Discusses the case of a cowherd who suffered a heavy fine for apparently shooting a lark merely for the purpose of discharging his gun. Proceeds to attack the injustice of game laws and in particular, George C G F BerkeleyBerkeley, George Charles Grantley Fitzhardinge
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a statesman with notorious interests in hunting.
Announces the launch of 'Dr. Buckland's Head'—an 'eating house' run on a 'novel, economic, and scientific principle', specifically William Buckland'sBuckland, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> notorious belief in the nutritional value of 'starch, peas, and mangel wurzel'. Dishes include 'Mouchoir de Poche a la Totbury', a 'delicious entree of fricasseed pocket-handkerchiefs', and 'Split Peas au Naturel'.
Reports that an incomplete telegraphic message, 'Abd-el-Kader has been taken' caused 'funds' to rise, but the rest of the message—'with a dreadful cold in his head'—caused funds to fall. Adds that the 'coup had been sufficiently successful'; however, the telegraph's inventors played 'into the hands of their agents at the Bourse'.
Defines 'Doctor' as somebody 'who has taken the high degree in any of the learned professions, but it is not necessary that he should be in the highest degrees fit for the rank assumed'. Adds that although doctor literally means 'able to teach', they are not necessarily 'efficiently taught'.
Describes the 'bursting of the Great Railway Bubble' as if it were an exploding locomotive, punning on those words common to railway engineering and commerce. Explains, for example, that 'a total exhaustion of the receiver, which created a fearful vacuum, was the immediate cause of the frightful calamity', and that although some railway lines 'felt themselves secure' in being placed on solid 'primary deposit', 'it was found that this deposit had been gradually eaten away by some birds of prey with long bills, so that these lines have since been involved in the common ruin'.
Exploiting the title and cosmology of Chambers 1844[Chambers,
Robert] 1844. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,
London: John Churchill
CloseView the register entry >>, argues that 'Protection originated [...] in an intellectual fog of singular density', whose 'vestiges are apparent in the imperfect state of Agriculture' and the 'crippled and shackled condition of Commerce'. Holds that the vestiges are also evident in the 'ducal skull' which shares 'thickness' with protection.
Suggests an apparatus by which one gunner can 'sponge out' several guns at the same time, an apparatus that has allegedly been sent to the Board of OrdnanceBoard of Ordnance
CloseView the register entry >>. The illustration shows that the apparatus resembles a gigantic garden fork.
Geology, Ancient Authorities, Charlatanry, Prognostication
Reports that a series of 'loud reports' were ascribed to John Dee'sDee, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'earthquake', an event 'payable some time back, according to the bill drawn by Dee on public credulity'.
Mental Illness, Animal Behaviour, Hunting, Class, Politics, Government
Reports that the decision of William B Baring (2nd Baron Ashburton)Baring, William Bingham, 2nd Baron Ashburton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> to take hares out of the game class has caused an unusual prevalence of madness among the species. Identifies hares with aristocrats insofar as both have enjoyed the privileges of legal protection. Reports that the 'lunatic hares' foresee the abolition of protection for partridges and other animals hunted by the aristocracy—moves which the hares believe will destroy the aristocracy, the established church, and the monarchy. Concludes by noting that hares are trying to rally support from 'all other descriptions of game' to 'invoke the British Lion'.
Presents letters from individuals testifying to the value of various medicines. Most individuals praise the effect of the medicine on non-medical problems: J Bugden, for example, claims that Thomas Holloway'sHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> ointment stopped one of his cart wheels from creaking, while John Sharpshoes applauds the power of Morison'sMorison, James
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> pills to kill slugs and other vermin.
Attempts to interest the Horticultural SocietyRoyal Horticultural Society
CloseView the register entry >> in various experiments to grow vegetation in the 'arid district' of Golden Square. The unidentified experimenter's efforts include throwing sawdust on the grass, in order to make the trees look greener, and constructing artificial trees from wood and evergreen paint.
Notes that the focus on 'classical and mathematical' studies at the University of OxfordUniversity of Oxford
CloseView the register entry >> and the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> has been criticized as 'musty, fusty, rusty, monastic, and obsolete'. Laments the fact that Cambridge does not teach pugilism—the 'most' natural of all 'sciences' and one that most students practice. Notes the absence of such positions as a 'Master of the noble Art of Self-defence' and of a prize-ring as a 'circle of collegiate science'. Announces the foundation of various professorships and degrees in pugilism.
Likens the performance of the Prime Minister Robert PeelPeel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> to Angelique CottinCottin, Angelique
PU1/10/13/2 CloseView the register entry >>, a Frenchwoman capable of repelling 'Chairs and tables' once charged with electricity. Proposes four experiments to prove Peel's 'infinitely greater powers of attraction and repulsion', the latter qualities referring to the movements of the politicians with whom Peel engages. In the first experiment, for example, Peel was 'very heavily charged during the late debate' and succeeded in 'throwing one half of the Conservative members, quite to the opposite side of the house', while in the second experiment, he was charged and 'found to possess the power of attracting members of the Agricultural LeagueAgricultural League
CloseView the register entry >>'. A 'gentleman of great scientific acquirements' assures Punch that Peel is 'quite as powerful as an electric eel'.
