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The insurrection of the papers.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The insurrection of the papers.
  • Description

    The Regent, beset by a blizzard of intimidating and humiliating papers, falls backwards, upsetting his arm-chair and kicking over a small breakfast-table. He is much caricatured, wearing moustache as well as whiskers. The largest papers are a 'Catholic Petition' which floats towards his head, and a long list headed 'Death-warrants' which has fallen from his hand. On the former is a figure of St. Patrick holding a cross, on the latter Time with his scythe, a gibbet, and the words 'I MkM—n' [McMahon]; across this lies 'The Book' [see No. 11990, &c.]. He exclaims: "et Tu Brute," and by his face is: 'Letter about Predilections"' [see No. 11864]. His foot is on 'Official Papers'; near them are 'Billets doux' [twice]; 'Notes from My Lady' [Hertford]; 'Drams for Vapours'; 'hints from five Physicians'. On the table are the 'Morning Post' newspaper and three rolls of 'Unread Petitions'. A small bureau is covered with other 'Unread-Petitions', and a large sheaf of these is on a shelf above it, with 'Liverpool Petitions'. There are also 'Carlisle Petitions' [see No. 11870], 'Nottingham Petitions' [with a kneeling skeleton depicted], 'Manchester Petitions' [with a head behind prison bars]. Other papers are a large sheaf of 'Common-Hall Addresses', two sets of 'Tradesmens Bills', two other 'Billets doux'. On the chimney-piece behind the Regent's back is a bust of Fox (the famous bust by Nollekens, done for the Empress Catharine, see No. 7902, &c., of which so many replicas were made). From the lips issue the words 'Fox's Bust'. A kettle on the fire hisses steam towards the Prince. From the table an urn decorated with the Prince's feathers, with other pieces of gold plate, and a boiled egg slide to the ground. In front of the Prince is a saddle inscribed 'Plans of Saddles'.
    28 April 1812
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1812
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 248 millimetres
    • Width: 350 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "E-s Price one Shilling Coloured / Londo Aprl 28th 1812 Publd by Thos Tegg 111 Cheapside,".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    An illustration in detail of Moore's verses with the same title (reprinted from the "Morning Chronicle" in the 'Examiner', 26 Apr. 1812), the motto of which is from Castlereagh's speech on McMahon's appointment (see No. 11874): 'It would be impossible for his Royal Highness to disengage his person from the accumulating pile of papers that encompassed it.' Moore writes: 'His Own Dear Letter void of grace, / Now flew up in its parent's face.' (The letter of 13 Feb., see No. 11855, &c.) Romilly writes (18 Feb.): 'He says in the letter that he has no predilection to indulge and no resentment to gratify: a most dangerous sentiment at the commencement of his reign, considering his past conduct and his past professions. It will be understood to mean that there are no injuries he will not forgive and no services he will not forget.' 'Life', 1848, ii. 237. The other papers of the print are also those of the verses. Catholic Emancipation having become a non-party question in 1812 the attitude of the Regent was all-important; for the text of the Catholic Petition presented to him see 'Ann. Reg.', 1812, pp. 342-6. For the Address of the Common Hall see No. 11866; on a refusal to receive it with the desired formalities the Livery passed a series of resolutions against the advisers of the Crown. See Sharpe, 'London and the Kingdom', 1895, iii. 283-5. Other petitions relate to industrial and commercial distress, cf. No. 11876.

    (Supplementary information)
    'Price one Shilling Coloured' in the inscription erased, but traces remain.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 11869 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1812 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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