Born in Bloomsbury in 1792, George Cruikshank would illustrate everyday life in England, political issues, calendars, his own magazine, theatre backdrops, and numerous books.

Books (1, 2)

Humor, satire, and poverty

Etchings for pamphleteer William Hone, 1820s.


"George Cruikshank was a humorist of the school of Hogarth, and is considered by some to be one of the best that Britain has produced" (2). Yet his humor, as well as much of the humor of his age, lacks the timeless quality of Shakespeare. His technique, however, remains seen as excellent.

Money of England

Georgie-Porgie, as well as many other contemporaries, noted (5) that English currency was trivial to counterfeit. The Crown had a blast hanging people for passing the notes, often unknowingly, and many felt that was not in the English people's best interests. Our hero designed note-look-alikes that satirized the text on them; they were printed by William Hone.

The practice ended the death penalty for minor currency offenses. (6) As he writes in his own words, "After that, there was not any more hanging or punishmeant of death for minor offences" (7) of any kind.

His own finances


In 1866, John Ruskin had to lend him serious money. Overall, his financial state was not very good, but he did what he loved. He later relied on a small pension from the government and a school where he learned to oil paint, the Academy School.


  5. Pun intended: They noticed something about notes of currency!

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