Point Sreet, Portsmouth, or, the Coxwain's Carousal (caricature)

Mounted with PAG8645.; Technique includes etching.; Hand-coloured.; No.134. Bound in album PAG8512 with prints PAG8513-PAG8647; PAG8649- PAG8666.

An illustration originally facing p. 188 in the chapter titled ' Portsmouth in time of peace', in vol. 2 of 'The English Spy' (1825/6) by Bernard Blackmantle. It illustrates the following fictional sailor's reminiscence:

'As we are overhauling old friends, do you remember Charley Capstan, the coxswain's mate of the Leander? "Shiver my timbers, but I do; and a bit of tough yarn he was, too: hard as old junk without, and soft as captain's coop meat within. Wasn't I one of the crew that convoyed him up this very street when returning from a cruise off the Straits, we heard that Charley's old uncle had slipt his cable, and left him cash enough to buy out and build a ship of his own? That was a gala, messmate! There was Charley, a little fat porpoise, as round as a nine-pounder, mounted on an eighteen gallon cask of the real Jamaica [rum], lashed to a couple of oars, and riding astride, on his messmates' shoulders, up to the Point. Then such a jolly boat's crew attended him, rigged out with bran[d] new slops, and shiners on their topmasts, with the Leander painted in front, and half a dozen fiddlers scraping away 'Jack's alive,' and all the girls decked out in their dancing dresses, with streamers flying about their top-gallants, and loose nettings over their breastworks—that was a gala, messmate!'

The rowdy procession of social and nautical stereotypes passes fictional drinking houses which line the street at the back. At centre, 'Moses' - the Jewish proprietor of the slop (second-hand clothes) shop - is about to have his broad hat hooked off from above by a sailor, with another black 'jack tar' egging him on from the upper right window of the 'Crown' punch house. 'The English Spy' is a large collection of satirically humorous social sketches of English life by 'Blackmantle', which was the pseudonym of Charles Molloy Westmacott. He was an illegitimate son of the sculptor, Richard Westmacott, briefly a sculptor himself but best remembered as editor from 1827 of 'The Age', a fairly scurrilous and gossip-mongering Sunday newspaper of the day. [PvdM 8/23]

Object Details

ID: PAG8646
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Sherwood & Co; Cruikshank, Issac Robert
Places: Unlinked place
Date made: 1 Nov 1825
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 98 x 194 mm
Parts: Sailors in Caricature. Rowlandson, Woodward, Cruikshank, Williams, Heath, etc (Album)

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.