WHEN CONSTABULARY DUTY'S TO BE DONE. - an original printed appearance of this cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill from the 23 February 1910 edition of the magazine Punch, or The London Charivari
London: Punch, 1910. This original printed appearance of a Punch cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill comes from the personal collection of Gary L. Stiles, author of Churchill in Punch (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2022). His book is the first ever effort to definitively catalog, describe, and contextualize all of the many Punch cartoons featuring Churchill.
This cartoon titled "When Constabulary Duty's to be Done." appeared thus on p.129 of the 23 February 1910 issue of Punch. The artist is Leonard Raven-Hill. The caption reads: "Mr. Lloyd George (to the new Home Secretary). 'I suppose you're going to settle down now?' Mr. Winston Churchill. 'Yes; but I shan't forget you. If you find yourself in trouble I'll see if I can get you a reprieve, for the sake of old times!'"
Winston Churchill, the new Home Secretary, is depicted in his new office with the newspaper headline noting his appointment. In his new position, Churchill could pardon criminal offenses. The title of the cartoon comes from a song in the Pirates of Penzance. Here Churchill tells Lloyd George that if his budgets get him into trouble (they had been denounced by his detractors as being "felonious"), he, Churchill, might be able to pardon him.
Punch or The London Charivari began featuring Churchill cartoons in 1900, when his political career was just beginning. That political career would last two thirds of a century, see him occupy Cabinet office during each of the first six decades of the twentieth century, carry him twice to the premiership and, further still, into the annals of history as a preeminent statesman. And throughout that time, Punch satirized Churchill in cartoons – more than 600 of them, the work of more than 50 different artists.
It was a near-perfect relationship between satirists and subject. That Churchill was distinctive in both persona and physical appearance helped make him easy to caricature. To his persona and appearance he added myriad additional satirical temptations, not just props, like his cigars, siren suits, V-sign, and hats, but also a variety of ancillary avocations and vocations, like polo, painting, brick-laying, and writing. All these were skewered as well.
Some Punch cartoons were laudatory, some critical, and many humorous, like the man himself. Nearly always, Churchill was distinctly recognizable, a larger-than-life character whose presence caricature served only to magnify. Item #007089