English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times.
by Graham Everitt
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Transcriber's notes:

(1) Letters following a carat (^) were originally printed in superscript.

(2) Side-notes were moved to their respective paragraph's start, and treated as titles. for the exact locations see the html version.

(3) The following typographical errors have been corrected:

Page i: "are useful in themselves, and are neatly and clearly." 'clearly' amended from 'cleary'.

Page 8: "I have seen the ghastly illustrations to the licentious Contes Drolatiques of Balzac." 'Drolatiques' changed from 'Diolatiques'.

Page 100: "Arrogance or Nonchalance of the Tenth Reported." 'Nonchalance' changed from 'Nonchalence'.

Page 114: "In common fairness some credit should be conceded." 'conceded' changed from 'conceeded'.

Page 115: "with a threat of further inquiry into its truth." 'further' changed from 'furthur'.

Page 116: "This extraordinary work presents us with pictures." 'work' amended from 'works'.

Page 117: "The King at Home, or Mathews at Carlton House." 'The' amended from 'the'.

Page 206: "Professor Bates would assign as one of the principal causes of the sterility which befel the genius of Cruikshank." 'befell' amended from 'befel'

Page 246: "who however is too firmly seated on his shoulders to be dislodged." 'dislodged' amended from 'disloged'.

Page 330: "While at Whitby, a deputation from the Institute of that town waited on John Leech." 'Whitby' amended from 'Whity'.

Page 349: "which does not show the care and thought which he bestowed upon its elaboration." Comma removed after 'upon'.

Page 376: "stated anywhere, we shall now proceed to relate them. Thackeray was in London when Seymour shot himself in 1836." Comma after 'them' changed to period.

APPENDIX V.: "Charles Lever's 'Harry Lorrequer.' 1839. (A pirated edition was published at Philadelphia, 1840.)" '1840' amended from '1804'.



"At last we have a treatise upon our caricaturists and comic draughtsmen worthy of the great subject.... An entertaining history of caricature, and consequently of the events, political and social, of the century; in fact, a thoroughly readable and instructive book.... And what a number of political occurrences, scandals public and private, movements political and secular, are passed in review! All these events Mr. Everitt describes at length with great clearness and vivacity, giving us a view of them, so to speak, from the inside."—Pall Mall Gazette.

"It is a handsome and important volume of 400 pages; the letterpress being a brightly written commentary, abounding with illustrative gossip, on the caricature of the century and the merits of its graphic humourists.... It includes a great deal of the more stirring social and political history of the time. The illustrations so plentifully strewn through Mr. Everitt's volume give it a peculiar interest."—St. James's Gazette.

"The work, which contains a large amount of information and some valuable lists of publications, is illustrated with about seventy wood engravings."—Literary World.

"A real contribution to the history of the social life of the century. The book is very fully and well illustrated, forming in fact quite a gallery of nineteenth century caricature."—Truth.

"The plates with which it is illustrated are remarkably well produced, and are useful in themselves, and are neatly and clearly printed, so that they give a capital idea of the originals from which they are prepared."—Saturday Review.

"Gives an elaborate estimate of the merits of the later caricaturists and a complete account of their lives."—Graphic.


How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times.

A Contribution to the History of Caricature from the Time of the First Napoleon Down to the Death of John Leech, in 1864.








The only works which, so far as I know, profess to deal with English caricaturists and comic artists of the nineteenth century are two in number. The first is a work by the late Robert William Buss, embodying the substance of certain lectures delivered by the accomplished author many years ago. Mr. Buss's book, which was published for private circulation only, deals more especially with the work of James Gillray, his predecessors and contemporaries, treating only briefly and incidentally of a few of his successors of our own day. The second is a work by Mr. James Parton, an American author, whose book (published by Harper Brothers, of New York) treats of "Caricature, and other Comic Art in all Times and many Lands." It is obviously no part of my duty (even if I felt disposed to do so) to criticise the work of a brother scribe, and that scribe an American gentleman. Covering an area so boundless in extent, it is scarcely surprising that Mr. Parton should devote only thirty of his pages to the consideration of English caricaturists and graphic humourists of the nineteenth century.

Under these circumstances, it would seem to me that, in placing the present work before the public, an apology will scarcely be considered necessary.

Depending oftentimes for effect upon overdrawing, nearly always upon a graphic power entirely out of the range of ordinary art, the work of the caricaturist is not to be measured by the ordinary standard of artistic excellence, but rather by the light which it throws upon popular opinion or popular prejudice, in relation to the events, the remembrance of which it perpetuates and chronicles. While, however, a latitude is allowed to the caricaturist which would be inconsistent with the principles by which the practice of art is ordinarily governed, it may at the same time be safely laid down that it is essential to the success of the comic designer as well as the caricaturist, that both should be artists of ability, though not necessarily men of absolute genius.

It may be contended that Gillray, Rowlandson, Bunbury, and others, although commencing work before, are really quite as much nineteenth century graphic satirists as their successors. This I admit; but inasmuch as their work has been already described by other writers, and the present book concerns itself especially with those whose labours commenced after 1800, I have endeavoured to connect them with those of their predecessors and contemporaries, without unnecessarily entering into detail with which the reader is supposed to be already more or less familiar.

I am in hopes that the character in which I am enabled to present George Cruikshank as the leading caricaturist of the century; the account I have given of his hitherto almost unknown work of this character; together with the view I have taken of the causes which led to his sudden and unexampled declension in the very midst of an artistic success almost unprecedented, may prove both new and interesting to some of my readers.

I have to acknowledge the assistance I have derived from the 1864 and 1867 MS. diaries of the late Shirley Brooks, kindly placed at my service by Cecil Brooks, Esq., his son; my thanks are likewise due to Mr. William Tegg for some valuable information kindly rendered.


Having been called on to write a Preface to a popular edition of this book, I seize the opportunity which is now afforded me of correcting an error which occurred in the original edition. By some unaccountable accident the printer omitted my sub-title; and it was not unnatural that some of my reviewers should inquire why, in a work dealing with English Caricaturists of the Nineteenth Century, no mention should be made of the graphic humourists who succeeded John Leech. This question is answered by the restoration of the original title, from which it will be seen that the work is simply "a contribution to the history of caricature from the time of the first Napoleon down to the death of John Leech, in 1864." To take in the later humourists, would be to carry the work beyond the limits which I had originally assigned to it.

One word more, and I have done. My intention in writing this book was to show how the caricaturist "illustrated" his time,—in other words, how he "interpreted" the social and political events of his day, according to his own bias, or the views he was retained to serve. While exhibiting him in the light of an historian—which he most undoubtedly is—I had no idea (as some of my too favourable critics seem to have imagined) of writing a history of caricature itself. For this task, indeed, I am not qualified, nor does it in the slightest degree enlist my sympathy.


11th August, 1893.



Dr. Johnson's definition of the word Caricatura.—Francis Grose's definition.—Modern signification of the word.—Change in the Spirit of English Caricature during the last Fifty Years.—Its Causes.—Gillray.—Rowlandson.—Bunbury.—Influence of Gillray and Rowlandson on their immediate Successors.—Gradual Disappearance of the Coarseness of the Old Caricaturists.—Change wrought by John Doyle.—We have now no Caricaturist.—Effect of Wood Engraving on Caricature.—Hogarth, although a Satirist, not a Caricaturist.—Gustave Dore misdescribed a Caricaturist.—Absurdity of comparing him with Cruikshank.—"Etching Moralized." pp. 1-11.


Connection of Gillray and Rowlandson with Nineteenth Century Caricaturists.—Napoleon Bonaparte.—The Causes of English Exasperation against him explained.—Sketch of his Policy towards England.—The "Berlin Decree."—English Caricatures brought to the notice of Bonaparte.—"A Political Fair."—The "Gallick Storehouse for English Shipping."—"Spanish Flies, or Boney taking an Immoderate Dose."—"Boney and his New Wife, or a Quarrel about Nothing."—Birth of the young King of Rome.—"British Cookery, or Out of the Frying-pan into the Fire."—"General Frost Shaving Boney."—"Polish Diet with French Dessert."—"The Corsican Blood-hound beset by the Bears of Russia." "Nap nearly Nab'd, or a Retreating Jump just in time."—"Boney Returning from Russia covered with Glory."—"Nap's Glorious Return."—Rowlandson's Anti-Bonaparte Caricatures.—French Contemporary Satires.—Gillray's Anti-Bonaparte Caricatures.—His Libels on Josephine.—Madame Tallien.—Robert Dighton.—Consequences of a Pinch of Snuff.—Master Betty—Impeachment of Lord Melville.—Introduction of Gas.—Mary Anne Clarke.—Imbecility and Death of James Gillray pp. 12-33.


