Governor Wall's Ghost! by J****s!
Pub.d July 21st 1802, by H. Humphrey 27 St James's Street.
Hand coloured etching. 355 x 255mm (14 x 10"). Mount burn around image.
A tall, thin man with shoulders covered with hair powder terrifies an Irish fishwife outside the 'Cider Cellar' tavern in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, due to his resemblance to an army officer recently executed. It is believed the man was parliamentary reporter, a frequenter of the Cider Cellar, who actually had the nickname 'Governor Wall's Ghost'. Joseph Wall (1737-1802) had been Lieutenant governor of Gorée, a former slave island near Dakar, Senegal. When a sergeant came to him to complain about unpaid wages a drunken Wall had him charged with mutiny and, without waiting for a court martial, had him flogged 800 times with a cat o'nine tails in front of the whole garrison, leading to the man's death. When Wall arrived back in England he was court-martialled for cruelty, but his trial was delayed when some witnesses were lost at sea. When other witnesses arrived in 1784 Wall absconded and went in hiding in Europe, but by 1801 he was back in England, where he was arrested. After a day-long trial he was sentenced to death: thousands turned out to watch his hanging at Newgate on January 28th, 1802. It is thought that his punishment was greater than it would have been in 1784 because the Establishment did not want to be lenient to an officer after the executions of many sailors after the mutinies at Spithead and The Nore in 1797.
BM Satires 9911
[Ref: 33110] £360.00