John Wade (1788-1875)

Created: 5 February, 2010
Updated: 5 February, 2013

 

 

This is one of the illustrations from Wade's Extraordinary Black Book (appendix to 1834 edition) showing John Bull (the typical Englishman) being tied down like Gulliver in order to be abused and tormented by his enemies, which include the Crown, the Army (holding banners which state that "Might Mkaes Right" and "Cunning is Power"), lawyers (playing "The Whig March"), an official who has his head stuck in one of John Bull's pockets, the Church (who is pulling John Bull's tongue so he cannot talk), and members of parliament holding a sword over his head. A group of equally horrified citizens are watching the entire proceedings. To see a larger version of this picture [JPG 2.4 MB].

 

John Wade's Extraordinary Black Book; or, Corruption Unmasked (this is a composite title) went through a number of editions between 1820 and 1835, with each edition containing new material and sometimes a new title and new illustrations (like the one above). I am putting online a range of these editons which straddle the year of 1832 - the year of the First Geat Reform Act which changed the structure of British politics by allowing many of the middle class to vote for the first time. Wade's book played a role in this reform movement. The very long title of the 1820 edition gives an indication of what forms of government abuse he was interested in.

This advertisement was placed at the front of the 1831 edition:

CHURCH, STATE, LAW, AND REPRESENTATION.

THE EXTRAORDINARY BLACK BOOK,

Comprising the United Church of England and Ireland, the Civil List, and Hereditary Revenues of the Crown; Incomes, Influence, and Privileges of the Aristocracy; Diplomatic and Consular Establishments; Law and Courts of Law; Revenue and Colonial Abuses; the Debt and Funding System; Bank and East India Company, with Thoughts on Renewal of their respective Charters; the Representation, with the Prospects of Reform under the New Ministry; also, correct Lists of Pluralists, Placemen, Pensioners, and Sinecurists: presenting a complete view of the Cost, Influence, Patronage, and Abuses of Government in Church, State, Law, and Representation.

Re-written, newly arranged, and corrected throughout from the latest Official Returns, BY THE ORIGINAL EDITOR, and complete in 1 Volume, 8vo. 14s. in black cloth, with a characteristic Frontispiece.

THE BLACK BOOK, usually called the “ Reformer’s Bible,” has been often re-printed, but never corrected since its first publication in 1820; it is now offered to the public as an entirely New Work, and at two-thirds of the price of former Editions.

A chronological list of the various editions:

  • 1820 - The Black Book; or, Corruption Unmasked! Being an Account of Places, Pensions, and Sinecures, the Revenues of the Clergy and Landed Aristocracy; the Salaries and Emoluments in Courts of Justice and the Police Department; the Expenditure of the Civil List; the Amount and Application of the Droits of the Crown and Admiralty; the Robbery of Charitable Foundations; the Profits of the Bank of England, arising from the Issue of its Notes, Balances of Public Money, Management of the Borough Debt, and other Sources of Emolument; the Debt, Revenue, and Influence of the East-India Company; the State of the Finances, Debt, and Sinking Fund. To which is added Correct Lists of both Houses of Parliament; showing their Family Connections, Parliamentary Influence, the Places and Pensions held by themselves or Relations; distinguishing also those who voted against Catholic Emancipation, and for the Seditious Meeting and Press-Restriction Bills: the whole forming a complete Exposition of the Cost, Influence, Patronage, and Corruption of the Borough Government. (London: John Fairburn, 1820). [PDF 31.1 MB].
  • 1828 - The Black Book; or, Corruption Unmasked! Being an Account of Places, Pensions, and Sinecures, the Revenues of the Clergy and Landed Aristocracy; the Salaries and Emoluments in Courts of Justice and the Police Department; the Expenditure of the Civil List; the Amount and Application of the Droits of the Crown and Admiralty; the Robbery of Charitable Foundations; the Profits of the Bank of England, arising from the Issue of its Notes, Balances of Public Money, Management of the Borough Debt, and other Sources of Emolument; the Debt, Revenue, and Influence of the East-India Company; the State of the Finances, Debt, and Sinking Fund. To which is added Correct Lists of both Houses of Parliament (from 1819 to the present time); showing their Family Connections, Parliamentary Influence, the Places and Pensions held by themselves or Relations. With a Supplement and Appendix. The whole forming a complete Exposition of the Cost, Influence, Patronage, and Corruption of the Borough Government. (London: John Fairburn, 1828). Vol. 1 [PDF 30 MB in colour] and Vol. 2 [PDF 30.6 MB in colour]. Black and white version vol. 1 [PDF 24.1 MB] and vol. 2 [PDF 25.2 MB]
  • 1831 - THE EXTRAORDINARY BLACK BOOK: AN EXPOSITION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND; CIVIL LIST AXD CROW REVENUES; INCOMES, PRIVILEGES, AND POWER, OF THE ARISTOCRACY; PRIVY COUNCIL, DIPLOMATIC, AND CONSULAR ESTABLISHMENTS; Law and Judicial Administration; REPRESENTATION AND PROSPECTS OF REFORM UNDER THE NEW MINISTRY; Profits, Influence, and Monopoly OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND AND EAST-INDIA COMPANY, With Strictures on the RENEWAL OF THEIR CHARTERS; DEBT AND FUNDING SYSTEM; Salaries, Fees, and Emoluments in Courts of Justice, Public Offices, and Colonies; LISTS OF Pluralists, Placemen, Pensioners, and Sinecurists: THE WHOLE CORRECTED FROM THE LATEST OFFICIAL RETURNS, AND PRESENTING A COMPLETE VIEW OF THE EXPENDITURE, PATRONAGE, INFLUENCE, AND ABUSES OF THE GOVERNMENT, IN Church, State, Law, and Representation. BY THE ORIGINAL EDITOR. LONDON: PUBLISHED BY EFFINGHAM WILSON, ROYAL EXCHANGE. 1831. [PDF 23.6 MB].
  • 1832 - The Extraordinary Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Representation, Municipal and Corporate Bodies; with a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, present, and to come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected to the present time. By the Original Editor. (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1832). [PDF 36.7 MB].
  • 1834 - Appendix to the Black Book: An Exposition of the principles and Practices of the Reform Ministry and Parliament: The Church and the Dissenters; Catastrophe of the House of Lords; and Prospects of Tory Misrule: with Tables of Eccesiastical and Election Statistics and Corrections of Former Editions of the Black Book. By the Original Editor. London: Published by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange. 1834. [PDF 7 MB].
  • 1835 - The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies; with a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, present, and to come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected to the present time. By the Original Editor. With an Appendix (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1835). [PDF 111.8 MB in colour]. A black and white version [PDF 41.8 MB].
  • 1835 - Appendix to the Black Book: An Exposition of the principles and Practices of the Reform Ministry and Parliament: The Church and the Dissenters; Catastrophe of the House of Lords; and Prospects of Tory Misrule: with Tables of Eccesiastical and Election Statistics and Corrections of Former Editions of the Black Book. By the Original Editor. Fourth Edition, with the "Crisis" and a Characteristic List of the Anti-Reform Government. London: Published by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange. 1854. [PDF 6.8 MB].