c 1829 English Caricature - Funeral of the Constitution


A whimsical and highly detailed etching with original hand-coloring. This satire is titled “FUNERAL of the CONSTITUTION…”.Published in London by Thomas McLean, c. 1829.

In foreground are Wellington & Peel as grave-diggers; Eldon, a stout elderly Hamlet wearing a cloak, stands holding a skull, saying: "Here's fine revolution and we had the trick to see it." Wellington stands in a grave, wielding a pickaxe. His military coat, cocked hat, & sword lie beside him. He says to Peel: 'Come take off the Orange Peel quickly, I can't get on without you.' Peel, is about to take off an orange waistcoat. He answers 'I'll change myself before you can say Jack Robinson.' On the extreme right is the posterior & left leg of George IV who scurrys to the right, beside a tombstone inscribed 'To Hanover'. In the middle is the funeral procession, the coffin with a pall inscribed 'Constitution 1829'. On it stand a large crown & mitre with papers: 'Magna Charta' & 'Bill of Rights', followed by a mourner in cloak & scarf (J. B.), who covers his face with a despairing gesture, exclaiming 'Oh! dear! Oh! dear, what will become of Mrs Bull, & all my little Bulls?— We shall have nothing but the Popes Bulls. Oh my—' Behind are St. Paul's & York Minster. On the steps is the Pope, rollicking between a monk & O'Connell (right) in wig & gown. The Pope: 'Och! my darling you have done the job. fal lal la!!' O'Connell: 'Huzza! Huzza! Ould Ireland for ever! Huzza!!!' Behind them a ragged Irishman, playing bagpipes & shouting 'St Patrick day in the morning!! Och! my Darlings!' An Irish crowd is indicated in the background. Farther from the spectator is York Minster, blazing furiously, flames & smoke covering the sky; an incendiary with a firebrand rushes from the building, striding across a paper inscribed 'Blanco [scored through] Black is White'.

Image Size: 10 1/4 x 14 1/8 inches, Paper Size: 11 1/4 x 16 3/8 inches

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  • Inventory# MA-634