Re-opening of Drury Lane.—Dr. Busby's "Monologue."—"A Buz in a Box, or the Poet in a Pet."—"Doctors Differ, or Dame Nature against the College."—Joanna Southcott.—Flight of the Princess Charlotte.—"Plebeian Spirit, or Coachee and the Heiress Presumptive."—"Miss endeavouring to Excite a Glow with her Dutch Plaything."—American War of 1812-1815.—Hostile Temper of the Americans.—Disastrous Results of their Invasion of Canada.—English Retaliatory Measures.—Burning of Washington.—Expedition against Alexandria.—"The Fall of Washington, or Maddy in Full Flight."—British Defeated at Baltimore and New Orleans.—"Romeo Coates."—Marriage of the Princess Charlotte.—"Leap Year, or John Bull's Establishment."—Troubles of 1817.—Narrow Escape of the Prince Regent.—"More Plots!!! More Plots!!!"—Edmund Kean and Lucius Junius Booth.—"The Rival Richards."—Congress of the Allied Sovereigns at Aix-la-Chapelle.—"A Russian Dandy at Home: a Scene at Aix-la-Chapelle."—"A Peep at the Pump Room, or the Zomerzetshire Folks in a Maze."—Death of Queen Charlotte.—"The Hambourg Waltz."—Invention of the Kaleidoscope.—"Caleidoscopes, or Paying for Peeping."—The Velocipede or "Hobby."—"The Spirit Moving the Quakers upon Worldly Vanities."—"John Bull in Clover," and "John Bull Done Over."—Birth of the Princess Victoria.—"A Scene in the New Farce, called The Rivals, or a Visit to the Heir Presumptive." pp. 34-61.


Caroline of Brunswick.—Levity of her Character.—Result of the Commission to Inquire into her Conduct in 1806.—Her Letter to the Regent.—Result of the Commission of 1813.—Caroline rebels.—Wrath of Lord Ellenborough.-"A Key to the Investigation, or Iago distanced by odds."—Refusal of the Regent to meet her in 1814.—Her Protest.—Applies for Permission to Travel Abroad.—Rumours prejudicial to her Moral Conduct.—"Paving the way for a Royal Divorce."—The Milan Commission.—Ministers averse to the Prosecution of the Queen.—Their False Step.—Arrival of Caroline in London.—Opening of the "Green Bag."—Arrival of the Witnesses.—Strange Appearance of Caroline at the Trial.—Satire upon Her and her Supporters.—"City Scavengers Cleansing the London Streets of Impurities."—Practical Failure of the Prosecution.—"The Queen Caroline running down the Royal George."—"The Steward's Court of the Manor of Torre Devon."—Popularity of the King.—"Grand Entrance to Bamboozlem."—Public Events of 1822-1825.—Greek War of Independence.—Battle of Navarino.—"Russian Bear's Grease, or a Peep into Futurity."—"The Descent of the Great Bear, or the Mussulmans in a Quandary."—"The Nest in Danger."—"The Porte presenting a Bill of Indemnification."—"Burking old Mrs. Constitution, aged 141."—Caricature Declines after 1830, and why.—William Heath and other Caricaturists of the Period.—Theodore Lane. pp. 62-88.


Caricatures of Robert Cruikshank.—Forgotten, and why.—Artistic Training—"The Mother's Girl Plucking a Crow, or German Flesh and English Spirit."—"The Horse Marine and his Trumpeter in a Squall."—Queer Fashions of the early part of the Century.—Thackeray's Difficulty.—Caricatures on the "Dandies" of 1818.—Robert and his Fellow-Caricaturists ridicule the sham "Corinthians" and "Corinthian Kates" of their day.—Hollow Pretensions of the "Dandies."—"The Dandy Dressing at Home" and "The Dandy Dressed."—"A Dandyess."—Robert's Satires on the "Dandies" of 1819.—"The Mysterious Fair One, or the Royal Introduction to the Circassian Beauty."—Other Caricatures of his of 1819.—His Satires on the Trial of Queen Caroline.—His Caricatures of 1821.—Duel between the Dukes of Bedford and Buckingham.—Other Satires by him in 1822.—Interference of Louis XVIII. in Spanish Affairs.—Robert's Satires on Louis and his Son.—"The Golden Ball."—Other Caricatures by Robert in 1823.—The Tenth Hussars.—Maria Foote and "Pea-green Hayne."—Other satires by Robert in 1824.—Colonel Fitz-Bastard and Mr. Judge.—Cox v. Kean.—Sir Walter Scott.—"The Living Skeleton."—Popple and Stockdale.—Other Subjects of 1825.—"Cruikshankiana." pp. 89-108.


Book Illustrations of Isaac Robert Cruikshank.—The "Life in London."—Injustice done to Robert with reference to this Book.—The "Life" Dramatized.—Excitement it Occasioned.—The Portly Stranger in the Duke's Box.—Queer Visitors at Rehearsal.—Horror of the Serious People.—The Mistake which they made.—"The Finish."—Pierce Egan's Position with reference to the "Life."—Origin of "Bell's Life in London."—Charles Molloy Westmacott.—"The English Spy."—"The Oppidans' Museum."—The "King at Home."—Rowlandson's contribution to "The English Spy."—Westmacott and the Literature of Foote and Hayne.—Robert's Carelessness.—"Points of Misery."—"Doings in London."—"Cruikshank's Comic Album."—"Monsieur Nong-tong-paw."—Three Books Illustrated by Robert.—Death. pp. 109-124.


Caricatures of George Cruikshank.—"No Plan, no Ambition."—The Assertion Disproved.—Why George's Caricatures possess so remarkable an Interest.—"The Scourge."—Lord Sidmouth's Bill to amend the Toleration Act.—Opposition to the Measure by the Nonconformists.—George's Satire upon them.—Satire upon the Medical Profession.—"The Satirist, or Monthly Meteor."—"Fashion."—"The Loyalists' Magazine."—An Early Satire.—"Meditations amongst the Tombs."—Other Satires of 1813.—"Little Boney gone to Pot."—Alexander of Russia and the Duchess of Oldenburg.—The Princess Caroline.—Joanna Southcott.—The Obnoxious Corn Laws of 1815.—Satires thereon.—Escape of Napoleon.—Outlawed by the Powers.—Excitement caused by this Event.—George's Satires thereon.—Napoleon endeavours to Establish Friendly Relations.—Silent Hostility of Europe.—He Sets out for the Army.—George's Satire thereon.—Surrender of Bonaparte.—The Bellerophon off the English Coast.—Other Satires of 1815.—The Regent's Repugnance to Retrenchment and Reform.—Marriage of the Princess Charlotte.—Satire on the Purchase of the "Elgin Marbles."—Other Satires of 1816.—John Bull's Bankruptcy Proceedings.—Remanded for Extravagance.—His "Schedule."—Seditious Troubles of 1817.—A Satire on the Princess Caroline.—Death of the Princess Charlotte.—Other Satires of 1817—of 1818.—The "Bank Restriction Note."—Satires of 1819.—Queen Caroline and other Caricatures of 1820 and 1821.—Death and Funeral of the Queen.—The Populace force the Procession to go through the City.—The Military fire on the People.—Alderman Sir William Curtis in Highland Costume.—Indignation of the King.—Satires on both.—Statue of Achilles.—Other Caricatures of 1822.—Satires of 1823 and 1824.—Joint Stock Company Mania of 1825.—Undated Satires.—Amazing value of George Cruikshank's Caricatures. pp. 125-166.


George Cruikshank as a Book Illustrator.—Defects and Excellencies.—Women, Horses, Trees.—"Greenwich Hospital."—Sikes and the Dog.—Jonathan Wild.—Simon Renard and Winwike.—"Born a Genius and Born a Dwarf."—Its History.—Randalph and Hilda at Ranelagh.—Sale of the Shadow.—Sailors Carousing.—Paying off a Jew.—Simpkin Dancing.—The Last Cab Driver.—Dominie Sampson.—Dumbiedikes.—Fall of the Leaf.—Taurus.—Libra.—Revolution at Madame Tussaud's.—Theatrical Fun Dinner.—"Gone!"—Duke of Marlborough's Boot.—The Two Elves.—Witches' Frolic.—Ghosts.—Jack o' Lantern.—Devils.—The Gin Shop.—Redgauntlet.—Fagin in the Condemned Cell.—Murder of Sir Rowland Trenchard.—Xit Wedded to the Scavenger's Daughter.—Mauger Sharpening his Axe.—Massacre at Tullabogue, etc.—His Genius. pp. 167-188.


The Sleep of Thirty Years.—Causes of George Cruikshank's Decadence Insufficiently Understood.—Professor Bates' Theory.—Charles Dickens's Nervousness (?).—Why Cruikshank was Unfitted to Illustrate his Novels.—The Rejected Illustration to Oliver Twist.—Quarrel with Bentley.—Guy Fawkes Illustrations.—"Ainsworth's Magazine."—Progress of the Cruikshank versus Bentley Campaign.—Cruikshank's Declaration of War.—His Tactics.—"Our Library Table."—Quarrel with Harrison Ainsworth.—Cruikshank's Claim to be Originator of Two of his Stories Considered.—A word for Harrison Ainsworth.—Popularity and Success of his Novels.—Charles Lever's "Arthur O'Leary."—Cruikshank's final Leap in the Dark.—Its Fatal Consequences.—Crusade against Drink.—"Worship of Bacchus."—His Work Falls away.—Thirty Years of Artistic Sterility.—Fairy Stories turned into Temperance Tracts.—Forgotten!

pp. 189-207.


