Samuel William Fores, Satirist: Charicatures from the Reform Club


‘We are delighted that now, in the context of this path-breaking exhibition and catalogue on the life and work of S.W. Fores at Gainsborough’s House, a portion of the Reform Club’s collection can be seen and appreciated more widely.’

Written by Mark Bills

Published by Gainsborough’s House Society

ISBN: 978-0-946511-59-4

112 pages with coloured illustrations

All purchases help support Gainsborough’s House

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Thomas Gainsborough message card (£3.00)

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‘The Reform Club was founded in 1836, four years after the ‘Great’ Reform Act finally received a grudging royal assent, having come through a bruising battle royal in Parliament.

Our club’s library and archive have accumulated a considerable and varied collection of these, as well as of other political cartoons of those stirring times. Notable among them are 180 caricatures that Samuel William Fores published between 1786 and 1831. This collection represents many of the finest caricaturists of that period and covers a wide range if styles and political and social issues. It is uncertain whether the large album in which the caricatures were kept was acquired by purchase or donation; it most probably arrived in the club after 1894.

The album must have been opened very rarely and in consequence the pictures have retained their original colouring in marvellous, pristine condition. In 2002 the Library Committee of the Reform Club decided to have the caricatures detached from the pages of the album and to display them as a group in the clubhouse, thus enabling members to see them for the first time.’