The City Chanters by Samuel Okey after John Collet 1771

The City Chanters_Samuel Okey after John Collet(1725-1780)_1771Samuel Okey after John Collet (1725-1780) from the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Very interesting outfit for the center woman…

Detail: boy, wig, tricorn hat, sailor, sea turtle, straw hat, girl, doll, prison, hand bills

5 thoughts on “The City Chanters by Samuel Okey after John Collet 1771”

  1. I hope someone comments who can explain the political situation this is about. Most of the strange assembly have tattered, torn, or odd clothes. What about the sweet girl and expensive doll? How are they affected by this problem? Why are they here, right in front of the prison bars. Note the effective use of people’s hands.

  2. I’m no scholar but a quick google search tells me that the assembly is in support for John Wilkes, the first elected Member of Parliament in 1757. Wilkes name appears on all of the pamphlets and on the tag attached to the flipper of the turtle in the upper right. In 1771 he championed the idea that printers had the right to publish “verbatim accounts of parliamentary debates”. (from Wikipedia). This would probably make him a bit of a hero to the “lower” classes which is highlighted by the fact that the whole thing is taking place right outside the prison.

  3. Interesting researching the subject of this drawing. Google John Wilkes (1725-1797) and also Fleet Prison.

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