Birth of Robert Seymour.—Starts as a Painter in Oils.—Death of George IV.—His Contemptible Character.—Sale of his Wardrobe.—Order for General Mourning.—"The Adelaide Mill."—Revolution of 1830.—Dismissal of the German Band.—St. John Long the Quack.—Administering an Oath.—The "Humorous Sketches."—"Book of Christmas."—"New Readings of Old Authors."—"Figaro in London."—A Beckett's Editorial Amenities.—Feud between him and Seymour.—Seymour Caricatures A Beckett.—"Figaro" passes into the hands of Mayhew.—Re-engagement of Seymour.—Origin of the "Pickwick Papers."—The Rejected Etching.—Suicide of Seymour.—His Claim to be the "Inventor" of "Pickwick" considered. pp. 208-234.


The Agitation for Reform in 1830-32.—The Marquis of Blandford's Scheme of Reform.—Strange State of the English Representative System of those Days.—O'Connell's Scheme.—Lord John Russell's "Resolutions" Rejected.—Dearth of Political Caricaturists at this Time.—HB.—Secret of the Success of his "Political Sketches."—His Style a Complete Innovation.—"I'll be your Second."—Unpopularity of the Duke of Cumberland.—"My Dog and my Gun."—Lord John Russell Introduces a Reform Bill.—Second Reading Carried by a Majority of One.—General Election.—Lord John Russell's Second Reform Bill Passes the House of Commons.—Deputation to the Lords.—"Bringing up our Bill."—The Lords Throw it Out.—Lord John Russell again brings in a Bill.—Ministers again in a Minority in the Lords.—Earl Grey tenders certain Alternatives.—Excitement caused by the Opposition of the Lords.—Perplexity of the King.—How he Overcame the Opposition of the Peers.—William IV. as Johnny Gilpin.—The King as Mazeppa and Sinbad the Sailor.—Outrage on the Duke of Wellington.—"Taking an Airing in Hyde Park."—"Auld Lang Syne."—"A Hint to Duellists."—"A Great Subject Dedicated to the Royal College of Surgeons."—Sir Francis Burdett.—"Following the Leader."—"The Dog and the Shadow."—"A Race for the Westminster Stakes."—"A Fine Old English Gentleman."—"Jim Crow Dance and Chorus." pp. 235-253.


Political Sketches of HB. (continued).—Lord John Russell.—"Jonah."—Reduction of the Stamp on Newspapers.—How it was evaded.—Arguments of the Opponents of the Measure.—Hard and Soft Soap versus Newspapers.—Strange Arguments of the Newspaper Proprietors of the Day.—"The Rival Newsmongers."—Brougham Watches for the Door of Preferment being Opened.—"The Gheber Worshipping the Rising Sun."—Made Lord Chancellor.—"A Select Specimen of the Black Style."—A Scene in the House of Lords.—"The Duel that Did Not Take Place."—Dissolution of Parliament in 1834.—Brougham's Royal "Progress" through Scotland.—Annoyance of William IV., who Determines to Get Rid of Him.—"The Fall of Icarus."—"The Vaux and the Grapes."—The Irish Coercion Bill of 1833.—Irish Disaffection which led Up to It.—List of Irish Crimes for One Year.—Scenes between English and Irish Members.—"Prisoners of War."—Good Effects of the Coercion Bill.—Irish Agitators of 1833 and 1883 Compared.—O' Connell and the Irish Peasant.—Unscrupulous Political Conduct of O'Connell.—"The Comet of 1835."—"Doctor Syntax [i.e. Peel] on his Faithful Steed in Search of the Picturesque."—Amazing Number of HB's Political Sketches.—His failings.—His Imitators and their Fate. pp. 254-276.


John Leech.—Birth.—At Charterhouse.—The "Coach Tree."—Early Efforts in Drawing brought to the notice of Flaxman.—Apprenticed to Whittle, an Eccentric Medical Man.—Transfer of Leech's Indentures.—Early Work.—Applies to Illustrate "Pickwick."—Style not Matured till 1840.—An Attack on Dickens.—Attack on "Phiz."—Attack on D'Israeli.—"Bentley's Miscellany."—Joins Punch.—Marriage.—The "Right-hand Man in Punch's Cabinet."—"Illuminated Magazine."—Portraits of Leech in Punch.—Douglas Jerrold and Albert Smith.—Douglas Jerrold and A Beckett.—Leech at a Fancy Ball.—Albert Smith and the Wide-awake Innkeepers at Chamounix.—George Cruikshank Borrowing from Leech.—Influence of Cruikshank on Leech.—The Two Compared.—Abhorrence of Frenchmen.—Mistake in "The Battle of Life." pp. 277-293.


John Leech's Punch Cartoons.—The "Albert" Hat.—O'Connell.—Sir James Graham.—"Peel's Dirty Little Boy."—"How do you Like the New Whig?"—"The Premier's Fix."—"The Railway Juggernaut."—Between Free Trade and Protection Sir Robert Peel falls through.—"Dombey and Son."—Lord Brougham "in order."—Smithfield.—Louis Philippe.—The Year of Unrest, 1848.—French Expedition to Rome.—"A Bright Idea."—General Haynau and Barclay & Perkins' Draymen.—"Joe" Hume.—The "Papal Aggression" Cartoons.—"The Boy who Chalked up 'No Popery' and then Ran Away."—Great Exhibition of 1851.—The Coup d'etat.—The Peace Society.—"The Old 'Un and the Young 'Un."—War with Russia.—Evils of the Purchase System.—Generals Janvier and Fevrier.—"The Return from Vienna."—Incapacity of English Generals.—"Urgent Private Affairs."—"Staying Proceedings."—The Royal Levees.—The French Colonels.—"Religion a la mode."—Fete at Cremorne.—Plots against the French Emperor, and their Consequences.—"Invasion of French Light Wines." pp. 294-314.


Exhibition of Leech's "Sketches in Oil" at the Egyptian Hall in 1862.—What Thackeray said of them.—Gradual Decrease in the Numbers of his Cartoons for Punch.—Overwork.—Goes to the Continent with Mark Lemon in 1862.—"A day at Biarritz."—Returns with no Benefit.—Leech and Thackeray at Evans's in December, 1863.—Thackeray and Leech at Charterhouse on "Founder's Day."—Thackeray at the Wednesday Punch Dinner, 15th of December, 1863.—Death of Thackeray.—Death of Mr. R. W. Surtees.—The Punch Council Dinners.—John Leech a faithful Attendant.—"Moses Starting for the Fair."—John Leech's Illness described.—No Falling off in the Quality of his Designs.—"St. Genulphus."—Starts off for Homburg with Mr. Alfred Elmore.—Death of Thomas Frederick Robson.—His Wonderful Powers Wasted.—Leech goes to Whitby.—Shirley Brooks joins him.—"The Weinbrunnen Schwalbach."—Reminiscences of the Whitby Visit.—Opening of Fechter's Season at the Lyceum.—John Leech at a Party at Mr. W. P. Frith's, 13th of October—At the Weekly Punch Dinner, 26th of October.—Serious Change for the Worse.—His Death.—Shock caused by his Death in London and the Provinces.—His Funeral.—Shirley Brooks' Memorial in Punch. pp. 315-335.


Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz").—Invincible Tendency to Exaggeration.—Charles Lever's Opinion.—Weakness and Attenuation of his Figures.—Compared with John Leech.—Tendency to Reproduce.—All his Heroes closely Resemble One Another.—Charles Lever's Complaint on this Score.—Great Ability of the Artist.—"Ralph Nickleby's Visit to his Poor Relations."—Newman Noggs.—Squeers.—Mrs. Nickleby's Lunatic Admirer.—"Pecksniff's Reception of the New Pupil."—"Pleasant Little Family Party at Mr. Pecksniff's."—"Warm Reception of Mr. Pecksniff by his Venerable Friend."—Quilp and Samson Brass.—Quilp and the Dog.—Mrs. Jarley's Waxwork Brigand.—Capture of Bunsby by Mrs. Macstinger.—"Sunday under Three Heads."—The Jack Sheppard Mania of 1840.—"The Way to the Gallows made Easy and Pleasant."—"Phiz" not a Born Comic Artist.—Excellence in Depicting Graver Subjects.—"The Dombey Family."—"Mrs. Dombey at Home."—"Abstraction and Recognition."—"The Dark Road."—"Carker in his Hour of Triumph."—"Bleak House."—Why Browne suited Charles Dickens's Requirements.—Coolness between Artist and Author.—One of Browne's Finest Illustrations.—Decline of Book Etching.—Browne without an Idea of his Own.—Powerful Assistance rendered to Novelists by Book Illustrators of his day.—Sketches and Studies.—Death of the Artist. pp. 336-354.


