115253_3354887.jpg
115253_3354887.jpg

Details

Satirical print by George Cruikshank entitled: 'Conspirators; or, delegates in council.'
1 July 1817.
Hand-coloured etching published by: S W Fores

On the left sits Sidmouth, faced by informer Reynolds showing Sidmouth a paper listing 'Victims in Ireland’. Beside him is a bag inscribed ‘Blood Money’.

In the centre of the table sit agent provocateurs Castle and Oliver, next to a symbolic green bag containing evidence of sedition gathered (or fabricated?).

At the opposite end of the table are ministers Castlereagh and Canning discussing how they might reward (or exile?) Castle and Oliver.

John Bull looks on in amusement stating: 'Oh! Oh I have found out the Conspirators at last'.

The print exemplifies the deep mistrust that existed between those agitating for reform and the government, who were suspected of fabricating evidence of conspiracy and sedition in the increasingly febrile atmosphere of British popular politics following the hardships faced by the British people at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Suspicion of conspiracy is turned on its head and directed against a government that was seen as increasingly insouciant to the problems of the public. There was, nonetheless, some evidence of more insurrectionary attitudes in the winter of 1816-17, especially around the Spa Fields Meetings (qv).

Geolocation