Published by C. Tregear, Cheap-Side London 1829.
Hand-coloured etching. Watermarked: J Whatman Turkey Mill 1828. Plate 248 x 349mm. 9¾ x 13¾".
Satire on the Catholic Relief Act of 1829, which eventually permitted members of the Catholic Church to sit in the parliament at Westminster. Two men preside over the collection of signatures on a large roll supported on a desk in an open-fronted booth (right), while a butcher holds a pen in the paw of his dog, which is on its hind legs at the desk. One of the two, wearing dark spectacles; the other man drags forward by the lapel of the coat a ragged bewildered and emaciated charity-schoolboy, holding a hoop. He points to the roll, whilst a ruffian looking fellow with a bludgeon stands behind the boy. In the foreground (left) outside the booth a dustman and a sweep face each other aggressively. The sweep, coal-black, short, and knock-kneed, with brush, shovel, and bag; the dustman, holding his hand-bell, and with the long flap of his hat projecting, stoops towards the sweep. Until the Catholic Relief Bill became law, petitions for and (far more numerous) against it poured into both Houses. It was stated that schoolboys of ten and eleven had signed the Bristol Protestant petition. In answer to a motion for a weekly return of petitions Goulburn said that he did not think that the number of the signatures to a petition formed the best criterion of the value of the opinions expressed in it, or of the general sense of the country.
BM Satires: 15661.
[Ref: 19095] £190.00