition to Ferrol’, ‘Jobs and Contracts’, ‘Pension List’, ‘Indemnity for the past & Security for the Future’, ‘No Peace possible with the child and Champion of Jacobinism’, ‘Places’, ‘Subsidies’. The roses are: ‘Candle Tax’, ‘Hair Powder Tax’, ‘Hat Tax’, ‘Paper Tax’, ‘Snuff Tax’, ‘Game Tax’, ‘Wine Tax’, ‘Property Tax’, ‘Salt Tax’, ‘Land Tax’, ‘Stamp Tax’, ‘Assessed Taxes’, ‘Income Tax’, ‘Table Beer Tax’, ‘House Tax’, ‘Window Tax’, ‘Excise Duty’, ‘Horse Tax’, ‘Tobacco Tax’, ‘Soap Tax’, ‘Servant Tax’, ‘Malt Tax’, ‘Hop Tax’, ‘Sugar Tax’, ‘Legacy Tax’, ‘Tea Tax’, ‘Cyder Tax’. On the two extremities of the ‘bed’ are clusters of thorny buds; these are inscribed ‘1807’, ‘1808’, and [once] ‘1809’, those on the left being labelled ‘National Debt’. In the distance St. Paul’s is indicated. Bushes on the right are wind-swept.”–British Museum online catalogue.


  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Iohn Bull on a bed of roses [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. July 1806 by Wm. Holland, Cockspur Street, [July 1806]

Catalog Record


Acquired November 2020

The blessed effects of a united cabinet

description below

“George IV, seated on the throne, watches a display of jovial fraternization between John Bull and Pat, who dance, holding hands, each holding up a hat decorated respectively by rose and shamrock. A lanky garland of (thornless) roses and giant shamrocks drapes the crown on the back of the throne; one end is held up by Wellington (right), on the King’s left, the other by Peel on his right, so that the King is framed by it. J. B. is an obese and drink-blotched “cit”, with a snuff-box inscribed ‘Irish’ in his waistcoat pocket. Pat is a ragged Irish peasant, his bare legs swathed by twisted straw; his shillelagh lies on the ground; he looks with a broad but appraising grin at J. B., who sings: “Together reared together grown, Oh! let us now unite in one, Let friendship rivet the decree, Nor bigots sever Pat and Me!!!” Two discomfited ‘bigots’ depart on the left; one is a gouty parson using a crutch, with a ‘Petition against Concession’ hanging from his pocket, cf. British Museum Satires No. 15661, &c. The other is a Catholic bishop in robe and mitre. They say: ‘It’s time for us to be off.’ Above their heads flies a figure of Discord, her hair consisting of snakes which spit flame towards J. B. The King, with extended arm, says: ‘No more let Bigotry distract the Nation, Nor Priestcraft nurture lawless passion, Henceforth let rage and tumult cease, As brothers live and die in peace!!!'”–British Museum online catalogue.


  • Printmaker: Jones, Thomas Howell, active 1823-1848, printmaker.
  • Title: The blessed effects of a united cabinet, or, The glorious march of intellect [graphic] / T. Jones fect.
  • Publication: London : Pubd. April 1829 by S.W. Fores, 41 Piccadilly, [April 1829]

Catalog Record


Acquired December 2020

Re-takeing the bed of roses by storm!!

