"SMOKING a PARSON!!"
Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811)
after George Moutard Woodward (1755-1809)
Published by Thomas Tegg (1776-1846)
Etching with original hand colouring
Framed with a verre églomisé mount
24.5 cm x 20.8 cm
Lettered beneath the image with title and publication line: "Woodward del / Cruikshanks S.S. / Published by T. Tegg 111 Cheapside March 10 1807". Top right "No.14"
A grotesque cleric in a tricorne cocked hat, with a white poodle beside him, challenges a pipe smoking and gin drinking woman who is sitting outside a gin shop with "Rich Cordial Gin" written over the doorway and "Old Tom" written on a barrel. The cleric says to her: "Woman - are you not ashamed of yourself to be sitting smoking and drinking in Service time! - do you know who I am woman? - I am the Parson of the Parish." She looks at him contemptuously over her shoulder and blows smoke in his face saying: "More shame for you I say, to be walking about troubling your head with other peoples consarns - when you ought to be in Church Preaching your Sarmunt!!"
The print demonstrates a certain sympathy for the female flouting of male authority and also a healthy disrespect for the churchman who is himself absent from performing his duty, which is probably being performed by a curate, and who is trying to shame people into attending church, which would up his revenues.
Please fill in the information below