Tom Raw on Short Commons

Tom Raw on Short Commons



This print is taken from a copy of Tom Raw, The Griffin, a burlesque poem in 12 cantos by Sir Charles D'Oyly, published by Ackerman in 1828. A Griffin was a young cadet, new to the service of The East India Company and the poem follows Tom's hapless adventures in India.

This print is of course of interest to us as it shows Tom 'Upon the ground, then stretched out both his legs, Making his elbows on the table'. The table is a folding X Frame and he has his heads in his hands bemoaning his situation. Tom had married the Colonel's daughter but the hope of new found wealth has not materialized. His father in law has withheld the coin and so his young family have to accompany him as his carries out his duties as a treasure escort. His wife is upset, the urchins are screaming and they have been caught in the rains as the Sepoys struggle to erect the tent. To top it all off, Tom is starving and the children have taken the lion's share of the food.

Sir Charles D'Oyly was born in Calcutta in 1781 and after an English education returned to India in the employ of HEIC. Not only was he a good artist but he was well aware of the life in India and the amusing problems that could face a young office green to a country that was different to home. Circa 1828.


Height 11.5 cm / 4 "
Width 20 cm / 8"

Circa 1828



Lieutenant Wilmot's Bungalow