1804 James Gillray A Hint to Young Officers Political Cartoon


A decorative and interesting original humorous political cartoon by James Gillray, titled ‘A Hint to Young Officers’, as well as ‘Vide the Edinborg Chronicle - and the Blessings of a Scotch Dictator'.

It dates from 1804 and was published by Hannah Humphrey in the Edinburgh Chronicle. As opposed to the etching in the National Portrait Gallery, this example is not hand-coloured. It shows Lord Moira, a candle in each hand, standing in the doorway of his house. He wears a dressing-gown in place of a coat and has opened the door to a young officer, who steps forward unsteadily raising his cocked hat. A typical Gillrayesque caricature ugly watchman in Highland dress trudges on, holding his staff and lantern. Below the picture is the text: ‘When loud the Watchman cry'd the Hour And call'd 'till he was hoarse - "Past Twelve o'Clock!” Then down the Lord of the Castle came His Aad-de-Camp to meet - And when his Aid de-Camp he espied All shivering in the Street – “Thou'rt welcome here, dear Aid-de Camp” The generous Noble said “Altho' it is past 12 o'Clock And Servants all in bed Thou'rt welcome here, dear Aid de Camp Put down your Hat & Cane; Walk in & Sup, we'll make it up, But, don't do so Again!” - Parody upon ye Red Cross Knight'.

Moira refers to Francis Edward Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, KG, PC (1754 - 1826), styled The Honourable Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762, as The Lord Rawdon between 1762 and 1783, and known as The Earl of Moira. He gained fame in the American War of Independence. After an abortive attempt to become Prime Minister, instead of Pitt, he became the Commander in Chief of the Forces in Scotland, with the rank of General. Tom Sheridan was for a time his Aide-de-Camp, and the incident related was said to be Moira's attempt to teach him consideration for his servants, exhausted by the young man's late hours.

The print is framed and glazed with a Victorian label, on the reverse, for E & E Emanuel of Portsea.

Size image: 26 x 37.5 cm (10 ¼ x 14 ¾ inches)
Size frame: 35.5 x 48 x 2 cm (14 x 19 x ¾ inches)
Weight: 1305 g