Dishing the Whigs

Dishing the Whigs. Henry E. Doyle (1827-1892). Fun. Text beneath caption: “A pretty dish to set before the Queen!” Dalziel, engraver. Source: Click on image to enlarge it.

Benjamin Disraeli, on the left, and John Bright together hold a dish labeled “Reform Bill” and “Household Suffrage” that contains the heads the Whig opponents of the 1867 Reform Bill. A large spoon with “The Cave” and “5” is tucked into Disraeli’s belt. The Bodleian Library site explains: “Among those depicted [in the platter] are Lord Elcho (1818-1914); Earl Grosvenor (1825-1899) and Lord Dunkellin (1827-1867), alongside Edward Horsman (1807-1876); Robert Lowe (1811-1892) and Sir George, later Lord, Grey (1799-1882). Tucked under Disraeli's belt is a serving spoon, engraved with name of the 'Cave' of Adullam. On its handle is the number '5' — a reference to the new county qualification reduced to encompass £5 leaseholders, which hoped to preserve the Conservative electorate outside the boroughs. In the short term however the measure proved inconsequential. At the general election of 1867 it was in the towns that party were most soundly defeated (see Item 146) - as the Liberals united around Gladstone's call for disestablishment of the Church in Ireland.” Thanks to Jacqueline Banerjee for pointing me to the Bodleian site. —  George P. Landow

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“Dishing the Whigs.” Fun. 5 (24 August 1867): 251. Hathi Digital Library Trust web version of a copy in the University of Minnesota library.

“Item 114, “Dishing the Whigs.” Bodleian Library, Oxford. Web. 9 February 2016.

Last modified 9 February 2016