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Usure et rupture - Breaking points

 | 
Claudine Raynaud
, 
Peter Vernon

"The bishops' square caps": image and imagination in the english revolutionary crisis of the 1640s

Elizabeth Tuttle

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1Although scholars disagree on whether the history of the English Civil Wars has its place in the category of Western revolutions, there is nevertheless a general consensus that the political actors of the 1640s faced unfamiliar political dilemmas and diversified political discourse.

  • 1 Until very recently the woodcuts of the first half of the seventeenth century were scorned by scho (...)
  • 2 Christopher Hill, " The Many-Headed Monster ", in Change and Continuity in 17th Century England (L (...)

2Artistic productions were also transformed during this turbulent period. In this limited essay, I would like to address the question of how the woodcuts of the cheap, popular pamphlets dealing with urgent current affairs in the early years of the English revolutionary crisis differed from illustrations of the early 1600s and why: Did the function of the woodcut change over this period? What were the links between the iconographic language of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and that of the 1640s? How were the graphic effects transformed by the anonymous artisans who were working under the pressure of a rapid succession of political events?1 I would like to suggest that during the early 1640s the political and national crisis saw the rise of secular, participatory politics and simultaneously a rise in iconic inscriptions which caught a popular mood and participated in it. It was these images that functioned more efficiently with the more ordinary folk, that is, with the people that in the 1640s some gentlemen were calling "the many-headed monster of the multitude'."2

3A comparison of the images on plates I and II on one hand and the plates III to X on the other would argue that there was a "breaking point" in the early years of the 1640s in the form and iconology of the woodcuts that accompanied the outburst of political satire and commentary. The older illustrative styles for Bibles, Psalters, portraits and emblems have several traits in common. They are elaborate compositions which borrow from the great German printers the canons of three-dimensional perspective, sometimes mixed with almost medieval registers. Signs abound and form a complex code in which the readers of the image may learn from, delight in and which may incite them to religious or moralizing meditation: streams of light from heaven, the Pope's tiara and accoutrements, the crude drunkeness of animals crowded around a table. The woodcut craftsman packs the given space with human and animal figures, waves or flames; even the sky is often crowded with linear business. The popular woodcut illustrations of the years 1620 to 1640 took from this tradition the use of multiple small lines that crowd the pictorial space and evoke volume in figures and objects (Pl. 2); cloud-filled skies and lumpy landscapes express the homely attempts to set figures in a densely drawn space.

  • 3 Following the example of the French, British historians are actively exploring the field of sevent (...)

4We can at least pinpoint the development or the expansion of an artistic savoir-faire different from the modes of representation used since the 1530s, when Dürer's and Cranach's works became the foundation of English prints and woodcuts. This mutation of the 1640s expressed the needs both of the political actors of the time and of a wide public that was suddenly thrust into the heart of political change and its violent expression, war.3

  • 4 Before 1640 most illustrations of elegant bound books and treatises were copies of great Dutch and (...)
  • 5 The definition and study of " popular culture " have been the subject of stimulating debate in the (...)

5This paper will deal mainly with the woodcuts, illustrating the broadsides and small pamphlets, that were sold cheaply (2d. to 6d.) during the 1640s. Such reading matter was becoming accessible to the growing numbers of literate craftsmen, shopkeepers and apprentices in London and in the counties, accessible to those that British historians often call "the middling sort." The emblems and prints of the few known engravers, working in England in the 1640s, such as Wenceslaus Hollar and William Marshall, enter this study only in so far as they allow a comparison with woodcuts. Fine prints were the objects of a different trade, which catered to a well-to-do clientele able to spend at least a shilling or two for the decoration of their homes and even greater sums for books that included a frontispiece.4 Although the iconography of woodcuts illustrating pamphlets in the 1640s cannot be studied in the same receiver context as the more elegant engravings from the world of "high culture", the world of the educated and that of the barely literate were not isolated one from the other; symbols and forms of composition did circulate between high culture and popular culture.5

Plate I. Heywood, Thomas, Philocothonista. or the Drunkard. 1635.

Plate II. Anon., The Detestable Ends of Popish Traytors 1612.

  • 6 Anon., The Downfall of Temporizing Poets 43; Tamsyn M. Williams, Polemic Prints in the English Rev (...)

