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Follow the Bear: today we mourn a Churchill. Charles Churchill

November 4, 2015



Yes, Churchill died 251 years ago today.  Or at least, my Churchill did.  Sometimes I find myself talking about Churchill for ages before the strange looks on people’s faces remind me that I’m not in fact among eighteenth-centuryists.

Charles Churchill, poet, satirist and not very credible clergyman, died 251 years ago today, just over a week after the death of William Hogarth.  Hogarth and Churchill were engaged in an ongoing dispute that only the death of one or both of them could have resolved.

This engraving is of Churchill, by Hogarth.  As you can see – Hogarth regards Churchill as a bear, albeit a bear with the tattered remains of clerical bands falling around his neck. Hogarth includes his own dog in this engraving, who is pissing on a copy of Churchill’s “Epistle to Hogarth”.   Churchill was best friends with John WIlkes so when Hogarth attacked Wilkes, battle was…

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