A satire on Birmingham & Radicalism, especially on the Church-rate riots near St Martin's Church.
Thomas Attwood, dressed as an extremely prosperous banker, which he was, leads a bear (George Frederick Muntz) holding a pole with a cap of Liberty and a monkey, Whilst Non-conformists attempt to demolish St. Philip's Church. The foreground contains bags of money and brass buttons for use of currency.
Attwood (1783-1859) was a Radical Tory and banker who founded the Political Union to call for Reform. His Proto-keynesian theories on monetary supply were considered highly unorthodox. He was one of the first Two Members of Parliament for Birmingham. Muntz (1794-1857), a fellow Radical Tory who was member from 1841-1857, and a metallurgist who produced a new brass alloy, now best remembered as a plating for wooden-walled ships. Birmingham, as an unincorporated town was a centre for religious dissenters, who found Church rates offensive and at a meeting in March 1838 he and Edmunds demanded an audit of the Vestry's— the body responsible for the Church rates—books: their conduct lead to a riot and the indictment of Muntz. He was acquited but not awarded his costs of £2,000. George Edmonds was a radical book-seller.
St Martin's, where the riot took place, was the ancient Parish Church of Birmingham, but Thomas Archer's Baroque Church of St. Philip, now the Cathedral, was better-known to the outside world.
Antique Prints, Satire, Humour, etc.