The. R-g-ncy. park.
London, M. Jones September 1st. 1813
Original hand colouring
278 x 470 mm
Traces of old folds as issued, neat marginal repair.
Animals with human heads are placed singly or in groups in a setting representing the recently formed Regent’s Park, on the north of London, the arrangement being in the manner of a tapestry. The plate illustrates a sequence of verses describing these animals with which the park is supposed to be stocked, appearing in the magazine from Sept. 1813 to Mar. 1814. Facing the plate is a key, the names being limited to initials or to letters interspersed with blanks. A piece of ornamental water stretches across the foreground. On the extreme left, a mermaid, Mrs. Jordan, swims off with a ‘Sea Calf’, the Duke of Clarence; they are the subject of verses on pp. 395-8 (Nov.), in which the Duke is violently attacked as ‘false blubberhead’. In the centre foreground a fat naked woman emerges from the water, holding up a piece of music headed ‘The Soldier Tired’ (see No. 9730), she is ‘Syren’, Mrs. Billington. On the bank near her is a sloth with the head and feathered bonnet of the Duke of Sussex, smoking his long German pipe; they are described in scurrilous verses on p. 465 f. (Dec). Between them swims a swordfish with the head of the Duke of Cumberland, its body decorated by the skull and cross-bones which in caricature adorns his hussar uniform. He is not mentioned in the verses. On the right swims a strange marine creature, ‘M—r C—r’, the Sea Wolf, not mentioned in the verses, and evidently Croker, Secretary to the Admiralty. On the grass immediately behind the water on the extreme left, is a slab, inscribed ‘Political Consistency’, on which stands a cuckoo, Canning, walking off to the left and looking down. He is not mentioned in the verses. A small nondescript dog (not in the key [he perhaps represents the ‘Camelion’, Cobbett, who is in the key, but is not apparently depicted; or this creature may be the mastiff, Ponsonby, in the key, but not elsewhere]) is climbing on to the same slab. Behind Canning are the trunks of trees which fill the left part of the design. A ‘Boa Constrictor’ is coiled round a trunk, its head, that of Liverpool, hangs down, tugging at the corner of a cloth inscribed ‘Elijah’s Mantle’. A wolf, Castlereagh, tugs at the opposite corner; it stands on a paper inscribed ‘Ireland Sold’, in reference to the Union (see Nos. 9514, 9531); he is the subject of verses in Mar. 1814 (vii. 202 f.). Next, and behind the Duke of Sussex and Mrs. Billington, are three animals tugging at three feathers on a dish: a fox, Lord Grenville; a weasel, Lord Grey; a mole, Lord Holland. They are not mentioned in the verses, but the allusion is to their supposed competition for the premiership under the Regency, and their resentment with the Regent on being disappointed, see No. 11855, &c. Behind the mole is a fox-like dog, with its fore-paws on a paper inscribed ‘Libel’, he is ‘Lurcher’, the Attorney-General, Garrow (not mentioned). Next is a dormouse with the profile of Lord Chatham, not mentioned in the verses, but an allusion to his conduct of the Walcheren expedition, see No. 11364. Next, a penguin, the Duke of York, stands erect; he wears a cocked hat and a star. He faces a much larger creature (right), a sphinx with the profile of Mrs. Clarke; one heavy paw grips his breast, the other lies possessively on his marshal’s baton. Beside her is a letter inscribed ‘My dearest Dear’ [see No. 11228, &c.]. (Verses, vi. 183 f., Sept.) Behind the sphinx sits a monkey, chapeau-bras, and turning his head in profile to the right, holding an eyeglass to his eye. He is Skeffington, and has two books beside him: ‘Sleeping Beauty’, see No. 10455, and ‘Lose no Time’, his latest play, Drury Lane, 11 June. (Verses, vii. 40 f., Jan. 1814.) Towards the centre (in depth) of the design, is a group on the left of large figures among trees: ‘the Old Buck’, a stag with the head of the Regent and with fine antlers; lying opposite a smaller stag (right) with the head of Lady Hertford, who regards him amorously. Close behind him is a hyena, with the head of Queen Charlotte, crowned. Behind Lady Hertford, a reindeer (horned beast par excellence), Lord Hertford, walks off, disgruntled. Next, and laterally in the centre of the design, is a goat, seated on its haunches in profile to the right with a star on its side. It has the head of Lord Wellesley; from one horn dangle two empty purses, and a large round miniature with a profile head, inscribed ‘Poll Hazard’ [i.e. Raffle, see No. 11864]. On the other horn is spiked a paper inscribed ‘Times’, in allusion to the letters of Vetus, see No. 12009. He sits on a paper inscribed ‘East Indi . . . Bankrupt’. He