©Wellcome Library, London

In a market economy, the undertaker was cynically portrayed as profiteering from death in the way that doctors benefited from sickness. Indeed, the two professions were often considered to be in cahoots. In this caricature, an undertaker visits a sick man at his doctor's request, in the hope of gaining a new client.

Undertaker: ‘Sir, I am an undertaker recommended by Dr Grissell. If you're not engaged, shall be proud to inter you'.
Sick man: ‘Inter me, the devil you will!! I only wish I could catch you at it'.

Coloured etching after Richard Newton (1771-1798), London 1822.