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The British lion is tormented by apes wearing coronets sitting on its back, prodding it, cutting off its tail and pulling it by a hook through the nose; representing Great Britain losing the Second Reform Bill in 1831 owing to the opposition of the House of Lords. Lithograph, 1831.

  • Landseer, Thomas, 1795-1880.
October 15 1831
  • Pictures

About this work


On the defeat of the Second Reform Bill in the House of Lords on 8 October 1831, after the bill had been passed in the House of Commons. The defeat was followed by riots in several British cities. Possibly derived from a French wood-engraving in which Huguenot-apes ride and torment the lion (British Museum, loc. cit.). The apes that beset the British lion represent peers, among them (on the lion's head) is the Duke of Cumberland who tried to sway the King's opinion against the Catholic reform bill of 1831


(London)(26 Haymarket) : Thos. McLean, October 15 1831 ([London] (70 St Martins Lane) : printed by C. Motte)

Physical description

1 print : lithograph ; image and border) 23.1 x 38.2 cm


The great good-natured fool. Pugs, beware. He may not prove so great a fool as you may think him.

Creator/production credits

Attributed in the British Museum online catalogue to "Thomas Landseer (?)"

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. xi, London 1954, no. 16797


Wellcome Library no. 640525i


  • English

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