6It was during the late 1630s that the newsbook and the political pamphlet as such were given a distinct format, of a single folio sheet folded into eight; if illustrated, it would be by a woodcut, set between the title and text on the first page. Between 1640 and 1649, a time of considerable political tension, the demand for news grew constantly. Political and religious broadsides and pamphlets were hawked in the streets of London and peddled in market towns throughout the country. After 1646, petitions and political tracts were also distributed by political activists in New Model Army garrisons.6 The tavern, the alehouse and the street were surely places for reading aloud. There, even the illiterate laborer could lean over a shoulder to study the images on a printed page. The multiplication of such small books answered a growing demand by mechanicks to be informed, and this increased production may also reflect the rise of political propaganda.

  • 7 Edith Klotz, " A Subject Analysis of English Imprints for Every tenth year from 1480 to 1640," The (...)

7The number of imprints in England rose dramatically during the early 1640s. After Charles I and his government demonstrated their weakness by failing to bring the Calvinist Scots into line with the liturgy and hierarchy of the English established Church, events tumbled over each other, and readers in London and in the counties were starved for news and for certainties. The London printers could barely satisfy the demand. In 1620, 410 imprints were published, in 1639, 464 and in 1640, 577 appeared. According to Frederick Stephens' Catalogue of Personal and Political Satirical Prints of the British Museum, twenty-five imprints-broadsides and pamphlets--were published on March 1, 1641 alone; all refer to the impeachment of Archbishop William Laud on that day.7

  • 8 Henry Parker, quoted by Williams, Polemic Prints, 39.

8While the whole structure of censorship was falling apart along with the demise of the authority of the bishops, the Star Chamber and the High Commission, the number of unlicensed printers was multiplying. In 1642, John Taylor, "the water poet", expressed his dismay at "the many unlicensed licentious pamphleteers that have been scattered about the kingdom within these 23 months." Henry Parker bemoaned the general confusion about printing and the appearance of "strangers such as drapers, carmen and others to set up presses in diverse obscure corners of the city."8 The excitement of events in London and in the kingdom could only incite the printers to find woodcuts old or new to illustrate their newsbooks.

  • 9 The expression is from Clarendon, History, I, 137 quoted by Brian Manning, The English People and (...)

9The years from 1641 to 1643 produced the highest number of pamphlet publications with or without illustration in the period of the Civil Wars, and those were the years during which the English ancien régime was violently attacked, first by the Scots and then by the English themselves. One after another the king's advisors and policy makers, first Charles'friend and counselor the Earl of Strafford, "Mr. Thorough" in person, and then the Archbishop William Laud were accused of treason, impeached, tried and executed. The much-hated Tudor institutions which they had come to represent, the High Commission and the Star Chamber, were swept away. Meanwhile "multitudes of people of several conditions" were demonstrating by thousands in the streets and an atmosphere of popular unrest threatened the hegemony of King, Church and Parliament.9 Many of the bishops who had collaborated with Laud's Arminian passion for order and ritual had to flee abroad or were imprisoned.

  • 10 Fletcher, The Outbreak, 26.

10The general manager of the mobilization against Strafford and then Laud, the moderate Puritan John Pym, was convinced to the point of obsession that a new popish plot threatened the kingdom, and he broadcast each turn of events and each whisper of conspiracy to prove his point.10 Until the outbreak of the first Civil War in August 1642, "King" Pym and his Puritan allies in the House of Commons were trying to deal with three questions: how to pay the Scots to leave the northern border and stop fighting; how to obtain regular revenues for the king and how to solve the burning question of the reform and future of the national church. A study of contemporary pamphlets shows that only the third dilemma really excited and amused the pamphlet readers.

  • 11 The short texts were usually facetious dialogues or rapid surveys of news embroidered with invecti (...)
  • 12 Ε. 177/8 (Thomason Tracts, British Library); Stephens, A Catalogue., 134.