is not mentioned in the verses; his debts were notorious. On the right a large hog, Lord Ellenborough, puts his face between the tail of a ferret, Sir Vicary Gibbs, and the head of a ‘Carrion Crow’, Lord Eldon. Gibbs excretes balls inscribed ‘ex officio’, an allusion to ex officio Informations for libel, see No. 11717, &c. Eldon is attacked in verses entitled ‘The Raven’, vi. 306 f. (Oct.). Behind and to the right of the hog is a group filling the upper right corner. A lynx, with the head of Lady Douglas, wearing a Scots cap, and having a gashed and bleeding flank, registers distress. A terrier with a head intended for Brougham, but completely unlike him, watches her. Behind and on the extreme right is a large bull-calf with the profile head of Burdett, lying on a paper inscribed ‘Parliamentary Re[form]’ (cf. No. 11551). Behind this group is a rock in which is the entrance to a cave from which a lion emerges with the head of Whitbread, the largest head in the design, but unrecognizable. Against the rock sits an orang-outang with the head of Norfolk, wearing a ducal coronet and a star; his earl-marshal’s baton is under his arm and he holds a tankard and glass (he is not mentioned). On the extreme right, emerging from trees, are the head and shoulders of a ‘white doe’ with the head of the Princess of Wales, crowned, looking to the left, the heroine of the print. Beside her head is that of Princess Charlotte, ‘the Kidling’. Between this group and the sphinx and monkey are two isolated animals: a ‘Dutch Pug’ (Vansittart), befouling a paper inscribed ‘Catholick Claims’ (not mentioned, cf. No. 12016), and a fighting-cock with the profile head of Coates. The latter holds in a claw a paper inscribed ‘Fair Penitent’ [see No. 11769] while standing on one inscribed ‘Romeo & Juliet’. A fool in cap and bells rides the cock. He is ridiculed in verses, vii. 41 f. (Jan. 1814). In the upper left part of the design, a pendant to the group round the lion, are birds perched on trees. A woodpecker is Lord Glenbervie (his first appearance since No. 9722); an owl wearing a cocked hat and star is Lord Cathcart (see No. 9564), at this time Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia. A pheasant is the Duchess of York, praised for her charities, despite the neglect of the Penguin (p. 399 f., Nov.). A chatterer is unidentified; she looks down from her branch at the Regent, saying, "Howe do you like your new friends my old Buck [cf. No. 11864]." Above these two is a magpie (not in the key, but perhaps the jackdaw, Byron, who is the subject of verses in Jan. 1814). A large bird, not in the key, says "Navy Treasury," and is therefore George Rose. In the centre of the upper edge of the design is a sun inscribed ‘Truth’, whose rays irradiate a ‘golden eagle’, Romilly (right), who forms a pendant (and contrast) to George Rose. Immediately below the sun, and with a background of rays is a rectangular table, on which is a large decanter filled with the face of the Regent. The stopper is a coronet, above the motto ‘Ich Dien,’ from which spring the Prince’s feathers. This object is surrounded by sycophants. The most prominent is a jackal, McMahon (left), putting its fore-paws on the table. It wears a cocked hat from which dangles a purse inscribed ‘P.P.’ [see No. 11874, &c.]; In front of the table a small poodle, Colonel Bloomfield, sits opposite a larger ‘Mongrel Cur’, with a pen behind his ear, wearing clerical bands, and with a baronet’s hand (indicating Sir Bate Dudley) decorating its flank. It sits on a paper inscribed ‘Morning Herald’, on which are crossed duelling pistols; near these are small circles inscribed ‘Cork Bullet’. On the table sits a begging spaniel (not in the key) with the head of Sheridan and the coat and sword of Harlequin (cf. No. 9916). Facing him are two small birds, a kingfisher, Lord Moira, and a titmouse, Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt. McMahon, Sheridan, and Bate Dudley, editor of the ‘Morning Herald’, are the subject of scurrilous verses on pp. 467-71 (Dec). The cork bullets indicate the sham duel between Bate and Andrew Robinson Stoney in 1776, which induced Lady Strathmore to marry Stoney, see No. 7012, &c. For Bate as the Tighting Parson’ see No. 5198, &c. The kingfisher is the subject of verses in Mar. 1814; Moira is said, on account of his debts, to have deserted the Whigs in order to retain the favour of the Regent. A tiny demon stands beside the centre leg of the table which is inscribed ‘Curacoa’. The edge of the table is inscribed ‘Suppers Fetes &c. &c.’ The group at the table is enclosed in a semicircular inscription in large letters: ‘WE • PRAISE • THEE • O • PRINCE • WE • ACKNOWLEDGE • THEE • TO-BE • THE – OLD • BUCK.’