The Power and the Parliament

Cromwell’s Symbolic Reichstagsbrand

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Burning ye Rumps at Temple-Barr. Down with the rump parliament. The 1653 symbolic burning of the parliament that in 1648 Cromwell cleaned of its Presbyterian members as a milestone for his further show of power. It then executed Charles I instead of holding negotiations with him and thus rang in the Puritan republic which itself almost turned into a Cromwell monarchy. Place of the event of 20 April the London gate Temple Bar. One of the iconoclasts with the convenant of the Presbyterian Scots in his hands, another one holding up the banner:

Down with the Rumps .

William Hogarth, Hudibras burning Rumps at Temple Bar

Etching with engraving. (1726.) Inscribed: 11 (by the publisher) / W. Hogarth Inv. delin. et sculp. (in the subject border below right) / Burning ye Rumps at Temple Barr. 10⅞ × 20¼ in (27.7 × 51.6 cm).

HUDIBRAS XI. – Nagler 10-11; Hogarth Catalog Zurich, 1983, ills. 11 (2nd state, inscribed “in the subject below left”!). – 6-quatrain caption abridged from Butler’s poem. – Impression on strong paper from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822 (“Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII [1888], 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart [Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”]).


“ is a vulgarized (English) Don Quixote , a dewitted Rabelais ”

(Laaths, Geschichte der Weltliteratur, 1953, p. 375), a “satiric scourge” (Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., III, 693/I) on the politically just sacked Puritanism and the best-known work of its creator esteemed by Charles II,


(Strensham, Worcestershire, 1612/13 – London 1680), as result of his impressions in the employ of Cromwell’s Colonel Sir Samuel Luke, „at which religious and political sects were about” (Meyers). Remaining incomplete the first two parts of the epic were published in 1663/64, a third one in 1678, then, joined, long-lived through the centuries. In three cantos each

“ describing in rough, mostly eight-syllabic songs (later known as ‚hudibrastic verse‘) the loosely connected, grotesque adventures of two Puritans, the knight Hudibras and his shield-bearer Ralpho. Hogarth has engraved two different sets of illustrations to this poem: twelve large, carefully executed engravings he has created on his own, independently of a publisher, and published in February 1726, and seventeen smaller ones which have more the character of woodcuts and presumably done before, but were published the following April only in a poem edition. These follow the course of the action while the large sheets only represent the decisive scenes with an abridgement as legend … Epic and pictures are an antiheroic satire on Puritanism and sectarianism ”

(Margrit Bachofen-Moser in Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, pp. 25 ff. illustrating the large version in partly differing arrangement).

The Hudibras set – Thieme-Becker judge – is “of decisive significance for Hogarth’s development.

Here lies the key to the understanding of the satirist H. ”

(Thieme-Becker XVII [1924], 300/II).

And Austin Dobson in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911 :

“ These (plates Hogarth) himself valued highly, and they are the best of his book illustrations. But he was far too individual to be the patient interpreter of other men’s thoughts, and it is not in this direction that his successes are to be sought … (And generally resuming) If we regard him – as he loved to regard himself – as ‘author’ rather than ‘artist’, his place is with the great masters of literature – with the Thackerays and Fieldings, the Cervantes and Molières. ”

The scenically rich plate

about the practice of power to deal with insubordination .

“ The negotiations the parliament had entered with the (imprisoned) king (Charles I) meanwhile (in 1648) and which were drawing to a close caused new acts of violence by the army after Cromwell was back from Scotland … and in such a way on 6 & 7 December

the parliament had been brought to heel

by expulsion of all Presbyterian members ”

and demoted to the “Rump Parliament”, only

“ to scatter the rest by musketeers ”

five years later for another reason, what is subject of the sheet here, while Cromwell stationed himself at the lead of a new executive board, ergo over the parliament. In which he had already practised eight years ago. Then when in April 1645 for thoroughly given timeless reason he took care of parliamentary integrity, causing resignations, by the so-called

Bill of Self-Denial

according to which

“ no member of parliament

may hold a civil or military post ”

“he himself maintained the command of the mounted troops, the second post in the army, by saving clause”. Nevertheless,

“ but the posterity get to the opinion that C. was one of the most essential founders of England’s greatness and one of the most outstanding statesmen of all times ”

(quotes from Meyers Konvers.-Lex., 4th ed., IV [1880], 344 f.).

Offer no. 14,730 | EUR 390. | export price EUR 371. (c. US$ 448.) + shipping

– – – The same. Engraving by Thomas Cook (ca. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Pl. XI. / Hogarth pinxt. / HUDIBRAS. / T. Cook & Son sc. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, May 1st. 1808. Subject size 4⅜ × 7⅝ in (11.2 × 19.5 cm).

William Hogarth, Burning the Rumps at Temple Bar (Hudibras XI) (Cook small)

Cook „made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too (1795-1803) whose complete work he has reproduced” (Thieme-Becker VII, 1912, p. 348/I) and whose original format he maintained in contrast to all later Hogarth editions, which moreover mostly don’t contain the consequently rarer Hudibras. Several works not published by Hogarth himself had been engraved by Cook for the first time as he then met with approval by a contemporary connoisseur as Maximilian Specht von Sternburg, too. But here present in Cook’s popular later, smaller version with the caption being replaced by the series title. – In contrast to the Hogarth engraving, surely worked in reverse (repeated left-handedness) as in many cases, here in correct sense as known for Cook. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark and this chiefly in the outer part slightly foxed and browned resp.

Offer no. 8,858 | EUR 135. (c. US$ 163.) + shipping

further single sujets from the set available in various qualities

„ die (Ridinger-)Graphiken (Th. 9-12 per 28.885) sind unversehrt … angekommen, herzlichen Dank. Es sind wundervolle Arbeiten, wir sind sehr begeistert … “

(Herr R. G., 30. Dezember 2009)