11By far the most frequent theme of the woodcuts and small political pamphlets of the early 1640s was the corruption of the Church, with satires attacking Archbishop Laud as its instigator and prime mover, but also attacking the humbler ecclesiastical judges.11 One of pamphlets that called for the punishment of Laud, on March 1 1641 is illustrated by a woodcut set on the title page of a playlet A New Play Called Canterburie His Change of Diet...; it also reappears on the last of the 10 pages (Pl. IV).12 The play is a satire on Archbishop Laud's behavior and particularly his role in the persecution and maiming of the three Puritan heroes, Dr. John Bastwick, Henry Burton and William Prynne, each of whom had an ear lopped off in 1637 for printing criticism of the bishops. In the woodcut, Laud is shown in prison, in a bird cage, along with the Queen's Catholic confessor Father Philips (who looks just like Laud here), and the reference to "birds of a feather fly (or find themselves in prison) together" is obvious. Archie Armstrong, the court jester-identifiable thanks to his cap hung with bells--is standing to the right and is having a good laugh and thus authorizes the reader to join in.

  • 13 The liberal use of large black surfaces had been made possible by the improvement in the quality o (...)

12The narrative exposition is extremely simple. The space is not cluttered, and the figures stand in a single foreground without any attempt at expressing three-dimensional perspective. This graphic decision increases the forcefulness and readability of the woodcut.13 The technique is sophisticated; for example, the vertical lines forming the cage are carefully traced in black or white so that the figures stand out emphatically.

  • 14 Ε. 160/22; Stephens, A Catalogue, 115.

13The title-page illustration for Old Newes Newly Revived, published on December 21, 1641, is also a small woodcut (4 1/4 "by 3 3/4")14 subject matter here forms a pot-pourri of the major scandals and grievances that had been hashed over within and outside of Parliament in the preceding year. To the right stands Alderman Abel, a London vintner, who had obtained from the king a monopolistic patent to sell wine. The bell above his shop gives a clue to his name. In the foreground Strafford, who was executed on May 12, appears as a ghost, lamenting his fate while Laud looks on from the Tower. In the background, a ship is ready for the flight of recently discovered traitors like John Suckling, who attempted to organize an army plot to take over London and the Home Counties. Two winged fellows in flight represent other villains of the day: Lord Keeper Finch, a friend of Henrietta Maria, and Secretary of State Windebank, ally of the Catholic faction, who is seen escaping to France with a heavy purse. A small bird represents Bishop Wren of Ely, and then of Norwich, famous for his rigid application of Laud's Arminian rulings and his persecution of Puritan ministers.

Plate III. Anon., A New Play Called Canterburie His Change of Diet. 1641.

Plate IV. Anon., Old Newes Newly Revived. 1641.

14Each element is set in its own carefully individualized, flat surface. The older medieval tradition of registers on a flat surface is doubtless the ancestor of this kind of narrative distribution. The viewer can enter the image, follow its elements, and read the picture at his or her own pace. No detail is without a specific reference to the events of the moment. The image is both an invitation to the receiver to read on, if he can, and a narrative in itself for the non-literate.

  • 15 W. H. Chappell, ed., The Roxburghe Ballads, London, 1874, II, 216.
  • 16 Watt also stresses that painted cloths of biblical scenes were common house and alehouse decoratio (...)

15This kind of woodcut did not appear ex nihilo during the political crisis of the early 1640s. Plate V is an illustration of a non-political ballad published in 1636.15 The song tells of a bad uncle who, when given the guardianship of his brother's children and of their farm, was responsible for the death of the children and the depredation of the property. The limited use of three-dimensional perspective and the way the image singles out the dead children and animals, or the scaffold, in an unencumbered space gives the narrative its strength. Similar is the illustration (Plate VI) of another song, about a poor brigand who repented on the eve of his execution when he was due to be hanged, drawn and quartered. The strong horizontal lines, the black crows and the blind prison windows express the dire fate of criminals. The woodcut has the same power and the simplicity as the political woodcuts of the revolutionary crisis.16

  • 17 Ernst H. Gombrich, " The Cartoonist's Armory," in Meditation on a Hobby Horse and Other Essays on (...)
  • 18 Anon., The Decoy Duck..., E. 132/33; Stephens, A Catalogue, 162-3.

