A Venomous Viper Poisoning the R_L Mind.


George Cruickshank (1792 - 1878)

Very rare caricature satirising the Princess Regent and Lady Douglas in the matter of the ‘Delicate Investigation’. The Regent sits on the end of a couch, legs astride, holding on his lap Lady Douglas whose (naked) body terminates in a … Read Full Description

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S/N: SATIRE-BM-12029–222080
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Full Title:

A Venomous Viper Poisoning the R_L Mind.




George Cruickshank (1792 - 1878)


In good condition.


Original hand coloured etching

Image Size: 

x 240mm
A Venomous Viper Poisoning the R_L Mind. - Antique Print from 1813

Genuine antique



Very rare caricature satirising the Princess Regent and Lady Douglas in the matter of the ‘Delicate Investigation’.

The Regent sits on the end of a couch, legs astride, holding on his lap
Lady Douglas whose (naked) body terminates in a long serpent which coils
fantastically across the design. A piece of tartan drapery swirls from
her shoulders. She has a handsome profile, but fangs issue from her
lips; her left arm is round the Prince’s shoulders: she emphasises her
words with her right forefinger: “I will swear she told me that she got a
bedf llow [sic] whenever she could. that nothing was more
Wholesome—that she was pregnant—and the P— should have the Credit of it:
she did what she Liked had what bedfellow she Liked & the P— paid
for all.”

The Prince takes a large goblet from a table (right),
spilling its contents; he says: “That’s D—d good!! we’ll have an
Indelicate investigation; take another Glass upon the strength of it.”
Sir John Douglas, hiding behind the couch, raises his head and shoulders
to say to his wife: “I’ll swear to that, or any thing else; so help me
Bob.” He wears a tam-o’-shanter and a tartan coat, and has coarse
burlesqued features. On the table by the Regent is a large decanter
labelled ‘Curacoa’, and a dish of fruit, grapes, pine-apple, &c. A
bottle lies at his feet, spilling its contents. Outside a large window
draped with a curtain behind which Douglas is sheltering, is seen a
woman (Lady Douglas) standing in the pillory. She is closely confined,
and seems ‘in extremis’, under a shower of mud, eggs, cats, &c.,
from the surrounding crowd. Above her is a placard: ‘An Exalted
Situation, suited to the detestable Crime of Wilful & Corrupt Perjury’.

Lady Charlotte Douglas

Wife of Gen Sir John Douglas; witness against the Princess of Wales in the ‘Delicate Investigation’

George IV, King of the United Kingdom

George IV; Prince Regent

Sir Major-General John Douglas

Husband of Lady Charlotte Douglas, witness against the Princess of Wales in the ‘Delicate Investigation’.


George Cruikshank (1792-1878)

Cruikshank was one of the most prolific illustrators and satirical artists
working in England and often referred to as the ‘modern Hogarth’. Born in
London, a member of the Cruikshank family of caricaturists and artists. His
father Isaac was a well-known engraver and caricaturist who taught him etching,
watercolour and drawing.

In 1811 while George was still in his teens, he gained popular success with
his series of political caricatures that he created for the periodical, The
, a Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly. This
publication lasted until 1816, during which time Cruikshank came to rival James
Gillray, the leading English caricaturist of the preceding era. In fact,
because their style was so similar as to be indistinguishable, Cruikshank was
employed by Hannah Humphrey, James Gillray’s publisher and landlady, to finish
plates Gillray was too ill to complete.

In the 1820’s, Cruikshank began his book illustration period of his career
with his most famous being for Charles Dickens’s Sketches by Boz (1836)
and Oliver Twist (1838).

In the 1830’s he began campaigning against the abuses of alcohol, especially
gin. In 1847 he renounced all alcohol and became an enthusiastic supporter of
the Temperance Society in Great Britain. Cruikshank produced a long series of
pictures and illustrations, pictorial pamphlets and tracts for the Society.
Cruikshank’s crusade against the evils of alcohol culminated in The Worship
of Bacchus,
published by subscription and based on the artist’s vast oil
painting of the same name, now in the Tate Gallery in London. George conceived
the idea for the painting during an 1859 weekly meeting of the Committee of the
National Temperance League. He planned a “monumental painting depicting
all phases of drunkenness, from beggar to lord and cradle to grave.” He
began the huge painting in 1860 and completed it in 1862.

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