Suggests that the public should be cautious about the plethora of intelligence regarding new comets, since it is easy to convince them that a 'flash of lightning' or an 'eccentric piece of luminous matter', especially when wrapped in 'descriptive jargon', is a comet. Advises that alleged comets be examined by 'a committee of qualified astronomers', in order to avoid such cases as a light in the Vauxhall GardensRoyal Gardens, Vauxhall CloseView the register entry >> being mistaken for a new star.
Describes a new military apparatus enabling the French to 'snuff out British vessels' and their crews. Text and illustration reveal three versions of the apparatus, each one resembling a giant candle snuff hinged on the bow of a steamship.
Claims that 'Bela' (a reference to the comet discovered by Wilhelm von BielaBiela, Wilhelm von
DSB CloseView the register entry >>), though 'palmed off upon the scientific public as a bran new comet', is actually 'one of our old celestial acquaintances'. Accordingly, will be more suspicious about announcements of 'new' comets and recommends that James SouthSouth, James
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and other astronomers learn to distinguish tails 'floating about' in their heads from real comets.
Public Health, Gas Chemistry, Politics, Government, Controversy, Charlatanry
Following controversy surrounding David B Reid'sReid, David Boswell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> ventilation system, announces that Punch has launched an inquiry into the benefits of the system 'for brewing draughts of different kinds of atmosphere'. Announces that Reid can produce air smelling of carbon and oxygen, and that he will be selling various breezes, including a 'genuine BOREAS' and 'Breezy Cotswold', and food in the Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >>. Expects his air will 'supersede wine at the dinner table'. Concludes with a poem praising Reid's invention. The illustration shows a bar selling such airs as 'Fine Old Arctic' and 'Zephyr' to various political characters including, inevitably, Henry P Brougham (1st Baron Brougham and Vaux)Brougham, Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>.
The illustration shows a pawnbroker asking a customer how much he wants for his theodolite. The text argues that the alarming 'state of the public pocket' can be gauged by the fact that a 'celebrated engineer', formerly earning twenty guineas a day for laying railroads, is forced to 'cut off with his scientific apparatus to the pawnbrokers'.
Reports that 'so many new comets' have boosted customers for the 'Telescope in Leicester Square'. The telescope's astronomer reputedly markets his invention as if it were food, using such lines as, 'A fine fresh comet also ready at eight o'clock, and another will be served up, with the milky way, at ten'. The illustration shows a corpulent man peering through a telescope.
Pollution, Disease, Public Health, Crime, Gas Chemistry
Gives advice to people wishing to 'poison whole districts without running the risk of being hanged for murder'. Advises storing elements, including oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon, in deep holes lightly covered with mould. Explains that these elements will subsequently combine to form 'most subtle' and poisonous gases, and subsequently result in 'sudden death', 'typhus', and facial disfigurement, in anybody who inhales the gases. Warns readers that such 'poison magazines' exist and are currently attached to 'Churches and Chapels'—i.e. graveyards.
Evolution, Animal Development, Progress, Politics, Government
Borrowing from Chambers 1844[Chambers,
Robert] 1844. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,
London: John Churchill
CloseView the register entry >>, claims that the 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Peerage Creation' can be found in 'divers votes [...] in favour of certain Ministers', and 'traces of footsteps following the track of Ministers'. Adds that beneath such traces appear trampled 'principles', some of which will be 'observable in very ticklish positions'. Believes vestiges will also contain 'marks of Royal favour', as well as 'relics' taken from 'a foreign enemy'.
Telegraphy, Electricity, Education, Natural History
Believes that the laying of the Dover-Calais submarine telegraph will result in a number of striking aquatic phenomena including 'galvanic soles', 'an immense assortment of shocking herrings', and sharks eating through cables during 'Royal' transmissions. Stresses that the invention will allow French masters to teach their subject to English schools.
Argues that photography should be used to give 'something like permanency to political appearances', which tend to change so frequently. Notes that the 'portraits are often not very flattering to the subjects, for the shadows are strongly marked', and that a photograph of the Prime Minister Robert PeelPeel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> would reveal the change in his political 'character'.
Seeks a situation as a 'Visiting and Dispensing Assistant', claiming that his disagreement with the Courts of ExaminersCourts of Examiners
CloseView the register entry >> impeded his medical education. Boasts 'considerable experience of Night Work' [a reference to medical practitioners' dissolute nocturnal behaviour] and can 'give references to several respectable publicans'.