16What is remarkable in the early 1640s is that more and more often the anonymous craftsmen developed woodcut compositions that demonstrate the technique of "condensation", later to become the essential characteristic of the political cartoon.17 The pamphlets were short, pithy or humorous commentaries on current events, and their illustrations were reduced to the essential elements, in order to express satire. Pl. VII illustrates a short six-page satire published at the end of December 1641.18 By then rebellion had broken out in Ireland, and the Grand Remonstrance had been voted by the Commons. On December 27, at the initiative of Archbishop William of York, eight bishops had declared that the House of Lords was under restraint and its decisions invalidated because the hostility of the mobs outside the doors had made it impossible for them to enter the House. Pym, the uncontested leader of the House of Commons, insisted that they be impeached, and the bishops were taken off to the Tower.

Plate V. Anon., Ballad.

Plate VI. Anon., Ballad.

17The play on words in the title, The Decoy Duck, and the humor of the drawing come from the fact that Dr. Duck, one of Charles I's Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical, had been singled out as one of the most obnoxious of the Archbishop's crew; he had been instrumental in having William Prynne arrested and during Laud's trial had been accused of taking part in "Romish" ceremonials. The main elements of the dramatic situation are clearly established: Archbishop Williams is signing the petition surrounded by his friends, the guilty bishops. Dr. Duck as the decoy leads the way to Tower, labelled as the archbishop's palace, and he is followed by the bishops.

  • 19 " The Detestable Ends of Popish Traytors," Folger Library, 24270 in Davies, Illustrated. Pamphlets (...)
  • 20 Anon., Square-Caps turned into Roundheads, Ε. 149/1, (1642). Note the poor quality of the paper us (...)
  • 21 This was a recent theme that was exploited in 1641 by Henry Peacham in an elegant etching called " (...)

18Each element refers directly to the recent events. The curve of the bishops' flight is reminiscent of earlier seventeenth-century woodcuts, such as the often-used image of the pope spewing devils like frogs from his mouth.19 The bishops' billowing sleeves of white lawn could remind the reader of the old but unresolved vestment controversy. The black Episcopal caps invade the field of vision and their simple rhythm leads the viewer through the narration. There is no attempt at realism nor at portraiture, but the image forms a powerful and humorous statement. Having lost London and then Oxford, the Royalists had fewer workmen at their beck and call, which explains the relative paucity of illustrated pamphlets produced on their behalf. Pl. VIII represents the title page of a small Royalist pamphlet published in May 1642.20 Henry Peacham, poet and propagandist for Charles I and the bishops' cause, lambasts the spread of new religious ideas and laments the fate of the imprisoned bishops. The illustration adopts a polemic language similar to that of the parliamentary woodcuts, but it is used in a more static mode. Familiar ancient symbols frame the wheel of fortune: on the left, Father Time and on the right, Opinion, dressed in Dutch clothes.21 At the top of the wheel the roundheads, with their cropped hair, represent the sectarians or religious non-conformists, who in the author's view now controlled Parliament and the fate of the country. The bishops'square caps that were immediately identifiable by any contemporary, are attached to the underside of the wheel: any Anglican and Royalist would understand immediately that the pamphlet discussed the contemporary ecclesiastical scene; like the author of the short pamphlet, the purchaser no doubt would hope to see the wheel turn rapidly.

Plate VII. Anon., The Decoy Duck, 1641.

Plate VIII. Anon., Square Caps Turned into Round-Heads. 1642.

  • 22 Maurice Agulhon, Marianne au combat: L'Imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1789 à 1880 (Par (...)

19The image must have been immediately readable after the yearlong pamphlet and woodcut campaign mocking the supposedly cruel and corrupt bishops and Archbishop Laud. Originally used repeatedly in 1641 by the craftsmen woodcutters for Parliamentary polemics, the symbol of the bishop's black cap had become the common property of satire in both camps. It carried the emotional charge the reader brought to it: either the shock caused by martyrdom or the amusement brought on by the fall of the mighty. This example, studied within the whole series of woodcuts from these popular political pamphlets, demonstrates that the revolutionary moment was in the process of producing a new symbolic iconographic language in the same way as the Phrygian bonnet grew out of the iconography of the sans culottes in the 1790s in France.22

  • 23 Stephens, A Catalogue, 393 (BCM n° 709); Ε 428/2.

