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        The Funeral Procession of the Celebrated Mr Jonathan Wild, Thief-taker, c.1725

        English School, (18th century). Medium: etching. Satire on the funeral of Jonathan Wild (1683?1725) who was perhaps the most infamous criminal of London ? and possibly Great Britain ? during the 18th century. He invented a scheme which allowed him to run one of the most successful gangs of thieves of the era, all the while appearing to be the nation's leading policeman. He manipulated the press and the nation's fears to become the most loved public figure of the 1720s; this love turned to hatred when his villainy was exposed. After his death, he became a symbol of corruption and hypocrisy. Provenance: Private Collection.


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