Thursday, December 24, 2009

Westminster Hall. The First Day of Term. A Satirical Poem. Engraved by C.Mosley, drawn by Hubert Gravelot (London: Printed by Laurie & Whittle, 1797.)

Depicted here is the interior of Westminster hall during the first day of the term when judges of the different courts take their seats to begin their duties. The satirical poem below not only satirizes British judicial system but guides us through some of the characters portrayed in the engraving. Thus we see a figure offering money to one of the “Wreathock’s” gang in order to procure a false witness. The poem alludes to William Wreathock, a notorious solicitor who was known for masterminding false alibis. At one point he had been sentenced to death for his criminal practices, pardoned and finally disbarred in 1758.

LC28 2.1

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