20However such popular images did not exist in a cultural vacuum, and Plate IX is an example of the circulation of iconographic symbols between cheap popular images on one hand and the fine etchings produced for a different clientele on the other. This plate represents one of William Marshall's prints, published as a frontispiece of Francis Quarles' Royalist emblems, The Shepherd's Oracles in 1645.23 The complex composition demonstrates the woes of the true Church of England, attacked by both Jesuits and separatists. Marshall uses traditional symbols: for example, the tree, not of life but of religion, and the King's protective sword. On the right, a villainous tub-preacher, perhaps a Baptist, has speared several volumes of the bishops'canons of 1640, and his spear point carries a bishop's cap. Thus, in a year's time, the symbol had migrated from the popular woodcuts into the representations of high culture.

21In a similar fashion, well-known symbols from elegant, etched emblems found their way into popular woodcuts. The ship of state tossed on troubled seas and the emblematic observing eye evoked the times and their commentators in elegant, literary and scientific plates. They also became symbols used in popular woodcuts during the early 1640s. In the illustration (Plate X) that accompanies the pro-Parliament pamphlet A Spie, the skin of the "spie" is covered with eyes and would remind the educated reader of the myth of Argus in Ovid's Metamorphoses; but for the barely literate, it signified the necessity to be watchful and cautious in these times of civil war and domestic turmoil described in the text. A different symbolic language, made of old and new elements, expressed the troubled times.

  • 24 The whole question of the exact nature of communication between the political protagonists, the pr (...)

22It flourished first because the scandal of Laud, the bishops, their wealth and their repressive rules was essentially well-known ground to the public in 1641. The latent and subsequently overt popular anger grew out of an old and sturdy tradition of anticlericalism that can be traced back to Lollardry. The iconology of these woodcuts found its source in the popular imagination fired by anticlericalism. Other urgent questions that preoccupied the gentlemen in Westminster and the counties, such as the presence of the Scots in the North of England or the Irish rebellion brought little iconographic comment. It is not enough to say that Pym simply used illustrated pamphlets to stir up the apprentices and the London citizenry. There was necessarily an interaction between the extraordinary events and the demands of a nascent public opinion.24

  • 25 Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982) 54-5, (...)

23In the transition from oral culture to that of the written word during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the woodcut performed as an assemblage of non-verbal signs that opened the door to the printed word; they expressed concrete externals that could be easily understood, and these became in turn symbols of complex political situations. The heroism that seems typical of oral and popular culture is also often underlined by the woodcut, be it an image of the Archbishop, a Parliamentary leader or popular preacher.25 In a time of crisis, images not only dramatized events and attracted readers, but they also helped the semi-literate Everyman to comprehend and react to the world around him. This development could only take place in a particularly favorable context of free press and political upheaval.

24However, the development of such forceful popular images, carrying their own specific representations of events, was stunted in its growth, and the satirical political woodcut gradually disappeared in the late 1640s. The two Civil Wars and the renewed tightening of state censorship from 1648 on, created conditions that were favorable neither to printers nor to their woodcut craftsmen. With the end of episcopacy and the sharpening of the constitutional dilemma facing the English governing classes, no one common enemy stood out as the target for satirical images. By the time of Charles I's execution, the subject matter of the few iconographic commentaries had been reduced to attacks by one religious or political faction upon another. Under the grandees and Cromwell after 1649, the production of such satires became even skimpier, whereas Hollar or Marshall, who had both fled the country during the troubles, multiplied the stock of the high-culture etchings. The iconographie "breaking point" was plastered over; the reader of the image was again invited to contemplate rather than to react. The "multitude" was no longer invited into the image as a participant.

Plate IX. William Marshall's etching for The Shepherd's oracles bv Francis Quarles. 1648.

Plate X. Henry Adison, A Spie Sent out of the Tower-chamber. 1648

  • 26 Michel Melot, L'Oeil qui rit (Fribourg: Bibliothèque des Arts, 1975) 165-170.

25During the early years of the English revolutionary crisis, the popular woodcut and its graphic techniques took on a new form to express new dynamics of protest and opposition. It used old symbols and created new ones; the craftsmen displayed a carnavalesque freedom, worthy of Bakhtine's Rabelaisian universe. As Michel Melot puts it anger is at the heart of the cartoonist's relation to the viewer.26 A massive, active hatred of what seemed to be foreign Church rules and regulations, the scandal of unearned wealth, and the mythic fear of papists, all formed the current through which novel experiments in iconography could pass. The artists adjusted to the urgency of events by inventing or refining the cartoonist's skill, by telescoping a whole chain of statements into one pregnant image.

