William Heath Caricature Duke of Wellington Lady Jersey


A rare satirical print entitled “Scene in the Island of Jersey| Morning – Scene in the Duchy of Lancaster| Night”, parodying the then Prime Minister and 1st Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley.

Published by Thomas McLean of 26 Haymarket, London, the caricature portrays Wellington pursuing two of his female friends in a single day. Advancing on Lady Jersey, she remains uninterested, replying “my heart bleeds only for my persecuted friends of the true church in Ireland.”

The print is both an allusion to his womanising tendencies and the unpopularity of his Roman Catholic Relief act of 1829. It almost seems to suggest that one was a consequence of the other, that his weakness for beautiful women, lead to his political reform in Ireland.

The cartoon is the work of William Heath (1794–1840), who frequently satirised the Duke’s political career. Whether this was the consequence of a personal distaste, or the simple fact that the Duke was a rich vein to mine, remains to be seen.

The condition of the print is very good, having been backed and mounted with cellophane. A curious red ink stamp, possibly the previous collectors, appears on the back of the print. An inscription at the top of the print reads, “I’m sorry to intrude, but some dirty rogue has lately been copying my caricatures, robbing us of our ideas and just profit – may I ask of my friends not to purchase unless they see the publisher T.Mcleans name at the bottom – all others are copies.”

Size of Caricature: 36.5 x 25cm
Size: 48 x 41cm