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The Bill thrown out

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Bill thrown out
  • Description

    Below the title: 'But the Pains and Penalties Inflicted'. The King, dressed as a mandarin, falls back fainting on a settee, attended by three stout ladies and General Bloomfield, all in Chinese dress. Behind is a slanting cloud of smoke, inscribed: 'The Bill is lost through your favorite Clause.' He murmurs: "Curse the Bishops, Oh I faint, I faint, I shall never survive this." Bloomfield, identified by a paper in his pocket: 'The Farmers Boy' [cf. No. 13237], bends towards him, saying, "aye that Cursed Adultery Clause has done the Business—"; he proffers a glass of 'Coniac'. A lady supports each arm, holding a bottle of 'Eau de Col[ogne]' to his nose; one, in back view, is (?) Lady Hertford; the other, Lady Conyngham, says: "Rouse my Love, & we will go, where the Rocks of Coral grow,! let us quit this Religious Country & go to Hanover." The third (? Mrs. Quentin) throws up her arms in despair. A huge Chinese jar (left) is decorated with a dragon; carved dragons or monsters support the sofa, and a table (right) on which is a decanter of 'Curacoa'.
    15 November 1820
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1820
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 226 millimetres
    • Width: 290 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and speech in image, and "Pub Nov 15 1820 by S W Fores 41 Picadilly".
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
    The Bill of Pains and Penalties, see No. 13825, passed its second reading by 28, see No. 13973. The Archbishop of York, though asserting his belief in the Queen's guilt, declared that the divorce clause must be expunged, or he would vote against the third reading; he was supported by some of the bishops [only the Archbishops of York and Tuam, and the Bishop of Gloucester voted against the third reading; Canterbury and eight bishops voted for it; 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. iii. 1744-5; Creevey (10 Nov.) attributes the passing of the Bill to 'Union Peers and those villains of the Church'; on 11 Nov. he records the hanging of a bishop in effigy], but opposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. An amendment to remove the clause was defeated by the Opposition who said that it would facilitate the passage of the Bill, which passed its third reading, 10 Nov., by 9 only, and was at once dropped by Liverpool, eager for an opportunity to do so, see No. 13972. Many, in voting against the Bill, declared their belief in the Queen's guilt, Ellenborough, for example, saying 'the evidence at the bar proved her Majesty guilty of adultery'. 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. iii. 1708. Arbuthnot wrote, 6 Nov., '. . . we are in high spirits; for her guilt has been pronounced most forcibly by many who voted against the Bill. ... In short her character is blasted for ever'. 'Corr.', ed. Aspinall, 1941, p. 20. The dropping of the Bill was taken by the populace as a verdict of innocence. The 'acquittal' and its consequences are almost the sole topics of caricature till the end of the year. For Hanover cf. No. 13974.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 13986 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Caricatures XII p.138)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: PPA180637

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