  • 27 The prints are taken from diapos belonging to M. Rouvier and appear by courtesy of the British Mus (...)

26Obviously the "condensed" image, with its clear, black line and open space, was not the only iconographic genre in circulation during the 1640s. Ancient woodcut blocks were reused or imitated, and woodcut copies were inspired by contemporary etchings. But the remarkable element in a survey of popular illustration in this exceptional historical moment is nevertheless a significant development. But whereas the period before the collapse of the ancien régime provided pedagogical images that demanded consensus and contemplation, after 1640, for a short span, and scattered among products of older traditions, images forcefully expressed satire and reflected a mentality of protest. Their discursive power calls for the participation of the viewer, whether in agreement or disapproval. Alongside the fragile novelty of massive participation in the political process, an original visual representation developed.27

Notes

1 Until very recently the woodcuts of the first half of the seventeenth century were scorned by scholars of art history and of English studies as inept, primitive and naïve; English art was biding its time, waiting for Hogarth and Gilray to appear on the scene in the eighteenth century. The developments within twentieth-century productions, from Matisse to the proponents of New Figuration have been " an eye-salve " for our vision, as a seventeenth-century hack writer might have put it. Today many people are better armed to read archaistic images and appreciate the impact of the techniques used. Cf. the remarks of such scholars as Arthur M. Hind, A History of Engraving and Etching (London: Constable & Co. 1923); Robert Searle, La Caricature : Art et manifeste du XVIe siècle à nos jours (Genève: Skira, 1974); Richard Godfrey, Print-making in Great Britain (Oxford: Phaidon, 1978).

2 Christopher Hill, " The Many-Headed Monster ", in Change and Continuity in 17th Century England (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974) 181-88.

3 Following the example of the French, British historians are actively exploring the field of seventeenth-century popular iconography as one of the keys to a history of mentalities. Margaret Spufford and Theresa Watt have examined the cheaply produced ballads and small books or chapbooks in octavo that began to form a significant part of the pedler's load at English markets and fairs as early as the 1630s. Watt has uncovered several dynasties of printers that set up shop in London as early as the 1620s and specialized not only in ballad broadsides but also petty " merries " and petty " godlies " to use the phrase coined by the chapbook collector Samuel Pepys. Theresa Watt, Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) ch. 7; Margaret Spufford, Small Books and Pleasant Stories: Popular Fiction and its Readership in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981); Tim Harris, " The Problem of'Popular Culture'in 17th Century London " History of European Ideas, X, 1, (1989). For the French interest in iconography, see studies by Michel Vovelle, Antoine de Baecque and Annie Duprat on French revolutionary prints.

4 Before 1640 most illustrations of elegant bound books and treatises were copies of great Dutch and Flemish engravers., See Philip Hofer, Baroque Book Illustration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951); Richard Godfrey, Print-Making in Great Britain (Oxford: Phaïdon, 1978) ch. 1. For example, Francis Queries' Emblem Book I (1634) was illustrated with copies by William Marshall taken from Pia Desiderata published in 1624 by Jesuits in Antwerp.

5 The definition and study of " popular culture " have been the subject of stimulating debate in the last twenty years. As Peter Scriber stresses, the expression of " cultural process " is perhaps more apt and meaningful. In another direction, and especially in a time of political uncertainty, values other than class or " order "--for example religion--created cultural ties between the groups from different traditional social stratifications. See Bob Scribner, " Is A History of Popular Culture Possible?", History of European Ideas, X, 2 (1989) 175-191; Tim Harris, " The Problem of Popular Political Culture in Seventeenth-Century London ", History of European Ideas, X, 1 (1989).

6 Anon., The Downfall of Temporizing Poets 43; Tamsyn M. Williams, Polemic Prints in the English Revolution. (London University, unpublished Ph. D. thesis, 1987) 42-3; Richard Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae (1696) 986.

