WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Galley Foist

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Galley Foist

Last week, the Idle ‘Prentice received his final reward; this week, the Industrious ‘Prentice receives his. It will come as no great surprise that the latter’s is far better than the former’s. A bit heavy-handed with the lesson, perhaps, but also a stark reminder that though a phrase may be a cliché, that doesn’t make it untrue: idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Personally, although Hogarth has been mainly using Proverbs as his Bible book of choice in his Industry and Idle series, I think he missed out on a terrific verse for this plate in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which reads, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Maybe had Tom Idle gone without food more, he’d have found some productive work to busy himself. Alas, this week is about Francis Goodchild and his success… and he has reached quite the pinnacle.

Hogarth sketched out at least three other scenes that were never made into engravings nor published: one of the inside of Francis Goodchild’s home after marriage (to be placed around Plate 6), and two of Goodchild gifting money to his parents while Tom Idle steals from his own mother (these to be placed around Plate 7).

Galley Foist

A city barge, used formerly on the lord mayor’s day, when he was sworn in at Westminster.

Industry and Idleness, Plate 12: The Industrious ‘Prentice Lord-Mayor of London, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum.

From the Tate Museum description:

[Also discussing Plate 11, The Idle ‘Prentice Executed at Tyburn, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum, which was discussed HERE last week]

These complex, incident-filled scenes show Goodchild and Idle as the focus of crowded public events: one is the Lord Mayor’s procession through Cheapside in the City of London, the other, the cart ride to the gallows at Tyburn. Thus both men have achieved a kind of ‘celebrity’. However, while Goodchild’s continuing fame and good fortune are underlined by the cornucopias displayed in the border of the print, for Idle (as presented by the skeletons) there is only imminent death.

From the Wikipedia description:

Now that the Idle ‘Prentice met his reward, industry gets its turn: The industry and morality of Francis Goodchild result in his being chosen the Lord Mayor of the City.

He is here shown riding in the Lord Mayor’s carriage, holding the sword of state and wearing an outsized top hat. From the balcony on the right, a genteel crowd observes his passing, as do people in all the windows fronting on the street.

Meanwhile, the crowd drunkenly near-riots around him. In the far lower right, a boy holding “A full and true Account of ye Ghost of Tho Idle. Which […]” shows the final fate of Thomas Idle’s memory: an entry in The Newgate Calendar. Nearby members of an escort of disorganised militia accidentally discharge their muskets or drink from mugs.

The frame is now surrounded by cornucopias, referring to the verse at the bottom:

Proverbs CHAP: III Ver: 16
Length of days is in her right hand, and
in her left hand Riches and Honour


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

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Tenant for Life

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Tenant for Life

We’re back with Plate 6 this week, observing the virtues that mark Francis Goodchild’s life. Much like American television’s George Jefferson, he’s movin’ on up. Apprentice no longer, he’s now a partner with his former boss, and has married the his daughter.

The cynic in me declares good on you, Francis, with a wink and elbow jab. That IS industrious.

Tenant for Life

A married man; i.e. possessed of a woman for life.

Industry and Idleness, Plate 6: The Industrious ‘Prentice Out of His Time, & Married to His Master’s Daughter, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum.

From the Tate Museum description:

Goodchild has married the master’s daughter, thus their union is legal and respectable…. Plate 6 takes place in Fish Street Hill near the Monument (a memorial to the Great Fire of London in 1666), the base of which can be seen in the background. The well-appointed house occupied by Goodchild and his wife is both the couple’s home and a work place, which was common practice at this time. The couple have been interrupted taking tea by a large and potentially unruly band of musicians, drummers and butchers holding bones. While at first glance this appears to be part of the wedding celebrations, treating a newly-wedded couple to ‘rough music’ was a method of registering disapproval at marriages involving people from different social levels. The scene neatly underlines that Goodchild’s wealth and social advancement have not resulted solely from his exemplary attitude to work.

From the Wikipedia description:

The next plate shows that Francis Goodchild has been improving his time, as usual. He has also escaped his apprenticeship, but in the intended manner: having served his time, he is free and a journeyman weaver. Beyond that even, the sign of “WEST and GOODCHILD” under their trademark of a lion rampant shows that his former master has taken him into partnership (not an unreasonable step given that he previously kept the accounts).

The other significant change is that Miss West, last seen in Plate 2, has become Mrs. Goodchild. The scene here is likely the day after, when they distribute the remnants of the feast to various poor people.

Francis is at the window holding a teacup (without a handle) and giving a coin. In the foreground at the door a footman gives away a plate. To the left, a legless man in a tub, probably invalided from the Army or Navy, holds out a sheet of paper containing “Jeſse or the Happy Pair. A new Song”. Behind him a Frenchman with a base viol is forced out of the line by a (British) butcher.

The background shows the London Monument when it contained the lines “by the treachery of the Popish Faction.”

Proverbs CH: XII Ver: 4
The Virtuous Woman is a
Crown to her Husband.



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