“A low platform covered with roses extends almost across the design; from this bed new Ministers advancing from the left are ejecting the old. Roses are scattered on the floor. The central figure is the tall and handsome Castlereagh, author of the phrase, see British Museum satires No. 10558, &c. With a taut two-stringed bow in his left hand, a quiver on his shoulders, he strides across Grenville who is on his back on the bed, and takes ‘Candle End[s] & Cheese Paring[s]’ from a bag with which Windham tries to make off (see British Museum Satires No. 9735). He says: “I’d have you to know I’ve two strings to my Bow!! Down, Down, Down, Derry Down!!” [See British Museum satires No. 10426.] Behind him, Portland threatens Grenville (in his peer’s robe) with a big block of ‘Portland Stone’ [see British Museum Satires No. 10718, &c.]. In front of Windham Rose steps forward from the bed to grasp a large rose on the floor: ‘Treasurership of the Navy.’ This Sheridan, in his Harlequin’s suit (see British Museum Satires No. 9916), is crawling towards, saying, “Just got into my first Nap – how – Unfortunate – come Sir fat touch that however.” Rose holds up a pair of bellows inscribed ‘Sing old Rose & burn the Bellows’. Eldon, in Chancellor’s wig and gown, strides from the bed on to the prostrate Erskine, seizing the Purse of the Great Seal, whose cord is still round the latter’s arm. He raises the mace to strike the ex-Chancellor, whose wig has fallen off. Erskine says: “Be quiet I’ll retire”; he holds a money-bag inscribed ‘4,000 Pr Anm’ [see British Museum Satires No. 10714]. Lauderdale, wearing a plaid, is behind him on the ground. On the extreme left Canning, standing on the bed, holds up a massive club inscribed ‘Bon Mots & Repartee by G C–g’; he stoops over Howick pointing at the ‘Catholic Bill’, which the latter holds. Howick steps from the bed, angrily looking up at Canning (his especial enemy, cf. British Museum Satires No. 10972), but, unlike his colleagues, not devoid of dignity. On the ground between Howick and Sheridan is Petty in his gown, one hand on his ‘Budget’, a small bag, the other on a sheaf of papers inscribed ‘Ways & Means’. He says: “Bless me I wish I was safe in College I’d never have anything more to do with Taxes” [an allusion to his youth, and to the fact that he was M.P. for Cambridge]. In the background (right) are Moira in his cocked hat and Lord Temple who makes off rapidly.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Re-takeing the bed of roses by storm!! [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [ca. April 1807]

Catalog Record


Acquired October 2019


Reposing on a bed of roses

“Ministers recline on a large low platform, representing a magnificent state bed, which is completely covered with roses. It recedes in perspective from left to right. On the left is Fox, looking sourly over his left shoulder at his neighbour, Sheridan, to say: “This is the most uncomfortable bed I was ever on in my Life and not the least like a bed of Roses – Zound!! what a thorn is running into me – Oh that Bramble – Sherry my Dear how do you find it – “. Sheridan answers: “My dear Charley, I have not had a wink since I have been on it, – curse that Castle man what did he mean by his bed of roses – I am as sore from the tip of my Nose, to the tip of my Toe – as if I had been roling on a quick set-hedge – or stung to death by a swarm of bees at a Hampshire Farmers [an allusion to Cobbett’s pen]”. Behind Fox, and in profile to the left, Moira, in uniform, with cocked hat and jack-boots, sits up, very erect; he says: “What are Cannons or Bombs or clashing of swords, compared to the pain I endure.” Windham, next Sheridan, registering melancholy, says: “I feel more uneasy than if the whole Volunteer force was upon me.” Ellenborough, behind Sheridan and Windham, ill-temperedly puts his hand to his wig. Erskine, also in wig and gown, reclines as if exhausted, his eyes closed, his attitude characteristic of his notorious fainting in court (see British Museum Satires No. 7956). He and Grey (Lord Howick from 11 Apr.), who sits behind him, are in profile to the right; the latter says: “It is just such a bed, as I expected the late bungling bed makers would leave us.” On the extreme right little Lord Henry Petty (wearing his Chancellor of the Exchequer’s gown) sits up, angrily holding above his head two handfuls of thorn-branches. He says: “I shall never have done clearing the brambles and Nettles from this Bed, my Budget would not hold one half of them.” The low frame of the bed is carved and has a valance of fringed and festooned draperies. At the head are the Royal Arms; looped curtains are suspended above it.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Reposing on a bed of roses [graphic] / Argus invt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. April 1806 by Walker, 7 Cornhill, [April 1806]

Catalog Record 


Acquired October 2019