The House of George Humphrys Esq. Spark Brook.House of G. Humphrys, Esq. This house, which was of brick and stone, was one of the most elegant and completely finished in the vicinity of Birmingham. It is situated at a place called Spark-Brook, about a mile from the town. On the morning of Saturday July 16th, 1791, a large concourse of people assembled on the turnpike-road, and in the pleasure-grounds which surround the house. Between the hours of eleven and twelve they began the attack... en les declarant des morceaux achevés et des plus rares, ouvrages qui furent cependant sacrifiés à la fureur d’une populace égarée et abrutie.
[London. Published, 1 May 1792, by J.Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard.]
Aquatint with descriptive text in English and French. Sheet 406 x 260mm. 16 x 10¼". Laid on album page, foxing.
George Humphrys's house following its destruction during the Priestley Riots, the Birmingham Riots of 1791, which targeted religious Dissenters, most notably the politically and theologically controversial Joseph Priestley. On 16th July 1791, rioters attacked the homes and properties of known Dissenters and religious preachers. From "Views of the Ruins of the Principal Houses destroyed during the Riots at Birmingham. 1791." On the 14th of July, 1791, a party having met at an hotel to celebrate the anniversary of the French revolution, collected together as a mob, and proceeded for several days their devastations, setting fire to several meeting-houses and private mansions, but on the arrival of the military from Oxford and Hounslow, order was restored: at the ensuing assizes four of the ring-leaders were convicted, two of whom suffered the penalty of the law. Shortly after this occurrence barracks were erected on the Vauxhall-road, near the town, consisting of a range of handsome buildings, enclosing a spacious area for the exercise of cavalry, and a smaller for parades, a riding-school, a magazine, and an hospital.
[Ref: 21107] £140.00