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A medicine vendor kneeling and praying. Coloured etching by T. Rowlandson, 1801, after G. Woodward.

  • Woodward, G. M. (George Moutard), approximately 1760-1809
[30 July 1801]
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view A medicine vendor kneeling and praying. Coloured etching by T. Rowlandson, 1801, after G. Woodward.


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Credit: A medicine vendor kneeling and praying. Coloured etching by T. Rowlandson, 1801, after G. Woodward. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work


Doctor Rock (Richard Rock 1690-1777) was a medicine vendor who frequented the London areas of St. Paul's Cathedral and Covent Garden. He was famous for his "anti-venereal, grand, specifick pill". He was represented in several caricatures: William Hogarth referred him in A harlot's progress pl. V; The march to Finchley; and The four times of the day, morning


[London?] : [publisher not identified], [30 July 1801] ([London], 27 Bow Street, Covent Garden : E. Spragg)

Physical description

1 print : etching with letterpress, with watercolour + platemark 19.9 x 25 cm


The quack doctor's prayer !! ... Woodward del. Rowlandson scul.

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VIII, London 1947, no. 9794
J. Grego, Rowlandson the caricaturist, vol. II, London 1880, p. 31

Lettering note

Lettering continues: "Illustrious shade of the renowned Doctor Rock, still continue, I beseech thee, to pour down thy influence on the endeavours of thy modern representative, Doctor Botherem; thou knowest the regular gradations of the profession, from show box at a country fair, to the luxury of a chariot rattling down Pall-Mall; it would, therefore, be vain and idle to attempt disguise before thy penetrating wisdom. I'm the eyes of the undiscerning, my miraculous cure-all-able vegetable drops, called never-failibus infallialibus, appear the wonder of the present age, the ingredients are supposed to issue from the laboratory of Esculapius himself beyond the power of mortal analiztion; but thou well knowest how the world is deceived; to thee it appears nothing more than a decoction of beet-root, lump-sugar, spring-water, the best coniac brandy, and a dash of Hollands gin. - Thou, also knowest its great reputation was first aquired by curing Lady Dun-Dizzle of indigestion, by throwing her into a temporary state of soothing intoxication, since which time the old lady resorts as regularly to her drops, as her dram bottle. To deceive thee is impossible, thou knowest we are not infallible, but are all liable to little accidents in the exercise of our calling, that are not altogether so pleasing on reflection; but what grieves me most, is the recollection of the sudden demise of Alderman Marrowfat, even on the first experiment of my anti-Gorgean pills, and at the very instant he was about to recommend their wonderful effects to the Mayor, and the whole body corporate. Yet notwithstanding the sweets of the profession amply compensates for the bitters, therefore deign to continue to me my carriage and equipage, my town and country residence, and all other good things of this life, and thy humble petitioner shall ever praise thee."


Wellcome Library no. 20936i



  • English

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