Kenny Meadows.—"Portraits of the English."—A Thoroughly Useful Man.—Some Works Illustrated by Meadows.—His Merits Unequal.—His Contempt for Nature.—An Early Illustrator of Punch.—His Illustrated Shakespeare.—Some Excellent Work of Meadows.—His Death.—Robert William Buss.—Recommended to Illustrate "Pickwick" on Seymour's Death.—Etchings Suppressed.—The "Buss Plates" not his at all.—His Paintings.—Lectures on Caricature and Graphic Satire.—Comic Publications which preceded or ran side by side with Punch.—Alfred William Forrester (Alfred Crowquill).—"A General Utility Man."—Crowquill a Caricaturist.—His Talent and Cleverness.—Some of His Paintings.—Charles H. Bennett.—"Shadows."—"Shadow and Substance."—"Origin of Species."—Taken on the Punch Staff.—Early Death.—Theatrical Performances for the Benefit of his Family.—Kate Terry.—Thackeray as a Comic Artist.—Satire on Charles Lever.—Unfitted to Illustrate his own Novels, and why.—His Genius Displayed in Literature not in Art.—Illustrations to "Vanity Fair" Considered.—Anthony Trollope on this Subject. pp. 355-380.


First Work of Richard Doyle.—Receives his Art Training from his Father.—Joins Punch.—The Peace-at-any-Price Party.—The Troubles of 1848.—The Sea-Serpent of Revolution Upsetting the Monarchical Cock-boats.—Lord Brougham.—Richard Doyle's Dream of the Future of Ireland.—The Window Tax.—"Manners and Customs of Ye Englishe."—"The Month" upon Exeter Hall.—Establishment of the Papal Hierarchy in England.—The Causes of Doyle's Retirement from Punch Explained.—Unselfishness of His Conduct.—Ultimate Consequences on his Prospects.—Number of his Punch Illustrations.—Caricatures of Richard Doyle.—"Brown, Jones, and Robinson."—Works Illustrated by Doyle.—Mr. Hamerton's Criticism on his Illustrations to "The Newcomes."—His Death.—John Tenniel.—Joins Punch at the Commencement of Troublous Times.—Death of the Duke of Wellington.—Battle of Oltenitza.—Lord Aberdeen as the "Courier of St. Petersburg."—Lord Aberdeen tries to Hold in the British Lion.—England the Unready.—"Peace" Seated on the Garrison Gun.—Punch's Low Estimate of the Third Napoleon.—An "International Poultry Show."—"The Eagle in Love."—"Playing with Edged Tools."—"An Unpleasant Neighbour."—Louis Closes his Firework Shop "to please Johnny."—Miss Britannia Refuses to Dance again with Louis.—Mr. Tenniel one of the most Versatile of Modern Designers.—Examples of his Graphic Satire.—Notice of his Cartoons Closes with 1864, in Accordance with the Plan of the Work.—His Comic Powers. pp. 381-400.



PAGE A BUZZ IN A BOX Frontispiece From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

GRAND ENTRANCE TO BAMBOOZLEM 81 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

LEAP YEAR; OR, JOHN BULL'S PEACE ESTABLISHMENT 50 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

A PEEP IN THE PUMP ROOM 57 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.


"CREEPING LIKE A SNAIL" 371 From Original Woodblock in possession of the Publishers.

OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER 372 From Original Woodblock in possession of the Publishers.





SAM WELLER AND HIS FATHER 352 Woodcut Reproductions of the Original Sketches.




STREPHON AND CHLOE 11 By Permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.



"SWEARING THE HORNS" AT HIGHGATE 369 Both by permission of Messrs. W. & R. Chambers.







THE ELVES AND THE COBBLER 180 Above six by permission of Messrs. Geo. Bell & Sons.

THE GIN SHOP 184 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

THE OLD COMMODORE 182 By permission of Messrs. Geo. Routledge & Son.

RUSSIAN CONDESCENSION 133 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

A SCENE IN KENSINGTON GARDENS 152 From Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

"A TALL FIGURE HER SIGHT ENGROSSED" 182 By permission of Messrs. Geo. Routledge & Son.



THE WITCH'S SWITCH 175 Above three by permission of Messrs. Geo. Bell & Sons.


JOHN BULL FLOURISHING 99 Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

CUTS FROM "THE UNIVERSAL SONGSTER" 110 By permission of Messrs. Geo. Routledge & Son.





SERJEANT-OF-THE-JUSTICE TAUPIN 8 Above four by permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.








ROYAL AFFABILITY 24 Above seven by permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.

SHAKESPEARE SACRIFICED 12 Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

TWOPENNY WHIST 16 By permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.


MARRIAGE A LA MODE 7 Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Sketch.



THE NON-PAYING AUDIENCE 85 Woodcut Reproductions of the Original Sketches.











TRUMPET AND BASSOON 2 Above six by permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.


A MOUNTEBANK PAINTER 7 By permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.


THE ADELAIDE MILL 213 Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Caricature.

THE DYING CLOWN 233 Woodcut Reproduction of the Original Sketch.


ANGELICA ARRIVES JUST IN TIME 379 By permission of Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co.

BROWN, JONES, AND ROBINSON 392 By permission of Messrs. Bradbury, Agnew & Co.

GRUFFANUFF 378 By permission of Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co.

MARGINAL SKETCHES (2) 375 By permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.


PRINCE BULBO 378 Both by permission of Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co.



"GENERAL COMPLAINT" 11 Both by permission of Messrs. Chatto & Windus.

The author desires to express his sense of obligation to the several publishers who have courteously granted him permission to reproduce drawings, the copyrights of which are vested in themselves; and at the same time to state his regret that other publishers, similarly situated with respect to other works, have not seen their way to render it possible for him to supply specimens of the style of certain artists, two of whom in particular, John Leech and H. K. Browne, must needs be conspicuous by their comparative absence.

Such Caricatures and Book Illustrations as have seemed specially desirable—of which the copyrights have lapsed and no editions are at the present day in print—have been engraved for this work by MR. WILLIAM CHESHIRE.





If you turn to the word "caricatura" in your Italian dictionary, it is just possible that you will be gratified by learning that it means "caricature"; but if you refer to the same word in old Dr. Johnson, he will tell you, with the plain, practical common-sense which distinguished him, that it signifies "an exaggerated resemblance in drawings," and this expresses exactly what it does mean. Any distinguishing feature or peculiarity, whether in face, figure, or dress, is exaggerated, and yet the likeness is preserved. A straight nose is presented unnaturally straight, a short nose unnaturally depressed; a prominent forehead is drawn unusually bulbous; a protuberant jaw unnaturally underhung; a fat man is depicted preternaturally fat, and a thin one correspondingly lean. This at least was the idea of caricature during the last century. Old Francis Grose, who, in 1791, wrote certain "Rules for Drawing Caricaturas," gives us the following explanation of their origin:—"The sculptors of ancient Greece," he tells us, "seem to have diligently observed the form and proportions constituting the European ideas of beauty, and upon them to have formed their statues. These measures are to be met with in many drawing books; a slight deviation from them by the predominancy of any feature constitutes what is called character, and serves to discriminate the owner thereof and to fix the idea of identity. This deviation or peculiarity aggravated, forms caricatura."

As a matter of fact, the strict definition of the word given by Francis Grose and Dr. Johnson is no longer applicable; the word caricature includes, and has for a very long time been understood to include, within its meaning any pictorial or graphic satire, political or otherwise, and whether the drawing be exaggerated or not: it is in this sense that Mr. Wright makes use of it in his "Caricature History of the Georges," and it is in this sense that we shall use it for the purposes of this present book.


Since the commencement of the present century, and more especially during the last fifty years, a change has come over the spirit of English caricature. The fact is due to a variety of causes, amongst which must be reckoned the revolution in dress and manners; the extinction of the three-bottle men and topers; the change of thought, manners, and habits consequent on the introduction of steam, railways, and the electric telegraph. The casual observer meeting, as he sometimes will, with a portfolio of etchings representing the men with red and bloated features, elephantine limbs, and huge paunches, who figure in the caricatures of the last and the early part of the present century, may well be excused if he doubt whether such figures of fun ever had an actual existence. Our answer is that they not only existed, but were very far from uncommon. Our great-grandfathers of 1800 were jolly good fellows; washing down their beef-steaks with copious draughts of "York or Burton ale," or the porter for which Trenton, of Whitechapel, appears to have been famed,[1] fortifying themselves afterwards with deeper draughts of generous wines—rich port, Madeira, claret, dashed with hermitage—they set up before they were old men paunches and diseases which rendered them a sight for gods and men. Reader, be assured that the fat men who figure in the graphic satires of the early part of the century were certainly not caricatured.


