Skip to main content

Tom Merry: Gladstone Come Out of That

Tom Merry was the pen name of William Mecham (1853 – 1902). Born in Southwark, he found fame with his satirical cartoons. He produced brightly coloured drawings depicting the political events of the time. These featured as the centrefold of St Stephen's Review. This cartoon depicts William Gladstone MP (1809 – 1898) standing in the chamber of the House of Commons. He is pulling the lapel of Randolph Churchill MP (1849 – 1895) who he believes is in his seat. This reflects the power contest between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party at the time. Gladstone was the leaders of the Liberals while Churchill supported the Conservative Party, headed by his uncle, Lord Salisbury (1830 – 1903). Gladstone had formed a government on 1st February 1886 but lost an election to the Conservatives in July 1886 and so returned to opposition.