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Jack Tars conversing with Boney on the blockade of old England.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Jack Tars conversing with Boney on the blockade of old England.
  • Description

    Two British sailors are in an open boat in the Channel; they have shipped their oars and look up at Napoleon who stands on a fort rising from the water. He wears a huge bicorne, and flourishes a sword inscribed 'The Terror of the Continent'. He points with a large and bony hand at the opposite shore, where John Bull stands on a cliff; he says: "Be'gar by my Imperial decree England is in a State of Blockade." John Bull, very short and fat, with a long pipe, watches him, saying, "I cannot help laughing at the whimsical conceit." The two sailors have a can of 'Grog' between them; one stands up, pipe in hand and with a stern scowl, to answer Napoleon: "Why, what do you mean by that you whipper snapper - here's Tom pipes and I in this little cock boat, will Blockade you so that you dare not bring out a single Vessel; - Blockade indeed! you are a pretty fellow to talk of Blockading!" The other sits with folded arms, smoking, and looking contemptuously over his shoulder at Napoleon; he says: "I wonder Jack you throw away your precious time in talking to such a lubber!" Each has a favour and ribbon on his hat inscribed 'Nelson'. Napoleon stands behind gun-embrasures. In the distance is the French coast with an encampment, and the masts of ships lying behind
    a battery. December 1806
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1806
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 256 millimetres
    • Width: 359 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: 'Pubd Decr 1806 by Walker N° 7 Cornhill'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
    By the Berlin Decree of 21 Nov. Napoleon declared the British Isles in a state of blockade and forbade all trade, direct or indirect, between the British dominions and countries under French control; the persons of all English men and women were declared captive, and their property confiscated where-ever found. The print seems to illustrate a speech of John Smith, M.P. for Nottingham, on seconding the Address on 19 Dec.: 'A blockade of a country who had hardly dared to trust a ship out of the protection of their batteries, against a country which commanded the seas, and could, if it thought fit, intercept the commerce of the whole world. The arrogance of this threat of blockade could only be equalled by its absurdity.' 'Parl. Debates', viii. 44. For the Continental System see 'Camb. Mod. Hist.' ix, Ch. xiii; Heckscher, 'The Continental System', 1922, pp. 88 ff.; for the blockade see BMSats 10617, 10624, 10699, 10768, 10773.
    Broadley, i. 253.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 10623 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1806 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)   Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA81443

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