A fine and important collection of Ulster Wit
Belfast Political Scrapbook, 19th century
A large folio Scrapbook, in marbled boards, by Marcus Ward of Belfast, containing a fine and important collection of over 60 cartoons and lampoons, circa 1830-80, mainly concerning Ulster elections and political controversies, including a group referring to Daniel O’Connell featuring Church-State conflicts (‘Pills for Protestants by The Leading Repealer’; ‘The Derrynane Beagle-Hunt’, ‘O’Connell’s Departure from Belfast’, ‘Dan’s Last Flutter’), etc., also sardonic cartoons and caricatures featuring candidates in various elections, e.g. Lisburn election 1853, Harbour Board election 1857, ‘A Lot of Belfast Jackasses Fond of Scotch ‘Hay’, being fed by a Liberal Candidate’ (1865), Belfast Election 1868, ‘A Calm Judicial Inquiry’ (Portadown 1869), Belfast Election 1974, Belfast Election 1878, General Election 1880, several featuring Gladstone, etc.
There are also posters and mock announcements (‘Grand & Novel Entertainment in the County of Down’, tickets may be had of Guy Fawkes at the Sign of the Three Rats near Comber), poems including ‘Elegy Written in a Country Back-Yard’, ‘A Tale of the Radical Party and its Melancholy Fate’ (1857), ‘The Ballyweaney Boanerges’, a column headed ‘Sale of Lord Pisswick’s Conservative Stud’ with names written in manuscript beside some of the paragraphs; ‘To the No-Bill-I-Tie and Shareholders of the County Down Railway’, and other cartoons and lampoons whose application will be clear to students of the period.
The prints are in various sizes, many around 10 x 14 ins, some larger, mostly on flimsy paper, generally unsigned and with no printer named. They are evidently extracted from contemporary newspapers, many issued as supplements. They are neatly tipped in, and while there is some damage and soiling, condition is generally good. The spine of the volume has been neatly strengthened.
A splendid anthology of sardonic Ulster Wit, probably unique in its range and certainly impossible to duplicate.
As an Album, w.a.f. (1)