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T01795 Bambridge on Trial for Murder by a Committee of the House of Commons 1803
Engraving 396×526 (15 9/16×20 11/16) on paper 467×619 (18 3/8×24 3/8); plate-mark 444×559 (17 1/2×22)
Writing-engraving ‘BAMBRIDGE ON TRIAL FOR MURDER BY A COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS|Engraved by T Cook from an Original Painting by Wm. Hogarth in the possession of Mr. Ray. Published June 1st. 1803, by G. & J. Robinson, Paternoster Row, London.’
Transferred from the reference collection 1973
LITERATURE Kerslake 1977, I, pp.330–8
The original of this engraving, which is also reproduced in Nichols & Steevens, III, 1817, facing p.90, as being in the collection of Robert Ray, is now lost, and may have been a copy after Hogarth. He painted several versions of the scene, but the only ones now known are an oil sketch in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and a finished painting in the National Portrait Gallery (no.926).
Complaints about the treatment of inmates of the Fleet Prison led to the appointment in 1728–9 of a Committee of the House of Commons to inquire into the state of gaols in England. The Committee examined the Warden of the Fleet Prison, Thomas Bambridge, several times in early 1728, and in May that year he was tried at the Old Bailey for the murder of one of the prisoners, but was acquitted. The title of Cook's print is inaccurate: Bambridge is shown being examined in the Fleet Prison, not tried at the Old Bailey.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988