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Gillray Galleries:

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1779 — 1788

1788 — 1793

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2008

 

 
 

James Gillray Gallery: 1779 - 1788

 

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PADDY on HORSE-BACK

 

Wright & Evans Description | British Museum Description

   
 
 


Engraving from the 1851 Bohn edition
Originally Published March 4, 1779
13 3/8"w x 8 7/8"h

               
 
 

Wright and Evans Description (More ...)

1 PADDY ON HORSEBACK.
March 4th, 1779

During the year 1779, the trade of the Irish merchants was in a very depressed state, owing partly to the American war, and an outcry was raised for new commercial regulations for the relief of the sister island.

The Irish, indeed, seemed inclined to imitate the proceedings of the merchants of Boston. The consequence was, that the question of relief for Ireland was very much agitated in England.

This early production of Gillray seems to refer partly to the question thus agitated, and to the popular notion then prevalent that the Irish came into England as successful fortune-hunters, and that they were well received among the ladies.

   
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British Museum Description by M. Dorothy George (More ...)

5605 PADDY ON HORSE-BACK
Publishd March 4th 1779. by W. Humphrey.

An Irishman seated on a bull which is galloping across open country towards London, seen in the distance on the r., St. Paul's being visible. He wears a short jacket and ragged knee-breeches, his legs and feet are bare. His hair is dishevelled and he is urging on the bull with his hat, which is raised in his r. hand. He sits facing the animal's tail, which he holds in his I. hand. From his saddle-bag appear books: St. Pat . . and New System of Fortune Hunting; a paper hangs out of it inscribed with a list of ladies with fortunes, beginning Lady Mary Rotten Rump St. James Square 3o,000£. A sack inscribed Potatoes is tied to the bull in front of the saddle. A milestone shows that it is IIII Miles from [London].

It was an old gibe that Irishmen came to London to make their fortunes by marriage. This attack on the Irish may he connected with the proposals for removing restrictions from Irish trade which were so much opposed by English merchants.

               
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