Speculates on the details of David B Reid's Reid, David Boswell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> proposal to blow air of varying temperatures into the Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >>. Suggests that he will hang 'a series of bellows in the roof of the building' which, by pulling on a rope, can blow air at a desired temperature and in the required quantity. Accuses Reid of 'self-conceit' and considers his plan to be wanting an 'air of practicability'. The illustration shows Punch's idea of the inside of Reid's invention. It comprises seven bellows, producing blasts of air at temperatures from 'Freezing' to 'Very Hot', connected to the 'House'.
Considers it his 'dewty' to 'come forwoods, and igspress' his 'opinion upon that nashnal newsance—THE BREAK OF GAGE'. Describes the 'inconvenience' and mishaps caused by the fact that he and his family were forced to change railway carriages (presumably owing to a change of railway gauge) twice on a journey to the West of England.
Depicts a statue of Mr Punch as an engine driver sitting on a railway locomotive. Text explains that 'to keep pace with the times' there must be 'equestrian statues with locomotives instead of horses', which will become 'obsolete and ridiculous'.
An attack on American policies couched in terms of a detailed description of the ruthless habits of the American eagle. Notes that the bird 'preys chiefly on the Oregon racoon [an allusion to British and American conflict over that state], the Texas opossum, and the green snake of California'. Adds that the bird is fatal to 'the large species of goose called Creditor', is 'partial to the flesh of negroes', has an 'antipathy' towards 'that noble animal, the British Lion', and has formed an alliance with that 'more valuable bird', 'the Gallic Cock'. Claims that 'many eminent naturalists' believe that the species is 'becoming deteriorated' and while the stars on its wing will diminish, 'the stripes' on its back will increase.
The article is subtitled 'Intended for the use of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> Professors'. Its author regards geology as 'a noble thing / To teach in Alma Mater', and believes that it will 'teach the student made of clay, / Cognoscere se ipsum'. Adds that 'there's nought so good as stone / To form the road to knowledge' and promises students that 'in my next I'll take a view / Of William Buckland'sBuckland, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> Megatherium'.
Suggests that the large number of 'defunct Railway shares' should be buried in a 'large scale' cemetery for 'the late much-lamented Railways', a place that it expects to be visited by 'sincere mourners', including 'attorneys, engineers, scrip-holders, and provisional committee-men'. Suggests that lawyers 'might write eulogistic inscriptions in a truly parental style of affectionate regret'. The illustrations show a tombstone in the shape of a small upturned steam locomotive, and another in the form of the front of a steam locomotive. The latter features one of the 'sincere mourners' to which the text refers.
Describing himself as 'Mathematician' who has the 'misfortune to be married', the narrator details the complex algebraical argument to convince his wife that he could not afford to take her to Brighton and buy her a shawl. Notes that he lost his argument and asks Mr Punch if he would 'exert his influence to cause ladies to be instructed in Mathematics'.
Describes and illustrates two new locomotive designs: one, shaped like its name, 'the Tortoise', is designed for the 'luggage and parliamentary trains' and to keep the poor on the road 'as many hours as possible'; the other locomotive, 'the Clown', is capable of 'skipping and leaping, which is found to exist, without the slightest cause, on various railways'.
Public Health, Heat, Engineering, Controversy, Government, Politics, Charlatanry
Illustration depicts the statesman Henry P Brougham (1st Baron Brougham and Vaux)Brougham, Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> sitting inside an 'exhausted receiver' (a giant upturned wine glass). Text reports Brougham's objections to being trapped inside the House of CommonsHouse of Commons
CloseView the register entry >> for the purposes of David B Reid'sReid, David Boswell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'ventilating experiments'. Celebrates Brougham's 'rencontre' with Reid with a poem that describes Brougham's feelings of suffocation and shivering resulting from Reid's ventilation system. Brougham complains that he 'call'd for warmer air, / But the pipes [of the ventilation system] never cock'd' and that Reid was the 'cause / Of this humbug'. Concludes by wondering whether Brougham must 'die shut in / An exhausted receiver?'.
Responds to news that Canadian alligators are to be 'killed for their oils'. Compares alligators to the pheasants of 'Merrie England' and suggests that alligators should be fattened on 'live Indians'. Anticipates the establishment of alligator preserves and the creation of protection laws.
Quackery, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Class, Status, Patronage
Wonders why people are so surprised at aristocratic patronage of quackery. Notes that Mason G Statford (5th Earl of Aldborough)Stratford, Mason Gerard, 5th Earl of Aldborough
Cokayne 1910-59 CloseView the register entry >> spends most of his time 'taking pills, and writing puffs about them for the newspapers'. Suggests an advertisement from a 'Proprietor of a New Pill' wanting to improve his business. The advertisement requests the participation of several types of aristocrat including 'an Earl who is willing to be cured of every disease', 'a Gouty Marquis', and a 'consumptive Countess'. Adds that Irish earls will not be treated and invites barristers to try his 'new Voice Lozenges'.
Following a spell of hot weather, reports that the sun 'had a glorious time of it', by 'melting a large quantity of butter, making a lot of hay', and performing many 'useful' and 'fantastical' feats. Adds that the sun, however, managed to go 'quietly off to bed at his usual hour'.