At the foot is written ‘we three, fools be.’ The character on the left seems to have a jester’s hat on.
On May 13th, 1807, William Wilberforce, Lord Milton, the Hon. Henry Lascelles (afterwards Earl of Harewood), and Mr. Walter Fawkes were nominated as parliamentary candidates in the Castle-Yard at York. This was the first contested election in the seat for 66 years. The struggle was also memorable on account of the vast expense that Lascelles incurred.
William Wilberforce, whose party almost entirely lacked organisation, was head of the poll. There were concerns that Wilberforce allied himself with a candidate whose wealth was based on the slave trade, and he was forced to write to the electors to explain himself. Perhaps it is Lascelles and Wilberforce who are mocked as the electors here.
The caricature has been drawn onto the reverse of a scarce caricature engraving, of “Mr Riley in Solomon”. This is most probably Samuel William Ryley (1759-1837), actor, and author of The Itinerant, or Memoirs of an Actor, 1808. Some marking to the edges. Lower lettering has at some time had a paper slip pasted over it, now detached but with some paste marks. A touch of marking / handling. Overall in very good condition.
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