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Symptoms of crim. Con.!!!-or, a political visit to the heiress in threadneedle street.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Symptoms of crim. Con.!!!-or, a political visit to the heiress in threadneedle street.
  • Description

    Vansittart, in his Chancellor of the Exchequer's gown, is making love to the Bank of England, personified in a handsome, richly dressed, and bejewelled lady. They sit on large sacks of guineas, that of Vansittart inscribed 'Treasury Gold'. He puts his right hand on his breast, his left arm is round her shoulders; he says: "My dear Lady allow me to prove to you my sincere affection, by thus devoting myself to your Interest, & like many of the Nobility, & even Royalty itself, who permit their Protegées to enrich themselves on the spoils of the Public." She answers: "My Sweet Friend & invaluable Protector, I am perfectly sensible of your unalterable regard, by the many proofs of your attention to my Interest, & tho Johny is becoming very clamorous, & dangerously inquisitive, while you & I are true & affectionate to each other, we can always contrive to Cajole him." They sit in a strong-room filled with innumerable money-bags inscribed with large sums and many cyphers; there is also a large chest of coin; guineas (or sovereigns) overflow on to the floor. Through a barred opening in a heavily padlocked door John Bull looks in, with a frown of melancholy anger; he says: "Oh, ho, now I see the necessity [of] Secret Committees, I think this smells strong of a Criminal Connection. Sweet indeed! but very Dear to me. Cajole''d properly, but I have now got a peep, so look to it my Patience is exhausted." Beside Vansittart is a drawing of a gibbet with a man and woman hanging from it; the caption is 'Bank Restrictions'. On the ground (left) are torn papers: 'Plans to render Bank Notes Inimitable'; a rat nibbles them. In the upper left part of the design is a stack of large drawers inscribed respectively 'Forged Notes—at least suposed so'; 'Still doubtful'; 'Our own Notes which have been refused being suspected, since Paid'; 'Our own Notes issued with Omissions'. Against these leans a board headed 'Small Profits. [Items]: Amount of Notes lost by Fire 148,793, Do by Sea— 796,348, Distroyedby Accidents—64,227, Stolen & made away with to prevent detection—48,969, Compound Interest on Notes kept out for 20, 30 & 40 years 2,369,475; Secret Profit on Guineas for which Notes have been Issued 863,947; Use of Unclaimed Devidends 1,364,987—[total] £5656 746. Large Profits on Discount advances to Government; Charge for government busineness; Trade speculations in Omniums, Foreign Loans &c &c &c &c &c. too much to meet the Pubic [sic] Eye .... 000 000 000 00.'
    12 February 1819
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1819
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 251 millimetres
    • Width: 348 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text and production details within image: 'I. R. Ck fecit- / Pubd Feby 12 1819 by S W Fores 50 Piccadilly & 112 Oxford Street'.
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    On 2 Feb. 1819 Liverpool moved for a Secret Committee to inquire into the State of the Bank of England with reference to the resumption of cash payments. 'Parl. Deb.' xxxix. 202. A justified campaign against exorbitant profits made by the Bank under cover of the restriction of cash payments and in other ways was begun by Pascoe Grenfell in 1815, see Smart, 'Econ. Annals of the Nineteenth Century', 1910, i. 433 f., &c. In 1816 unclaimed dividends on Bank stock were taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On 8 Mar. 1819 Vansittart announced a restriction on the perquisites of the Bank, securing for the public the interest on the Consolidated Fund. For the association of Bank Restriction with executions for passing forged notes and for the 'Plans to render Bank Notes Inimitable' see No. 13197. The print perhaps derives from Gillray's famous satire on Pitt ravishing the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, No. 9016. Cf. also No. 7838 (1791) where Pitt's proposal to use unclaimed dividends is represented as running off with the Bank. Vansittart alludes to the Duke of York and Mrs. Clarke, see No. 11216, &c., and to the Hertford family. For the title cf. No. 8925.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 13203 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XIXc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 12th February 1819  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 12th February 1819 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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