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State mysteries a vision of Pall Mall.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • State mysteries a vision of Pall Mall.
  • Description

    Plate from the 'Scourge', v, before p. 269. [Misplaced in B.M.L. copy.] Illustration to 'The First Book of the Acts of the Regent' (in Biblical language), pp. 269-75. The Regent and three others have been seated on a throne-like settee; they are terrified at the approach of the Princess of Wales (right) led forward by Truth who holds up her mirror, directing its rays against the heads of the Prince who flinches back, throwing up a leg in horror, Lady Douglas seated beside him and clutching his right arm, and Sir John Douglas, who rises to his feet, tugging at his wife's dress. On the right of the settee, Lady Hertford hides her head against the Prince, clutching his legs in an abandoned way. At her feet crouches Envy, a hag with pendent breasts wreathed with serpents, who flinches from Truth and tries to veil her head with Lady Hertford's skirt. Truth is naked except for a belt and swirling draperies, on her breast is an irradiated sun (as in No. 12006). The Princess, handsome and dignified, wears the Prince's feathers in her hair which is encircled by a fillet inscribed '[Ich] Dien'; a long veil hangs down her back; with left arm raised she declaims, quoting from Queen Katherine's speech ('Henry VIII', ii. 4):
    'Sir I desire you do me right and Justice
    And to bestow your pity on me: for
    I am a most poor Woman and a stranger
    born out of your dominion -
    if you can report
    and prove it, against mine honor aught
    my bond to Wedlock, or my love and duty
    against your sacred person in gods name
    turn me away - and so give me up
    to the sharpest kind of Justice
    Behind her (right) walks a man displaying a large document: 'Secret Correspondence / The - [Regent] / Lady - / Lady - / Mrs - /. Ye perjurers suborned avaunt this deed - the under tongued shall plead - against the deep damnation of your Souls.' He is 'a scribe whom the people honor', and may be Whitbread or Brougham though resembling neither.
    Lady Hertford exclaims to the Regent: "Hide me! Hide me! Truth is hatefull to me and a Virtuous wife abhorrent to my Nature." The Regent quotes Hamlet as in No. 11990: "Angels and Ministers of grace defend us." Lady Douglas, good-looking, with a tartan scarf across her shoulders, says: "Mercifull Heaven it is all discovered, our our [sic] schemes are confounded and we are branded with the charge of perjury." Her husband, who wears Highland dress, exclaims: "Never mind my Dear - the Blood of Douglas will protect itself! but I must confess it will be most adviseable to shuffle our heads guilty [? quickly] as possible out of this disagreable Halter." The settee is on a dais and is backed by heavy fringed draperies looped round two massive columns.
    On the left are five men, all terrified at the approach of Truth; they surround a cauldron from which issue flames and clouds of smoke inscribed in large and partly obscured letters 'DI[V]OR[C]E'; all hold long wands. Sidmouth scrambles away from the cauldron on all fours, a clyster-pipe (cf. No. 9849) hanging from his pocket; he says: "Unhappy Man what had I to do with this wretched scheme of Divorce! - this is worse than my intolerant Dissenting Ministers Bill!" The two archbishops flee to the left: Manners-Sutton says: "''Confound our politics They frustrate our knavish tricks", And have made Canterbury cakes of us." Vernon, his hand on the other's shoulder, and stepping from the cauldron, says: "I thought I was far enough North for them but it appears York wont do!" Eldon, in his Chancellor's gown, with primly clasped hands says: "Wou'd I were now quietly locking up my table Beer to prevent waste among my servants, or sneaking to bed with my shoes in my hand - in fear of waking my Lady - any where but where I am." Lord Ellenborough, in his robes, says: "Curse the cauldron! I have put foot in it."
    1 April 1813
    Hand-coloured etching, lacking letterpress


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1813
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 195 millimetres
    • Width: 514 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Pubd April 1st 1813 by W N Jones Newgate Street".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    A satire on the commission to the Archbishops, Cabinet, and Privy Councillors to examine the documents of 1806, the 'so-called delicate investigation', into the conduct of the Princess of Wales. The Princess maintained that the Douglases were suborned perjurers; they demanded to stand trial for perjury, see No. 12026. The Princess's innocence, the thesis of Judge Parry's 'Queen Caroline', 1930, can scarcely be maintained since the publication of the 'Correspondence of George IV', 1938, see especially i. 507-23, ii. 57-61, 281. In 1811 Sidmouth brought in a Bill requiring all dissenting ministers to be licensed, and restraining unlicensed preachers; this caused an outcry; the Bill was thrown out in the Lords without a division. The first allusion to a plan for the divorce of the Princess, seven years before it was openly mooted. According to the 'historical preface' to 'The Book', ed. C. V. Williams, p. xviii, 'one evening paper of infamous notoriety' had asserted: 'the Prince Regent may lose his wife, may marry again, and have a son'. See No. 12808, &c. Cf. Nos. 11990, 12039, 12041, 12056.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 12028 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1813 Unmounted Imp)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  1 April 1813  Hand-coloured etching, lacking letterpress


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 April 1813 Hand-coloured etching, lacking letterpress

Image description



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