The Royal joke,- or- Black Jacks delight.

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The Royal joke,- or- Black Jacks delight.
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James Gillray

The Royal joke,- or- Black Jacks delight.


Bohn c. 1850

250 x 350 mm


Originally published 25th. April 1788 A scene in Carlton House. The Prince of Wales, seated in a chair, holds a stout, good-looking lady (Mrs. Sawbridge) across his knees and chastises her with upraised hand; she holds out her arms imploringly. Alderman Sawbridge (right) faces her in profile to the left, playing a fiddle and dancing; from his pocket hangs a piece of music inscribed 'The Reform', a new Motion. On the extreme left Lady Archer stands in profile to the right, holding a driving-whip, and pointing angrily at the injured lady. A little girl (Sawbridge) stands full-face, clasping her hands in horror at the treatment of her mother. Behind are a number of onlookers: a very fat lady in profile to the left is Miss Vanneck. Mrs. Fitzherbert watches, not displeased; Fox, his arm round her shoulder, gazes amorously at her. George Hanger stands in profile to the left. The other figures are less characterized but a profile head (right) resembles Lord Derby. On the wall (right) is part of a three quarter length portrait, the head cut off by the upper edge of the design, inscribed 'Sir G° Van-Ne[ck]'. Beside it is a stag's head on which hangs a man's hat, just above Sawbridge. After the title is etched 'A Hint for a new Reform'. 'Black Jack' is Sawbridge, who was swarthy, and a consistent advocate of Parliamentary Reform. In the background (right) are persons dancing