Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Cruikshank Royal Mail

Robert Cruikshank.

The Royal Mail without Opposition.

16 x 11

A hand-coloured etching by Robert Cruikshank, published by Thomas McLean in London in 1827.

What at first appears to be a coaching caricature or possibly a gentle dig at the Post Office, turns out to be a fascinating satire on the political turmoil that faced the British establishment in 1827.

The Royal Mail coach is being driven by George IV with the Prime Minister, George Canning, at the rear and various other politicians seated in between. The Duke of Wellington runs along behind the coach, asking to climb on board. John Bull and his wife stand outside their pub, representing the population at large. The historical context of this scene lies in the short lived and controversial term of office that Canning served between April and August 1827. Chosen by George IV, but allegedly disliked by him, Canning succeeded to the office in preference to both the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel. As the son of an actress and a failed businessman, he had all the potential to make a great Prime Minister but his untimely death only 119 days after taking office meant that he was the shortest serving Prime Minister until the 49 days achieved by Liz Truss in 2022!


Back to Catalogue