As we have mentioned many times before, Francis Grose, the soldier and antiquarian, (not to be confused with Francis Grose, the soldier and lieutenant governor) is our hero. Between his antiquarian studies and his satires, we think he would have been fun in both the archives and the tavern. Just look at how jolly he was:
And by jolly, we mean obese. A condition undoubtedly caused by his dedication to research.
One of the reasons we love Capt. Grose is that he had a healthy sense of humor about antiquarian research. Of course, picking on others invites others to pick on you, which a few satirical print makers did. Below is our small collection of Grose satires.
‘Now [Grose], like bright Phoebus is sunk into rest, / Society droops for the loss of his jest, / Antiquarian debates, unseason’d with mirth, / To genius and learning will never give birth: / Then wake brother member our friend from his sleep, / Lest Apollo should frown and Bacchus should weep. / This plate is cordially inscribed to those members of the Antiquarian Society, who adjourn to the Somerset, by one of their devoted bretheren.’
It was recently pointed out that no eighteenth-century antiquarian exploration was complete without a walking stick (as we saw above, Grose even named his Cuddy). Judging by the images above, it seems the eighteenth-century antiquarian’s field kit also required a quizzing glass for closer looks.