Monday, 6 November 2017

Cartoon 3. Explaining the law of riots and unlawful assembly

"The Civil Power expounds the Law of Riots, Rout and Unlawful As[sembly]" by John Paget.

The third cartoon in the series shows Thomas Arnold, perched in the giant boot representing the Duke of Wellington, setting out the law for a senior officer of the Royal Horse Artillery (the Blues).

While Arnold appears in his somewhat pompous element, the explanation is clearly giving the officer a headache.

Arnold was one of nine police magistrates given control over elements of the army on 10 April 1848 - the military being able to act only under the direction of the civil authorities and in aid of the civil power. It would have been important for officers to be aware of the limitations on their actions.

Drawn by Arnold's friend and fellow barrister John Paget, the cartoon is approximately 23cm by 17cm.

While the finished version is in pen and ink, there are lighter pencil marks below where Paget sketched out a rough version first. 

The sketch is still glued to the page of an old album, where it has probably been preserved since not long after it was drawn. The reverse of the same page holds cartoon 2, and that page in turn is attached along one edge to the page holding cartoons 4 and 5.

This is the third of five blog posts (plus an overview) showing a series of contemporary cartoons from 1848.

Overview and introduction
Cartoon 1. 
Cartoon 2. 
Cartoon 3.
Cartoon 4. 

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