Weekly Freeman Cartoons


The Weekly Freeman was the weekend edition of the Freeman’s Journal, a nationalist daily broadsheet published in Dublin from 1763 to 1924, when it was merged into the Irish Independent.

In the 1870s, the Weekly began offering a large format political cartoon with each issue. These color lithographs featured the political figures and events of the day. Irish artist John Fergus O’Hea (ca.1838-1922) was responsible for these plates from 1881 to March 1892, when the job was handed to his assistant, Thomas Fitzpatrick (1860-1912). This collection of forty-five cartoons from 1892 includes the work of both artists.


Even if you don’t understand the politics of the day, you can recognize the figure of Erin, the female personification of Ireland, and Pat, the male personification of the Irish people (usually seen as a tenant farmer).

For more information, see: Lewis Perry Curtis, Apes and Angels: the Irishman in Victorian Caricature. Rev. ed. (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997). Firestone Library DA925 .C85 1997