Dick Swift Thieftaker of the City of London. Teaching his Son the Commandments.These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children Deut. Chap. VI. ver 6.7
Engraving, very scarce; sheet 310 x 245mm (12¼ x 9½"). Slight crease through centre; trimmed to plate.
The notorious thief-taker Swift sat at a table, holding out a volume to his son which is open at the ten commandments. He points to the eighth commandment, here rendered as 'Thou Shalt Steal' due to part of the page having been torn. Meanwhile the child takes from Swift's pocket a piece of rope, probably part of a hangman's halter. On the back of Swift's chair are a burglar's mask and other thief's implements. In 1764 Swift was sentenced to transportation for fourteen years at the Old Bailey for receiving stolen goods (the initials 'RST' on his wrist presumably stand for 'Richard Swift Transportation'). He returned the following year and was remanded at Newgate prison but following a re-trial in Coventry he was acquitted on a technicality. The print was originally dated 1765 and priced at 6d- this is a slighly later impression.
BM Satires 4120
[Ref: 31325] £380.00