William Hogarth, The Gate of Calais, or the Roast Beef of Old England

The Gate of Calais, or the Roast Beef of Old England, 1749

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

Engraving of William Hogarth's painting The Calais Gate (1748-9, Tate Britain), which was painted in the aftermath of Hogarth's 1748 visit to France. On the way home he was arrested at Calais as a suspected spy after trying to sketch the town's ancient drawbridge. This scene takes place in that location (Hogarth includes a self-portrait of himself sketching on the left side) and satirises the French and Catholicism. In the centre a fat friar (modelled on Hogarth's friend, the engraver John Pine) fingers a huge piece of beef while all numerous poor and emaciated figures are in desparate need of food. These include Scottish and Irish soldiers, clearly Jacobite exiles.

The alternative title, 'O the Roast Beef of Old England' is taken from a patriotic song by Hogarth's friend Richard Liveridge, which expresses the same anti-French and anti-Jacobite sentiments found in this print.

Object details

The Gate of Calais, or the Roast Beef of Old England
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Engraved by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764) and Charles Mosley (ca. 1720- - 1756)
Object type

385 mm x 460 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
This image is from a book

Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]

Click here to view the book

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