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The End of the Irish Farce of Catholic Emancipation


Caricature by James Gillray

The original was published by Hannah Humprhey in 1805. This handcolored and engraved copy was printed one year later (1806) in this reduced size version for the publication London and Paris.


According to the New York Public Library, which owns a copy of this work, Gillray was a vehement anti-Catholic. Such prejudice was so widespread in early19th century England, that Catholic men could not hold public office and in many cases not even allowed to vote.


The subject of this print is the 1805 "Irish Petition for Catholic Emancipation" which was defeated in Parliament.


Gillray shows supporters of the motion knocked over by a blast of wind from the lips of Prime Minister William Pitt, Home Secretary Lord Hawkesbury (Robert Jenkinson), and former Prime Minister Addington (all seen on the left).


The supporters of the petition, in bishops robes Petition,” are swept of their feet. A banner in the French tricolor implies a behind the scenes move by France. The group tries in vain to reach St. Peter, who stands beside a door opened to “Popish Supremacy.”


Below the print are verses from Milton's paradise lost: "And now St. Peter at heaven's wicket seems to wait them with his kesy & now at foot of heavens ascent they lift their feen when a violent erofs of wind from eithe rcoast blows them transverse ten thousand leagues awry into the devious air..."


James Gillray was a conservative - a supporter of William Pitt and the Tories, and his engravings were critical of the Whigs and of the Radicals.

Gillray's work was recently the subject of an exhbitition at London's Tate Gallery.



Dimensions: 12 X 9.5 inches (image size)


Condition: Some of the border of the sheet has been cut, but there is still a good 1 inch border all around.



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