7 Edith Klotz, " A Subject Analysis of English Imprints for Every tenth year from 1480 to 1640," The Huntington Library Quarterly, X, (1938) 418; Frederic Stephens, ed., A Catalogue of Personal and Political Satires in the Prints and Drawings in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1870) I, 131-146. However, most of the pamphlets published during these years-whatever their themes-were densely printed on 6 to 8 pages and did not include any illustrations. Calculated from the Thomason Tracts covering the period 1640-1660, the highest percentage of pamphlets with some engraving or woodcut illustration was 15% for the year 1641; the rest of the decade the percentages stood lower: 2 to 6% of the annual total and in the 1650s the percentage fell to only 1% of the published material collected by Thomason. Williams, op. cit., 1.

8 Henry Parker, quoted by Williams, Polemic Prints, 39.

9 The expression is from Clarendon, History, I, 137 quoted by Brian Manning, The English People and the English Revolution (1976) 15. See also Anthony Fletcher, The Outbreak of the English Civil War (London: Edward Arnold, 1981) chs. 1-3.

10 Fletcher, The Outbreak, 26.

11 The short texts were usually facetious dialogues or rapid surveys of news embroidered with invective and word play.

12 Ε. 177/8 (Thomason Tracts, British Library); Stephens, A Catalogue., 134.

13 The liberal use of large black surfaces had been made possible by the improvement in the quality of ink used in woodcut production in the early XVIIth century. M-H. Davies, La Gravure dans les brochures illustrées de la Renaissance anglaise (Lille: Service de reproduction des thèses, 1979) 75.

14 Ε. 160/22; Stephens, A Catalogue, 115.

15 W. H. Chappell, ed., The Roxburghe Ballads, London, 1874, II, 216.

16 Watt also stresses that painted cloths of biblical scenes were common house and alehouse decorations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the few that remain show the same disdain for three-dimensional perspective and fondness for narrative registers, Watt, Cheap Print, 199-211.

17 Ernst H. Gombrich, " The Cartoonist's Armory," in Meditation on a Hobby Horse and Other Essays on the Theory of Art (London: Phaïdon, 1963) 133.

18 Anon., The Decoy Duck..., E. 132/33; Stephens, A Catalogue, 162-3.

19 " The Detestable Ends of Popish Traytors," Folger Library, 24270 in Davies, Illustrated. Pamphlets, Pl. 109.

20 Anon., Square-Caps turned into Roundheads, Ε. 149/1, (1642). Note the poor quality of the paper used as a support for the illustration, another sign of the Royalists' pecuniary difficulties.

21 This was a recent theme that was exploited in 1641 by Henry Peacham in an elegant etching called " The World Ruled by Opinion."

22 Maurice Agulhon, Marianne au combat: L'Imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1789 à 1880 (Paris: Flammarion, 1979).

23 Stephens, A Catalogue, 393 (BCM n° 709); Ε 428/2.

24 The whole question of the exact nature of communication between the political protagonists, the producers of these pamphlets and the reading public needs to be explored in detail if we are to understand more thoroughly the role played by propaganda and by opinion. A start has been made by Dagmar Freist, The World Is Ruled and Governed By Opinion (unpublished Ph. D. thesis, Clare College, Cambridge University, 1992).

25 Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982) 54-5, & 70. See also Michel Vovelle, La Mentalité révolutionnaire (Paris: Editions Sociales, 1985) 128-9.

26 Michel Melot, L'Oeil qui rit (Fribourg: Bibliothèque des Arts, 1975) 165-170.

27 The prints are taken from diapos belonging to M. Rouvier and appear by courtesy of the British Museum.

Table des illustrations

Légende Plate I. Heywood, Thomas, Philocothonista. or the Drunkard. 1635.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 101k
Légende Plate II. Anon., The Detestable Ends of Popish Traytors 1612.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 132k
Légende Plate III. Anon., A New Play Called Canterburie His Change of Diet. 1641.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 165k
Légende Plate IV. Anon., Old Newes Newly Revived. 1641.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 149k
Légende Plate V. Anon., Ballad.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Légende Plate VI. Anon., Ballad.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 93k
Légende Plate VII. Anon., The Decoy Duck, 1641.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 149k
Légende Plate VIII. Anon., Square Caps Turned into Round-Heads. 1642.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 167k
Légende Plate IX. William Marshall's etching for The Shepherd's oracles bv Francis Quarles. 1648.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 97k
Légende Plate X. Henry Adison, A Spie Sent out of the Tower-chamber. 1648
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/4496/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 140k

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Université de Paris X-Nanterre

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 1995

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

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