In connection with the subject of graphic satire, the names of the three great caricaturists of the last century—Gillray, Rowlandson, and Bunbury—are indispensable. The last, a gentleman of family, fortune, and position, and equerry to the Duke of York, was, in truth, rather an amateur than an artist. Rowlandson was an able draughtsman, and something more; but his style and his tastes are essentially coarse and sensual, and his women are the overblown beauties of the Drury Lane and Covent Garden of his day. George Moutard Woodward, whose productions he sometimes honoured by etching, and whose distinguishing characteristics are carelessness and often bad drawing, follows him at a respectful distance. The genius of James Gillray has won him the title of the "Prince of Caricaturists," a title he well earned and thoroughly deserved. The only one of the nineteenth century caricaturists who touches him occasionally in caricature, but distances him in everything else, is our George Cruikshank.

Commencing work when George the Third was still a young man, Gillray and Rowlandson necessarily infused into it some of the coarseness and vulgarity of their century. With Gillray, indeed, this coarseness and vulgarity may be said to be rather the exception than the rule, whereas the exact contrary holds good of his able and too often careless contemporary. As might have been expected, every one who excites their ridicule or contempt is treated and (in their letterpress descriptions) spoken of in the broadest manner. Bonaparte is mentioned by both artists (in allusion to his supposed sanguinary propensities) as "Boney, the carcase butcher;" Josephine is represented by Gillray as a coarse fat woman, with the sensual habits of a Drury Lane strumpet; Talleyrand, by right of his club foot and limping gait, is invariably dubbed "Hopping Talley." The influence of both artists is felt by those who immediately succeeded them. The coarseness, for instance, of Robert Cruikshank, when he displays any at all, which is seldom, is directly traceable to the influence of Rowlandson, whom (until he followed the example of his greater brother) he at first copied.


Gillray wrought much the same influence upon George Cruikshank. I have seen it gravely asserted by some of those who have written upon him,[2] that this great artist never executed a drawing which could call a blush into the cheek of modesty. But those who have written upon George Cruikshank—and their name is legion—instead of beginning at the beginning, and thus tracing the gradual and almost insensible formation of his style, appear to me to have plunged as it were into medias res, and commenced at the point when he dropped caricature and became an illustrator of books. Book illustration was scarcely an art until George Cruikshank made it so; and the most interesting period of his artistic career appears to us to be the one in which he pursued the path indicated by James Gillray, until his career of caricaturist merged into his later employment of a designer and etcher of book illustration, by which no doubt he achieved his reputation. In answer to those who tell us that he never produced a drawing which could call a blush into the cheek of modesty, and never raised a laugh at the expense of decency, we will only say that we can produce at least a score of instances to the contrary. To go no further than "The Scourge," we will refer them to three: his Dinner of the Four-in-Hand Club at Salthill, in vol. i.; his Return to Office (1st July, 1811), in vol. ii.; and his Coronation of the Empress of the Nares (1st September, 1812), in vol. iv.


As the century passed out of its infancy and attained the maturer age of thirty years, a gradual and almost imperceptible change came over the spirit of English graphic satire. The coarseness and suggestiveness of the old caricaturists gradually disappeared, until at length, in 1830, an artist arose who was destined to work a complete revolution in the style and manner of English caricature. This artist was John Doyle,—the celebrated H. B. He it was that discovered that pictures might be made mildly diverting without actual coarseness or exaggeration; and when this fact was accepted, the art of caricaturing underwent a complete transition, and assumed a new form. The "Sketches" of H. B. owe their chief attraction to the excellence of their designer as a portrait painter; his successors, with less power in this direction but with better general artistic abilities, rapidly improved upon his idea, and thus was founded the modern school of graphic satirists represented by Richard Doyle, John Leech, and John Tenniel. So completely was the style of comic art changed under the auspices of these clever men, that the very name of "caricature" disappeared, and the modern word "cartoon" assumed its place. With the exception indeed of Carlo Pellegrini (the "Ape" of Vanity Fair), and his successors, we have now no caricaturist in the old and true acceptation of the term, and original and clever as their productions are, their compositions are timid compared with those of Bunbury, Gillray, Rowlandson, and their successors, being limited to a weekly "exaggerated" portrait, instead of composed of many figures.

Face p. 5]

But caricature was destined to receive its final blow at the hands of that useful craftsman the wood-engraver. The application of wood-engraving to all kinds of illustration, whether graphic or comic, and the mode in which time, labour, and expense are economised, by the large wood blocks being cut up into squares, and each square entrusted to the hands of a separate workman, has virtually superseded the old and far more effective process of etching. Economy is now the order of the day in matters of graphic satire as in everything else; people are no longer found willing to pay a shilling for a caricature when they may obtain one for a penny. Hence it has come to pass, that whilst comic artists abound, the prevailing spirit of economy has reduced their productions to a dead level, and the work of an artist of inferior power and invention, may successfully compete for public favour with the work of a man of talent and genius like John Tenniel, a result surely to be deplored, seeing there never was a time which offered better opportunities for the pencil of a great and original caricaturist than the present.[3]


It is a common practice, and I may add mistake, with writers on comic artists or caricaturists of our day, to compare them with Hogarth. Both Hogarth and the men of our day are graphic satirists, but there is so broad a distinction between the satire of each, and the circumstances of the times in which they respectively laboured, that comparison is impossible. Those who know anything of this great and original genius, must know that he entertained the greatest horror of being mistaken for a caricaturist pure and simple; and although he executed caricatures for special purposes, they may literally be counted on the fingers. "His pictures," says Hazlitt, "are not imitations of still life, or mere transcripts of incidental scenes and customs; but powerful moral satires, exposing vice and folly in their most ludicrous points of view, and with a profound insight into the weak sides of character and manners, in all their tendencies, combinations, and contrasts. There is not a single picture of his containing a representation of mere pictorial or domestic scenery." His object is not so much "to hold the mirror up to nature," as "to show vice her own feature, scorn her own image." "Folly is there seen at the height—the moon is at the full—it is the very error of the time. There is a perpetual error of eccentricities, a tilt and tournament of absurdities, pampered with all sorts of affectation, airy, extravagant, and ostentatious! Yet he is as little a caricaturist as he is a painter of still life. Criticism has not done him justice, though public opinion has."[4] "A set of severer satires," says Charles Lamb, "(for they are not so much comedies, which they have been likened to, as they are strong and masculine satires), less mingled with anything of mere fun, were never written upon paper or graven upon copper. They resemble Juvenal, or the satiric touches in Timon of Athens."


Hogarth was a stern moralist and satirist, but his satires have nothing in common with the satires of the nineteenth century; such men as the infamous Charteris and the quack Misaubin figure in his compositions, and their portraits are true to the life. Although his satire is relieved with flashes of humour, the reality and gravity of the satire remain undisturbed. The March to Finchley is one of the severest satires on the times; it shows us the utter depravity of the morals and manners of the day, the want of discipline of the king's officers and soldiers, which led to the routs of Preston and Falkirk, the headlong flight of Hawley and his licentious and cowardly dragoons. Some modern writers know so little of him that they have not only described his portrait of Wilkes as a caricature, but have cited the inscription on his veritable contemporary caricature of Churchill in proof of the assertion. Now what says this inscription? "The Bruiser (Churchill, once the Reverend), in the character of a Russian Hercules, regaling himself after having killed the monster Caricatura, that so severely galled his virtuous friend, the heaven-born Wilkes." Hogarth's use of the word caricatura conveys a meaning which is not patent at first sight; Wilkes's leer was the leer of a satyr, "his face," says Macaulay, "was so hideous that the caricaturists were forced in their own despite to flatter him."[5] The real sting lies in the accuracy of Hogarth's portrait (a fact which Wilkes himself admitted), and it is in this sarcastic sense that Hogarth makes use of the word "caricatura."


Turning from Hogarth to a modern artist, in spite of his faults of most marvellous genius and inventive faculty, I frequently find critics of approved knowledge and sagacity describing the late Gustave Dore as a caricaturist. It may seem strange at first sight to introduce the name of Dore into a work dealing exclusively with English caricature art, and I do so, not by reason of the fact that his works are as familiar to us in England as in France, not because he has pictorially interpreted some of the finest thoughts in English literature, but because I find his name so constantly mentioned in comparison with English caricaturists and comic artists, and more especially with our George Cruikshank. Now Gustave Dore is, if possible, still less a caricaturist than our English Hogarth. I have seen the ghastly illustrations to the licentious "Contes Drolatiques" of Balzac cited in proof of his claims to be considered a caricaturist. I will not deny that Dore did try his hand once upon a time at caricature, and if we are to judge him by these attempts, we should pronounce him the worst French caricaturist the world ever saw, which would be saying a great deal; for a worse school than that of the modern French caricaturists (and I do not except even Gavarni, Cham, or Daumier), does not anywhere exist. That this man of marvellous genius had humour I do not for one moment deny; but it was the grim humour of an inquisitor or torturer of the middle ages—of one that revels in a perfect nightmare of terror.[6] Genius is said to be nearly allied to madness; and if one studies some of his weird creations—such, for instance, as The Judgment Day in the legend of "The Wandering Jew"—the thought involuntarily suggests itself that a brain teeming with such marvellous and often morbid conceptions, might have been pushed off its balance at any moment. Gustave Dore delights in lofty, mediaeval-gabled buildings, with bartizans and antique galleries; in steep streets, dominated by gloomy turrets; in narrow entries, terminating in dark vistas; in gloomy forests, crowded with rocky pinnacles; in masses of struggling, mutilated men and horses; in monstrous forms of creeping, crawling, slimy, ghastly horror. By the side of the conceptions of Gustave Dore—teste for instance the weird pictures of "The Wandering Jew" already mentioned—George Cruikshank sinks at times into insignificance; and yet side by side with George Cruikshank, as a purely comic artist or caricaturist, Dore is beneath mediocrity.


