The Catholic hydra wanting to get loose
Satirical caricature, BM Satires 11870, relating to Lord Donoughmore's motion on 21 April 1812 for a committee to consider the Catholic claims for the removal of their disabilities. It was defeated, by 174 votes to 102 (after a debate that lasted until 5 a.m.). A priest wearing a black biretta stands beside a small enclosure formed of wooden railings, displaying to John Bull a scaly four-footed monster which tries to get out. One of the railings, inscribed 'Wholesome & Necessary Restraint', is fastened with a padlock. The monster looks at John with gaping jaws showing large teeth and barbed tongue - it has savage claws and a long barbed tail. The priest, who is tall and thin, holds out his arms to the monster (at left), turning his head to John (at right), saying, "I say Master Bull let him out a bit, do you see he is become perfectly Harmless, he hurts no body he only wants to Play with the Baa Lambs a bit." John, holding out 'Foxis [sic] Book of Martyrs', answers: "no no Master Preist [sic], we let him Loose some years ago and here's an account of a few of his Gambols with the poor Inocent [sic] Sheep, he does very well where he is, & Looks fat and Harty, his Tongue his Talons & his Teeth seem quite as Sharpe as ever they did & as his Nature is not altered, I be well, persuaded he wou'd play the same game again, do you mind how he looks at the Baa Lambs besides my Measter [Master] has taken almost [sic] Solemn Oath not to Let him Out & would you have me do it when my Measter is so badly that I cannot Ax his permission no no I cant like you for that Measter Priest." In his left hand is the key of the padlock. He is a yokel in smock and gaiters. Behind him at right, sheep are depicted grazing.
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London : M. Jones, 5 Newgate Street, Febury. 1st 1812 .
Formerly held at PD 4543 TC.
Physical description: 1 print : hand-coloured etching ; image 16.4 x 22.9., on sheet 30.5 x 24 cm..
Citations/References: Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, Volume 9, No. 11846 by Mary Dorothy George.
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Reproduction rights owned by National Library of Ireland.