Oliver Cromwell watching his horses

by Nick

Oliver Cromwell watching his horsesOliver Cromwell watching his horses

I’ve had this cartoon for years (it was a 21st birthday present) but only recently did some digging about where it came from. The handwritten script says:

“Dear Lord Rosebery
Oliver Cromwell
watching his horses
is a ? capable
of development. I
send you my first
impression ?
Frank Lockwood”

Frank Lockwood was a Liberal MP and was Solicitor-General under Lord Rosebery‘s administration from 1894. He seems to have been an inveterate sketcher. From Wikipedia:

“Lockwood had considerable talent for drawing, inherited from his father, which he employed, chiefly for the amusement of himself and his friends, in the making of admirable caricatures in pen and ink, and of sketches of humorous incidents, real or imaginary, relating to the topic nearest at hand. An exhibition of them was held soon after his death.”

Lord Rosebery was an admirer of Oliver Cromwell. As Prime Minister in 1895 he led a campaign to erect a statue of him outside Parliament and although this was initially shot down by the Tories, Rosebery anonymously donated the funds so that in 1899, the statue could be erected. Although I haven’t been able to track down the source of the quote, I assume it was made in a speech connected to the statue campaign. For more on Rosebery, see Blair’s Worden’s Roundhead Reputations.

So, it seems to be an in-joke cartoon from one Cabinet member to another. I think it is probably taken from this collection of Lockwood’s sketches.