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‘A Harlot’s Progress, Plate V’, 1732

© 2021 Royal Pharmaceutical Society


Mounted etching and engraving entitled ‘A Harlot’s Progress, Plate V’, designed, engraved and published by William Hogarth in 1732. Third state.

Mary Hackabout sits dying of venereal disease, wrapped in a blanket by the fireside in her poor lodgings. Her two doctors argue violently over whose cure is the superior, while her goods are plundered.

The tall thin quack doctor, jumping from his chair and angrily pointing to his box of pills is probably Dr Misaubin, while the seated, portly, self-important, and less excitable quack doctor, who taps a bottle of his medicine with the head of his cane, is probably Dr Rock. On the coal scuttle is a spittoon and a paper lettered “Dr Rock” containing some of her teeth (removed as a quack cure for venereal disease).

On the floor is a paper “PRACTICAL SCHEME ANODYNE NECKLACE”, a current cure for either teething or “the Secret Disease”, while on the mantlepiece are medicine bottles, bowls and a bag clyster.