WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Fat Cull

The good times keep on coming for Francis Goodchild, as we see in Plate 8 of Industry and Idleness this week. Not only wealthy and the boss at his job, this week he’s the guest at a government banquet. More advantages of Goodchild’s marriage are also emphasized: his wife brought not just work and fiduciary benefits, but the Biblical quote suggests further blessings as he “exalts and embraces” her.

Incidentally, this is the plate in which we learn Francis is his first name.

Fat Cull

A rich fellow.

Industry and Idleness, Plate 8: The Industrious ‘Prentice Grown Right, & Sheriff of London, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum.

From the Tate Museum description:

Goodchild is now a wealthy man and one of two sheriffs of London. He and his wife are guests of honour at a City banquet. The setting has been identified as Fishmonger’s Hall near London Bridge. The advantages of Goodchild’s marriage, introduced into Plate 7, are developed further by the proverb accompanying Plate 9: ‘Exalt her & she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost Embrace her.’ This suggests that his marriage has not only secured his position within the master’s business but brought further advancements.

From the Wikipedia description:

Plate 8 shows the opulence that industry has produced (or rather, allowed to be procured): the couple sit at the far end of the table (Just to the left of the man in the foreground with the staff) on chairs, apparently in state. His chair has the sword of state on its right arm and on her left the crowned mace.

A significant portion of this plate is taken up with a related satire of gluttony, which takes place in the left foreground. In particular, the two on the far right warn that even earned riches are as susceptible to squander and waste as any other.

To the upper left, an orchestra on a balcony provides musical accompaniment.

The chamberlain (the man with the staff of office) examines a paper addressed “To the worship Fras Goodchild Esq. Sher[…] Lond” while a crowd of people mills at the bar. This is the first time we find out his first name.

Proverbs CH: IV Ver: 7, 8
With all thy getting get understanding
Exalt her, & she shall promote thee: she
shall bring thee to honour, when
thou dost Embrace her


Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

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