Artists and art critics not unnaturally regard caricature with some disfavour. "Art," says Hamerton, "with a great social or political purpose, is seldom pure fine art; artistic aims are usually lost sight of in the anxiety to hit the social or political mark, and though the caricaturist may have great natural facility for art, it has not a fair chance of cultivation." Writing of Cruikshank's "etchings" (and I presume he refers to those which are marked with comic or satirical characteristics), he says: "They are full of keen satire and happy invention, and their moral purpose is always good; but all these qualities are compatible with a carelessness of art which is not to be tolerated in any one but a professional caricaturist."[7] Now all this is true, and moreover it is fairly and generously stated; on the other hand, Mr. Hamerton will probably admit that no artist is likely to succeed in graphic satire, unless he be a man of marked artistic power and invention.

While treating incidentally of the etchings of artists who have distinguished themselves as graphic satirists or designers, with etching itself as an art this work has no concern. For those who would be initiated into the mysteries of etching and dry point, negative and positive processes, soft grounds, mordants, or the like, the late Thomas Hood has left behind him a whimsical sketch of the process, which, imperfect as it is, will not only suffice for our purpose, but has the merit probably of being but little known:—

"Prepared by a hand that is skilful and nice, The fine point glides along like a skate on the ice, At the will of the gentle designer, Who, impelling the needle, just presses so much, That each line of her labour the copper may touch, As if done by a penny-a-liner.

* * * * *

Certain objects however may come in your sketch, Which, designed by a hand unaccustomed to etch, With a luckless result may be branded; Wherefore add this particular rule to your code, Let all vehicles take the wrong side of the road, And man, woman, and child be left-handed.

Yet regard not the awkward appearance with doubt, But remember how often mere blessings fall out, That at first seemed no better than curses: So, till things take a turn, live in hope, and depend That whatever is wrong will come right in the end, And console you for all your reverses.

* * * * *

But the acid has duly been lower'd and bites Only just where the visible metal invites, Like a nature inclined to meet troubles; And behold as each slender and glittering line Effervesces, you trace the completed design In an elegant bead-work of bubbles.

* * * * *

But before with the varnishing brush you proceed, Let the plate with cold water be thoroughly freed From the other less innocent liquor; After which, on whatever you want to protect, Put a coat that will act to that very effect, Like the black one which hangs on the vicar.

Then the varnish well dried—urge the biting again, But how long, at its meal, the eau forte may remain, Time and practice alone can determine: But of course not so long that the mountain, and mill, The rude bridge, and the figures—whatever you will— Are as black as the spots on your ermine.

It is true, none the less, that a dark looking scrap, With a sort of Blackheath and Black Forest, mayhap, Is considered as rather Rembrandty; And that very black cattle and very black sheep, A black dog, and a shepherd as black as a sweep, Are the pets of some great dilettante.

* * * * *

But before your own picture arrives at that pitch, While the lights are still light, and the shadows, though rich. More transparent than ebony shutters, Never minding what Black-Arted critics may say, Stop the biting, and pour the green blind away, As you please, into bottles or gutters.

Then removing the ground and the wax at a heat, Cleanse the surface with oil, spermaceti or sweet— For your hand a performance scarce proper— So some careful professional person secure, For the laundress will not be a safe amateur, To assist you in cleaning the copper.

* * * * *

Thus your etching complete, it remains but to hint That with certain assistance from paper and print, Which the proper mechanic will settle, You may charm all your friends—without any sad tale Of such perils and ills as beset Lady Sale— With a fine India Proof of your metal."[8]


[1] "Nor London singly can his porter boast, Alike 'tis famed on every foreign coast; For this the Frenchman leaves his Bordeaux wine, And pours libations at our Thames's shrine; Afric retails it 'mongst her swarthy sons, And haughty Spain procures it for her Dons. Wherever Britain's powerful flag has flown, there London's celebrated porter's known."

The Art of Living in London (6th edition 1805).

[2] One quotation shall suffice. Mr. William Bates tells us in his admirable "Maclise Portrait Gallery":—"He never transgressed the narrow line that separates wit from buffoonery, pandered to sensuality, glorified vice or raised a laugh at the expense of decency. Satire never in his hands degenerated into savagery or scurrility. A moral purpose ever underlaid his humour; he sought to instruct or improve when he amused." Mr. Bates will, we hope, pardon us if we say that this is not quite the fact. George Cruikshank in truth was no better or worse than his satirical brothers, and his tone necessarily improved from the moment he took to illustrating books.

[3] Since the above was written, strange to say, caricature appears to be showing symptoms of revival.

[4] "The Fine Arts," by William Hazlett, p. 29.

[5] "Critical and Historical Essays," vol. iii., p. 574.

[6] We can scarcely call the wonderful series of historical cartoons which he executed at sixteen caricatures, even in the modern sense of the word. Whatever humour they possess is neutralized by the grim irony which, even at this early period, characterized his work.

[7] "Etching and Etchers," by Philip Gilbert Hamerton, third edition, p. 246.

[8] Thomas Hood's "Etching Moralized," in New Monthly Magazine, 1843, vol. lxvii. p. 4, and seq.




Although Gillray began his work in 1769,—thirty years before our century commenced, and Rowlandson five years later on, in 1774, their labours were continued some years after 1799, and are so interwoven, so to speak, with the work of their immediate successors, that it is almost impossible in a work dealing with nineteenth century caricaturists to omit all mention of them. In collecting too materials for the present treatise, we necessarily met with many anonymous satires, without signature, initials, or distinguishing style, which may be, and some of which are probably due to artists whose pencils were at work before the century began. Even if equal in all cases to the task of assigning these satires to the particular hands which designed and executed them, we submit that little real service would be rendered to the cause of graphic satire. It appears to us therefore that the most convenient method will be to indicate in this and the following chapters some of the leading topics of caricature during the first thirty years of the century, and to cite in illustration of our subject such of the work of anonymous or other artists, for which no better place can be assigned in other divisions of the work.

The attention of the public during the first fifteen years of the century was mainly directed to the progress and fortunes of the great national enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte. The hatred with which he was regarded in this country can scarcely be appreciated in these days; and in order that the cause of this bitter antipathy may be understood, it will be necessary for us to consider Bonaparte's general policy in relation to ourselves.


The close of the century had been signalized in France by the memorable revolution of "the eighteenth Brumaire." The Directory had ceased to exist, and a provisional consular commission, consisting of "Citizens" Sieyes, Ducos, and Bonaparte, was appointed. On the 13th of December, the legislative committees presented the new constitution to the nation, the votes against it being 1,562 as against 3,012,659 in its favour. Bonaparte was nominated first consul for ten, and Cambaceres and Lebrun (nominal) second and third consuls for five years.

Although Bonaparte, as soon as he was appointed First Consul, made direct overtures to the king of England with a view to peace, he had himself to thank if his overtures met with no corresponding return. To accomplish the revolution of the "eighteenth Brumaire," he had found it necessary to quit Egypt. The English knew the French occupation of Egypt was intended as a direct menace to British interests in India. Lord Granville, therefore, in his official reply, without assuming to prescribe a form of government to France, plainly but somewhat illogically intimated that the "restoration of the ancient line of princes, under whom France had enjoyed so many centuries of prosperity, would afford the best possible guarantee for the maintenance of peace between the two countries." This New Year's greeting on the part of Lord Granville put an end, as might have been expected, to all further communications.


The French, however, had no business in Egypt, and England was resolved at any cost to drive them out of that country. With this object in view, the armament under the command of Sir Ralph Abercrombie effected its disembarkation at Aboukir on the 8th of March, 1801. A severe though indecisive action followed five days afterwards. On the 20th was fought the decisive battle of Alexandria. General Hutchinson, on the death of the English commander, followed up the victory with so much vigour and celerity, that early in the autumn the French army capitulated, on condition of being conveyed to France with all its arms, artillery, and baggage. The capitulation was signed just in time to save French honour; for immediately after the conclusion of the treaty, a second British force, under the command of Sir David Baird, arrived from India by way of the Red Sea. Bonaparte's favourite project of making Egypt an entrepot for the conquest of Hindostan was thus most effectually checkmated.[9]

On the 1st of October, 1801, preliminaries of peace between France and Great Britain were signed in Downing Street; on the 10th, General Lauriston, aide-de-camp to the First Consul, having arrived with the ratification of these preliminaries, the populace took the horses from his carriage and drew it to Downing Street. That night and the following there was a general illumination in London.

