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Slane - when thieves fall out amongst themselves - Hudibras.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    12/10/1830 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (made)
    McLean, Thomas (published)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    printer's ink, paper, etching

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 138, box C

Heath’s caricature presents Sir William Knighton, standing to the left of the composition, and Elizabeth Conyngham, Marchioness Conyngham, seated to the right, amidst an argument regarding the bequest of King George IV. Conyngham had been the mistress of George IV since 1819, and upon his death in June 1830, only a few months prior to the execution of Heath’s caricature, had bequeathed her all of his jewels. There appears to be some dispute over whether it was Conyngham that rejected the bequest, or whether it was in fact Knighton, Keeper of the Privy Purse to George IV, that had prevented Conyngham from appropriating the jewels. Rumours that Knighton and Conyngham were acting is collusion had also been spread.
The argument between Knighton and Conyngham appears somewhat tense. Knighton, standing to the left, leans towards Conyngham with a menacing stance. His left arm rests upon the back of a chair, which he rocks forwards with him, whilst his right arm extends backwards, with his sword on display. Despite Knighton’s attempts, Conyngham does not appear intimidated. Seated in an arm chair, the rotund Conyngham, with an angered frown upon her face, throws her right arm out in a rhetorical gesture. Several money bags are sat by her side, one of which is inscribed with ‘£10-000’. Heath’s caricature plays into the notion that Knighton and Conyngham had been conspiring together, with hopes of gaining the King’s wealth. With her piles of money bags, Conyngham appears to have been far more successful from the plot than Knighton.

Physical description

Etched caricature, with hand colouring, of a man and woman arguing, with the man standing to the left, and the woman seated to the right. Speech is inscribed above both of their heads.

Place of Origin

London (published)


12/10/1830 (published)


Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (made)
McLean, Thomas (published)

Materials and Techniques

printer's ink, paper, etching

Marks and inscriptions

Slane - when thieves fall out amongst themselves - Hudibras.
Title inscribed below image within border

W. Heath
Printmaker's name inscribed in lower left corner, below image and within border

Pub Oct 12 1830 by T. McLean 26 Haymarket - London
Publication line inscribed below image in lower right corner of border

The settling day must come
Inscribed above image within border

But I have not had my share of the swag since we lost that sovereign - and if any questions should be asked_ blister me if I don't snich
Man's speech inscribed in bubble in upper left corner of image

Reason, you rogue, reason: think'st thou, I would endanger my soul gratis? Didst thou not share? hadst thou fifteen pence
Woman's speech inscribed in bubble in upper right corner of image


Height: 238 mm Image, Width: 348 mm Image, Height: 258 mm Plate, Width: 369 mm Plate, Height: 298 mm Sheet, Width: 432 mm Sheet

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

BM Satires 16285




Etching; Hand colouring


Satire; Caricatures & Cartoons; Prints


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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