The reform bill

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Robert Seymour
The reform bill
[London] : [G. Cowie],
wood engraving
70 x 85 mm
Peel 2155
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

Probably detached from one of four issues of Whiggeries and waggeries, London : William Strange, 1834. This publication reprinted wood engravings by Robert Seymour, Robert Cruikshank, and others which had previously appeared-- often with different captions-- in Figaro in London, also published by Strange. The identical image appeared in Figaro in London, no. 28, 1832, with the title The reform mill for grinding the old constitution young.


The Old Constitution, a corpse-like old man, reaches the hopper of 'The Reform Mill' by a ladder (left) whose rungs are "Emancipation", "Test Acts", "A", "B. &c. &c.". His bandaged feet are inscribed "Corrupt", he has crutches: "Sarum" and "Gatton". Brougham and Grey turn the crank of the mill, while John Bull stands on the farther side with a pitchfork. From the spout of the mill slips a young and handsome Britannia, holding up a staff topped by a cap of Liberty.

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