The political pyramid of our glorious constitution…

Williams, Charles, 1797-1850, engraver

The political pyramid of our glorious constitution in the year of grace 1828 of his Grace I.

Published: [London] : Pubd. Sepr. 1828 by J. Fairburn, Broadway, Ludgate Hill, [Sept. 1828]


A satire on Wellington’s dismissal of the Duke of Clarence. A pyramid built of large stones stands in a open field. At the apex is inscribed the word “King” at the base left “Lords” and right “Commons”. Knelling on either side in his robes is a peer facing a simply dressed M.P. Between them on the ground are the heads of a unicorn and a lion which is being gnawed by a crow and a rat. Wellington in full uniform straddles the two men who support him. Between his legs a plague on the pyramid reads: “Multum in parvo, or the British Constitution formerly consisting of the three estates, King, Lords, Commons, abridged into an elegant extract in one volume!”

Political pyramid: 1 print on wove paper : etching, hand-colored ; plate mark 25.4 x 36.5 cm., on sheet 30 x 39 cm.      Subjects (Library of Congress): Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 1769-1852–Caricatures and cartoons;
William IV, King of Great Britain, 1765-1837; Great Britain. Admiralty; Great Britain–Politics and government–1800-1837; Pyramids; Satires (Visual works)–England–1828; Etchings–England–London–1828.

Lewis Walpole Library new acquisition: July, 2010

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About lewiswalpolelibrary

The Lewis Walpole Library, a department of the Yale University Library since 1980, is an internationally recognized research collection in the field of British eighteenth-century studies. Its unrivalled collection of Walpoliana includes half the traceable volumes from Horace Walpole's famous library at Strawberry Hill and many letters and other manuscripts by him. The Library's book and manuscript collections, numbering over 32,000 volumes, cover all aspects of eighteenth-century British culture. The Library is also home to the largest and finest collection of eighteenth-century British graphic art outside the British Museum; its 35,000 satirical prints, portraits, and topographical views are an incomparable resource for visual material on many facets of English life of the period. Located in Farmington, Connecticut, forty miles north of New Haven and within easy distance of Boston and New York, the Lewis Walpole Library's collections also include drawings, paintings, and furniture, all housed on a 14-acre campus with four historically important structures and extensive grounds. The Library runs an active fellowship program and sponsors conferences, lectures, and exhibitions in cooperation with other Yale libraries and departments.

One thought on “The political pyramid of our glorious constitution…

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review | Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions

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