Sir Francis Carruthers, RBA (1844-1925) Francis Carruthers Gould was the ultimate party cartoonist, producing pro-Liberal images for the Westminster Gazette and his own paper, Picture Politics. He even received a knighthood as a result of his contribution to the Liberal victory of 1906. The son of an architect, Francis Carruthers Gould was born in Barnstaple, Devon, on 2 December 1844. Educated privately in the town – first at Mr Sharland’s School and then at Mr Snow’s School – he entered a bank at the age of sixteen. In 1865, he joined a London stockbroker’s office, becoming a member of the Stock Exchange a few years later. With artistic talent but no formal training, Gould’s talents were developed through his political interests and were usefully employed only from 1879, when he was invited by Horace Voules to illustrate the Christmas number of Truth, a commission that was repeated each year until 1895. He contributed to the Pall Mall Gazette from 1887, and three years later left the Stock Exchange to join its staff, under the Liberal editorship of E T Cook.
So he became the first staff caricaturist on a British daily paper. When William Astor bought the paper in 1892 in order to transform it into a Conservative organ, he followed Cook to the newly founded Westminster Gazette. In 1894, he founded his own paper, Picture Politics, and worked on both of these until his retirement in 1914. Dubbed ‘the greatest asset of the Liberal Party’, by Lord Rosebery, he had received a knighthood after the Liberal victory of 1906. In the words of David Low, ‘FCG had notable dexterity in original first-hand portraiture, and in many cases his were the originals of what became later the commonly accepted versions of public men.’ He spent his retirement in Porlock, Somerset, and died there on 1 January 1925. His children included the landscape painter, Alec Carruthers Gould. Contributed to the Pall Mall Gazette, Truth and the Westminster Gazette; founded Picture Politics (1894) His work is represented in the collections of the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.