The "preliminaries" referred to were those of the very unsatisfactory "Peace of Amiens," as it was called. Its terms, by no means flattering to this country, were shortly these: France was to retain all her conquests; while, on the other hand, the acquisitions made by England during the war were to be given up. Malta and its dependencies were to be restored (under certain restrictions) nominally to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; the French were to evacuate Naples and the Roman States; and the British Porto Ferrago, and all the ports possessed by them in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.


All this time a violent paper war had been maintained between the English press and the Moniteur, the official organ of the Consular Government. In the month of August, 1802, Bonaparte prohibited the circulation of the English newspapers, and immediately after the issue of the order, the coffee houses and reading rooms were visited by his police, who carried away every English journal upon which they could lay their hands. By way of answer to English abuse (to which Napoleon was singularly sensitive), the First Consul now established an English newspaper in Paris, which was thenceforth unceasingly occupied in vilifying the Government and people of England. This paper was called The Argus, and an Englishman, one Goldsmith,—whilom proprietor of the Albion newspaper in London,—was actually found mean enough to undertake the peculiarly dirty office of its editor.

The denouement was not long delayed. On the 13th of March, 1803, occurred the extraordinary and well-known scene between the First Consul and the English ambassador, Lord Whitworth. Bonaparte, in the presence of a numerous and astonished Court, vehemently accused England of breach of faith in not carrying out the provisions of the treaty, by still remaining in possession of Malta. The episode appears to have been of an extraordinary character, and the violence and ferocity of Bonaparte's language and behaviour, maintained till the very close of the interview, must have contrasted strangely with the coolness of the English ambassador.

The restoration of Malta to the Knights of St. John was of course a mere nominal restitution, for, except in name, the Knights of St. John had ceased to exist. The First Consul really wanted the island for himself; and while he accused us of breach of faith, was himself acting all the while contrary to the spirit of the treaty of Amiens. While requiring that we should drive the royalist emigrants from our shores, he demanded that the English press should be deprived of its liberty of speaking in such frank terms of himself and his policy. His unfriendly conduct did not end here. At this very time he was actively employed in fomenting rebellion in Ireland, and in planting (under the nominal character of consuls) spies along our coast, whose treacherous objects were accidentally discovered by the seizure of the secret instructions issued to one of these fellows at Dublin. "You are required," said this precious document, "to furnish a plan of the ports of your district, with a specification of the soundings for mooring vessels. If no plan of the ports can be procured, you are to point out with what wind vessels can come in and go out, and what is the greatest draught of water with which vessels can enter the river deeply laden."

Still there was no actual breach of the nominal peace between the two countries until the 12th of May, on which day Lord Whitworth left Paris. He landed at Dover on the 20th, meeting there General Audreossi, Napoleon's minister to the English Court, on the point of embarking for France.


For two days before, that is to say on the 18th of May, 1803, England had issued her declaration of war against France. In this document, our government alleged that the surrender of Malta to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem had been rendered impossible by the action of France and Spain, who had destroyed the independence of the Order itself. Reference was made to Bonaparte's attempts to interfere with the liberty of the English press, and the indignities he had offered to our ambassador; but the real ground of quarrel was to be found in an official gasconade of Bonaparte's, in which he declared that "Britain could not contend single handed against France," a vainglorious boast, which (in those days at least) touched a chord which thrilled the patriotic feelings of every Englishman that loved his country.

Napoleon's next step—a simply detestable action—was quite in accordance with the faithless policy which he pursued towards this country. The treaty of Amiens had induced crowds of English to cross the Channel, and on the specious pretext that two French ships had been captured prior to the actual declaration of war, he issued a decree on the 22nd of May, 1803, for the arrest and imprisonment of all Englishmen in France, over eighteen and under sixty years of age, all subjects of the king of England between those ages being considered, for the purpose of this outrageous order, as forming part of the English militia. This measure was carried out with the utmost rigour, and the eleven thousand English who thus became prisoners of war were deprived of their liberty fifteen years, and regained it only in 1814.

Face p. 16.]


The feeling of the nation at this time may be judged by the debates in the Houses of Parliament. In the Commons, Mr. Grey moved an amendment, which, while it assured His Majesty of support in the war, expressed disapprobation of the conduct of Ministers. This amendment was rejected by 398 to 67. The unanimity in the Lords was still greater. The official statement that England was unable to contend single-handed with France produced a violent outburst of indignation, and the amendment moved by Lord King, to omit words which charged France with the actual guilt and responsibility of breaking the treaty, was negatived by 142 to 10. This was on the 23rd of May. On the 20th of June a great meeting was held at Lloyds, for the purpose of promoting a subscription for carrying on the war. Six days later on, five thousand merchants, bankers, and other persons of position met at the Royal Exchange, and unanimously agreed to a declaration which expressed their determination to "stand or fall with their king and country." This resolution or declaration was seconded by the Secretary to the East India Company, and the meeting did not separate until "God save the King" and "Rule Britannia" had been sung, and nine cheers had been given for England and King George. On the 26th of August, His Majesty reviewed the London volunteers in Hyde Park, in the presence of the French princes, General Dumouriez, and two hundred thousand spectators; this military spectacle being followed on the 28th by a review, in the same place, of the Westminster, Lambeth, and Southwark corps. The number of volunteers actually enrolled in the metropolis and outparishes at this time was forty-six thousand.

The following year saw the final end of the great French Revolution; the names of the puppet "second" and "third" consuls had been long omitted from the public acts of the French Government. The motives of this omission were soon abundantly apparent; and in the month of May, 1804, Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French.

Some writers have doubted whether Napoleon entertained any serious intention of invading this country; but to doubt such intention would be really to doubt whether Nelson fell at Trafalgar, for that crushing defeat was simply the sequel and outcome of the collapse of the emperor's plans. The details of the invasion scheme were fully explained to General Sir Neil Campbell by Napoleon himself at Elba, in 1814, and afterwards confirmed by him in precisely similar terms to O'Meara at St. Helena. Those plans were defeated by the suspicions and vigilance of Lord Nelson; by his habit of acting promptly upon his suspicions; by the alacrity with which the Admiralty of the day obeyed his warnings; by the prescience of Lord Collingwood; and by the consequent intercepting of the combined French and Spanish fleets off Ferrol by Sir Robert Calder, in July, 1806. The moment this happened, Napoleon saw that his game—so far at least as England was concerned—was at an end; and fertile in resources, he immediately carried out the second part of his programme. Then followed, as we know, the campaign of Austerlitz, the treaty of Presburg, the war with Prussia, and finally the battle of Jena, in October, 1806.


Ever bent on humiliating and crippling the resources of England, Napoleon on the 1st of November, 1806, issued his memorable "Berlin Decree," containing eleven clauses, of which this country formed the exclusive topic. By it, all trade and correspondence with the British Isles was prohibited; all letters and packets at the post office, addressed to England, or to an Englishman, or "written in English," were to be seized; every subject of England found in any of the countries occupied by French troops or those of their allies, was to be made prisoner of war; all warehouses, merchandise, and property belonging to a subject of England were declared lawful prize; all trading in English merchandise forbidden; every article belonging to England, or coming from her colonies, or of her manufacture, was declared good prize; and English vessels were excluded from every European port.[10] This outrageous "decree" Bonaparte imposed upon every country that fell under the iron sway of his military despotism.


The policy, therefore, of the emperor towards England, which was contrary to all the usages of civilized warfare, will explain the bitter animosity with which he was regarded in this country. The English were molested everywhere; they were made prisoners at Verdun and in Holland; their property was confiscated in Portugal; Russia was cajoled, Prussia forced into a league against them, and Sweden menaced, because she persisted in maintaining her alliance with this country. The "Berlin Decree" was an infamous document, worthy rather the policy of a bandit chief than of a fair and honourable antagonist. It proclaimed war not against individuals, but against private property, and specially appealed to the cupidity of those to whom it was addressed. This base policy towards English subjects recoiled inevitably against its perpetrator; and its effects were soon felt in the fields of the Peninsula, the banishment to Elba, and above all, in the final consignment to the rock of St. Helena. We, on our part, ignored Bonaparte's right to the title of emperor. With us, he was invariably "General Bonaparte," and nothing more; and in the graphic lampoons of Gillray, Rowlandson, and Cruikshank, he was exhibited under the most ludicrous circumstances in connection with the divorce, the defeats of Russia and the Peninsula, and even the paternity of his son the young king of Rome. These caricatures were brought to his notice by his spies and emissaries in England; they rendered him furious; and one of them—Gillray's admirable and, as it subsequently proved, prophetic satire of The Handwriting on the Wall—is said to have given him not only offence, but even serious uneasiness.

