The Westminster watchman

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The Westminster watchman
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Thomas Rowlandson

The Westminster watchman.

London, 1784 ca. 12th. April


Original hand colouring

170 x 245 mm


Fox, dressed as a watchman, stands full-face, his right hand grasping his staff (inscribed 'Uprightness'), his left on his hip. Over his head is the word 'Liberty'; his lantern stands on the ground beside him sending forth rays inscribed 'Truth'. His dog (left) is 'Vigilance'. Zigzag flashes of lightning among clouds, inscribed 'Ministerial Thunderbolts', threaten him from all sides. In the background (right) two sham watchmen are running off to the right holding staves and dark lanterns, which contrast with that of Fox, which sheds its rays in all directions. The foremost is Sir Cecil Wray in military uniform, saying, "For Chelsea Ho a"; the other wearing a hooded cloak over his naval uniform is Lord Hood saying, "For Greenwich Ho a". They are followed by two dogs. Beneath the design is etched, 'To the Independent Electors of Westminster This Print of their Staunch Old Watchman The Guardian of their Rights and Privileges is dedicated by a gratefull Elector.' This is followed by an engraved inscription: 'N.B. Beware of Counterfeits as the Greenwich and Chelsea Watchmen are upon the look out! B M 6525