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‘Ireland in Scotland, or a trip from Oxford to the land of Cakes’, 1807

© 2021 Royal Pharmaceutical Society


Mounted hand coloured etching entitled ‘IRELAND in SCOTLAND, or a trip from OXFORD to the land of Cakes.’, designed, etched and published by Richard Dighton in 1807.

This is a portrait of the apothecary John Ireland M.D. (1745-1839). John Ireland was a Scotsman who arrived in Oxford in 1768 when he was 23 years old. He was enrolled at the University of Oxford as an Apothecary four years later, in 1772.

In the caricature John Ireland is depicted as a fashionable man standing directed to the left. He wears a large thistle in his buttonhole and carries a cane under his arm. He is about to take a pinch of snuff from the box in his left hand.

A medicine bottle in his pocket has a label lettered; “Two spoonful to be taken at bedtime.” The pill box lies on the ground with contents spilling out. The artist Richard Dighton was invited to Oxford by a Dr Grosvenor, Taunton, and Hall specifically to produce this caricature of Ireland.