The Peel Society have added to its collection of engravings which help to illuminate Peel’s political career, by obtaining and displaying five caricatures by William Heath, dating from 1821 to 1830 in the Museum.
William Heath (1794–1840) was a British artist. He was best known for his published engravings which included caricatures, political cartoons, and commentary on contemporary life.
His early works often dealt with military scenes, but from about 1820 on he focused on satire. Some of his works were published under the pseudonym “Paul Pry“.
Heath helped found an early caricature magazines, The Glasgow Looking Glass (renamed to The Northern Looking Glass after five issues).
Heath created a numbered series of political Caricatures between 1830 – 1834 for Mc’Leans Monthly.
1821 Whatever is right. This is the earliest caricature we have. It shows Peel as at the age of 33 and it is also a view of the House of Commons. It also shows how he was opposed to Catholic Emancipation at this time. He was not in ministerial office so looks rather cheeky.
1829 Catholic Emancipation. Shows Wellington and Peel shoving Catholic Emancipation down the throat of John Bull. This adds to the ones we have already but shows the anger of the high Tories.
1829 Robbery by The Police. Again shows Wellington and Peel, who is dressed as a ‘Peeler’ robbing John Bull. This refers to the extra rates to pay for the police.
1830 The new beer tax. This is an interesting contemporary problem faced by Peel and Wellington
1830 The Dumps. Wellington and Peel lost the general election by 18 votes. Nothing changes!