The tone of the English caricaturists may be gathered from one of the best of Woodward's satires, published in 1807. It is entitled A Political Fair, in which the various shows are labelled Russian, Danish, Swedish, Westphalian, Austrian, Dutch, Spanish, and even American. The best show in the fair is kept of course by John Bull & Co., whilst Bonaparte is the proprietor of a humble stall, whereat gingerbread kings and queens are sold wholesale and retail by his Imperial Majesty.[11] The same artist, in another but distinctly inferior satire (published in November, 1807), gives us The Gallick Storehouse for English Shipping: on one side we see Napoleon accumulating vast stores of Spanish, Danish, Dutch, and Swedish vessels, intended to annihilate the naval power of England—the shipbuilder, however, shrugs his shoulders and suggests it is but time thrown away, for as fast as the ships are built, John Bull "claps them into his storehouse over the way." The satire was suggested of course by the victory of Trafalgar in October, 1805; by Sir J. Duckworth's capture of French shipping in January, 1806; and by the surrender of the Danish fleet after the bombardment of Copenhagen, in September, 1807.[12]


In a caricature published by Walker in 1808, we see Joseph Bonaparte (one of these Imperial ginger-bread monarchs) driven from Madrid by Spanish flies; the satire is entitled Spanish Flies, or Boney taking an Immoderate Dose, and has reference to the results of the Battle of Baylen, in Andalusia, one of the very few victories ever obtained by the Spaniards against the French, where a division of 14,000 men surrendered to Castanos. This was on the 20th of July, and nine days afterwards Joseph retreated to Burgos with the crown jewels. The wretched Spaniards, however, were incapable of improving their victory; and General Castanos instead of following up the retreating enemy, went to Seville to fulfil a vow he had made of dedicating his unexpected victory to St. Ferdinand, on whose tomb he deposited the crown of laurel presented to him by his grateful countrymen. Of the Bonaparte caricatures of this year, no less than nineteen are due to the pencil of Thomas Rowlandson, and will be found fully described in Mr. Joseph Grego's exhaustive work[13] upon that artist and his works.

The year 1809 witnessed the divorce from Josephine, and the marriage of the emperor to Marie Louise. The purposes for which this matrimonial alliance was effected were made no secret of by the emperor, and were indicated of course in the plainest possible terms by the English contemporary caricaturists, who were certainly not troubled with any unnecessary scruples of prudery or delicacy. One of these satires, published by Tegg, on the 16th of August, 1810, is entitled Boney and his New Wife, or a Quarrel about Nothing, and indicates in the plainest possible terms that the purposes for which the divorce had been effected were as distant as ever. The result of this union, however, was the birth of the young king of Rome on the 20th of March, 1810, an event which set the pencils of our pictorial satirists once more in motion, and the young heir and his father were complimented by Rowlandson in a rough caricature, published by Tegg on the 9th of April, 1811, as Boney the Second, the little Babboon [sic] created to devour French Monkies.


In March, 1811, was fought the battle of Barossa; while the same month Massena, finding it difficult to maintain his army in a devastated country, instead of fulfilling his vain-glorious boast of driving "the English into their native element," began his own retreat from Santarem, abandoning part of his baggage and heavy artillery. Marching in a solid mass, his rear protected by one or two divisions, he retired towards the Mondego, preserving his army from any great serious disaster, though watchfully and vigorously pursued by Lord Wellington. The skilful generalship of the French marshal elicited of course no encomiums from the English caricaturists. On the contrary, we see (in "The Scourge" of 1st May, 1811) Wellington in the act of basting a French goose before a huge fire, a British bayonet forming the spit. While basting the goose with one hand, the English general holds over the fire in the other a frying-pan filled with French generals, some of whom—to escape the overpowering heat—are leaping into the fire; another British officer (probably intended for General Graham) blows the flames with a pair of bellows labelled "British bravery." Napoleon appears in a stew-pan over an adjoining boiler, while we find Marshal Massena himself in a pickle-jar below. This satire is entitled, British Cookery, or Out of the Frying-pan into the Fire.


The star of Napoleon was beginning to wane in 1812. The snow made its first appearance in Russia on the 13th of October of that year, and the French emperor already commenced his preparations for retreat. This is referred to in a very clever caricature published by Tegg on the 1st of December, 1812, wherein we find General Frost shaving Boney with a razor marked "Russian steel." Napoleon stands up to his knees in snow, and out of the nostrils of the snow fiend [General Frost] issue blasts labelled "North," "East," "Snow," and "Sleet." Seven days later on, we meet with a roughly-executed cartoon, Polish Diet with French Dessert, wherein we see Napoleon basted by General Benningsen, the spit being turned by a Russian bear. This caricature, no doubt, has reference to the disastrous defeat by Benningsen of the French advanced guard, thirty thousand strong, under Murat, on the 18th of October, 1812, when fifteen hundred prisoners, thirty-eight cannon, and the whole of the baggage of the corps, besides other trophies, fell into the victors' hands.

The retreat from Moscow is referred to in a satire published by Thomas Tegg on the 7th of March, 1813, labelled, The Corsican Bloodhound beset by the Bears of Russia; wherein Napoleon is represented as a mongrel bloodhound with a tin kettle tied to his tail, closely pursued by Russian bears. Various papers are flying out of the kettle, labelled "Oppression," "Famine," "Frost," "Destruction," "Death," "Horror," "Mortality," "Annihilation." "Push on, my lads," says one of the pursuers. "No grumbling; keep scent of him; no sucking of paws this winter, here is food for the bears in all the Russias." The emperor, in truth, had the narrowest escape from being made a prisoner by the Cossacks, a fact alluded to in another caricature published by Tegg in June, 1813, entitled, Nap nearly Nab'd, or a Retreating Jump just in time. Here, the emperor and one of his marshals are depicted leaping out of window, at the very moment when a Cossack with his lance appears outside the palings. "Vite," says the marshal, in the peculiar patois adopted by the English caricaturists of the early part of the century, "Courez, mon Empereur, ce Diable de Cossack, dey spoil our dinner!!!"


Napoleon collected his marshals around him at Smorgoni, on the 5th of December, 1812, and dictated a bulletin which developed the horrors of the retreat, and explained to them his reasons for returning to Paris. "I quit you," he said, "but go to seek three hundred thousand men." He then proceeded to lay the blame on the King of Westphalia, and his trusted and tried friend the Duc d'Abrantes; alleged that English torches had turned Moscow into a heap of ashes; and added (with greater truthfulness) that the cold had done the rest of the mischief. He entrusted the command to Murat, and bidding them farewell set out, accompanied only by Generals Coulaincourt, Duroc, and Mouton, the Mameluke Rustan, a captain of the Polish lancers, and an escort of Neapolitan horsemen. This event is referred to in a caricature, published by S. W. Fores on the 1st of January, 1813, entitled, Boney returning from Russia covered with Glory, leaving his army in comfortable winter quarters. Napoleon and Coulaincourt are seated in a sleigh driven by another general in jack boots, with a tremendous cocked hat on his head, a huge sword by his side, and a formidable whip in his hand. Coulaincourt inquires, "Will your Majesty write the bulletin?" "No," replies Napoleon; "you write it. Tell them we left the army all well, quite gay; in excellent quarters; plenty of provisions; that we travelled in great style; received everywhere with congratulations; and that I had almost completed the repose of Europe" (a favourite expression of his). By way of contrast to these grandiloquent phrases, the eye is attracted to the surroundings. The ground is thickly coated with snow; in the foreground, two famished wretches cut and devour raw flesh from a dead horse. On all sides lie dead and dying men and animals, while in the distance we behold the flying and demoralized troops chased by a cloud of Cossacks. The English caricaturists follow the emperor into the sanctity of his private life; they depict in their own homely but forcible fashion the astonishment of the empress at his unexpected return, and the disgust of young "Boney the Second," who not only expresses surprise that his imperial sire had forgotten his promise to "bring him some Russians to cut up," but suggests that they seem to have "cut him up" instead. These incidents are described in a satire entitled, Nap's Glorious Return; or, the Conclusion of the Russian campaign, published by Tegg, in June, 1813.

The crushing defeat of Vitoria, the crowning disaster of Leipzig—sustained the same year, the subsequent abdication of Bonaparte, the return from Elba, the brief incident of the "hundred days," the catastrophe of Waterloo, and the subsequent consignment of the great emperor to St. Helena, form of course the subjects of a host of graphic satires. Foremost amongst them (for Gillray's intellect was gone), must be mentioned the caricatures of Thomas Rowlandson and of George Cruikshank. The first being fully described in Mr. Grego's work, we are not called on to mention them here, while the last will be fully set out when we come to treat of the caricature work of George Cruikshank.

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