4220-0

Tithe Pig Group, c.1765-70

This popular group consists of three figures: the Rector, the Farmer (holding a pig) and the Farmer’s Wife with a baby. This group rarely appears as a set of three independent figures. The subject reflects an old joke about the clergy. It is based on the medieval fable about the farmer’s wife who determined not to part with her tenth pig unless the parson takes her tenth child.

The Parson comes, the Pig he claims,
And the good Wife with Taunts inflames,
But she quite Arch bow’d low and smil’d –
Kept back the Pig and held the Child,
The Priest look’d gruff, the wife look’d big,
Zounds, Sir, quoth she, no Child, no Pig.

Image from: Derby Museum and Art Gallery



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