Burking Poor Old M.rs. Constitution. Aged 141.
Pub April 1829 by T. McLean 26 Haymarket, London.
Hand-coloured etching. Sheet: 365 x 270mm, (14¼ x 10½"). Trimmed within plate. Creasing. Laid on album sheet. Details of British Museum catalogue glued on verso.
Robert Peel and Wellington are depicted as murderers William Hare and William Burke smothering the alagorical figure of the British Constitution as a Catholic priest enters from behind a door. Burke and Hare had commited several murders in Edinburgh in 1828 by smothering their victims it is from their actions that the verb 'burking' came into use. A comentary on Wellington's movements towards Catholic emancipation. The detail of Mrs Constitution's age refers to the number of years since the Glorious Revolution and the overthrow of James II which had ended any chance of Catholicism being re-established in England.
BM Satire: 15707A
[Ref: 37267] £140.00