THE DERBY FAVORITE, A LITTLE AMISS! Materials:
lithograph Production person:
Print made by John Doyle (HB) Printed by: A Ducôte Published by: Thomas McLean Production place:
Published in London, 26 Haymarket Date: August 6, 1840 Schools/Styles:
Description No. 648. Two men standing at left (Sir Robert Peel, Duke of Wellington), talking to a horse groom, standing at centre (Sir James Graham), about the chances of recovery of a horse, with a man's face, standing at right (Lord Stanley); at far left, a broom with a man's face (Lord Brougham).
Inscription Content: Series title and number at top right; initialled by artist; lettered within image with three speech balloons, and below with title and publication details: 'Published, August 6th: 1840, by T. Mc: Lean, 26, Haymarket. / A. Ducotè Lithogr. 70. St. Martin's Lane.'.
With eye-shaped blindstamp at bottom left, lettered with 'Subscribers copy' and HB's monogram at centre.
Text from 'An Illustrative Key to the Political Sketches of H.B.', London 1844:
The Derby favorite, or in sporting phrase, the favorite for the Derby, is, of course, Lord Stanley, the eldest son of the Earl of Derby. His Bill to amend the system of registering votes in Ireland, threatened at its commencement to prove the destruction of the Ministry, and the successive majorities obtained by his Lordship in divisions upon the Bill in its early stages, led to a belief that it would certainly pass the House of Commons; but the unscrupulous opposition given to it by Mr. O'Connell, created so much delay, that Lord Stanley, unwilling to press too hardly on his party, by keeping Members in constant attendance to the end of the session, gave up the Bill in something like disgust, announcing at the same time his intention to resume it next session.
The Derby favorite is, therefore, here exhibited as having broken down; his off fore leg, on which is a bandage inscribed Irish Registration Bill, has given way, and consequently he is, in the language of the turf, "a little amiss." His groom, Sir James Graham, speaks with confidence of his speedy and perfect recovery, but the Duke of Wellington, having much more experience in such cases, predicts with certainty the irreparable nature of the injury. Sir Robert Peel hints that the accident is in some measure owing to the impetuosity of the "favorite's temper."
Having completed the composition of the picture, H.B. appears to have indulged a whim, which perhaps was an after-thought, and presented itself in a manner so tempting that he could not resist it. That invariable inmate of a stable, a birch-broom, stands in the corner, and H.B. has been pleased to give it the exact likeness of a certain ex-Chancellor in his robe and band.
"How art thou fallen, once so honoured broom! To what vile purposes now come!"
Portrait of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Portrait of Sir Robert Peel
Portrait of Sir James Robert George Graham
Representation of Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Representation of Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux