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Tom Merry: Gladstonian Ambush

Unlike Harry Furniss, who grounded his satirical cartoons in reality by setting them within the Houses of Parliament, Tom Merry produced fictional scenes that represented the political climate of the times. Thus, this cartoon, set on a quiet country lane, depicts Gladstone and his party armed and lying in wait for a horse and cart. The cart is driven by Lord Salisbury (1830 – 1903), the Prime Minister. At the time of this cartoon, William Gladstone MP (1809 – 1898) and the Liberal Party were in opposition, having lost a general election in July 1886. The Liberals remained in opposition until July 1892, when they regained power with 49% of the vote.