The Proclamation Regarding Weights and Measures, 1556

Ford Madox Brown, 1821 - 1893

The Proclamation Regarding Weights and Measures, 1556

Ford Madox Brown 1821 - 1893


Reduced version of a mural painting depicting the announcement of weights and measures regulations in 1556. The scene is a narrow street in the city of Manchester. In the centre, a man and woman look out in dismay from a shop front displaying meat and scales, where an elderly town crier stands with his bull terrier. The town crier holds a bell in his right hand and a parchment containing the regulations in his left. He holds a long staff under his left arm from which a lantern is suspended. His white dog stands at his feet, muzzled. To the left of the shop front a beggar-girl is seated on a circular step with a half naked child in her arms. On the floor next to her is her 'porringer' or leaden-lidded clap dish, (which beggars could clap to gain attention). A young boy stands next to her, a bow and arrows slung over his back, leaning against the window sill of the shop front. On the far left a man makes his way towards the viewer on crutches, while on the far right a young boy runs along a narrow alleyway towards the scene. A young boy and girls watch the crier from opposite side of window, the girl holding a baby in her arms. To the far left a man with a long staff approaches the town square.

Object Name

The Proclamation Regarding Weights and Measures, 1556

Creators Name

Ford Madox Brown

Date Created



unframed: 26.2cm x 56.9cm
framed: 48.4cm x 79cm

accession number


Place of creation







George Beatson Blair bequest, 1941.


© Manchester Art Gallery

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