- Museum number
- Object: The Double Deliverance 1588 1605
Anti-catholic satire in three parts below the irradiated name of Jehovah in Hebrew: on the left, the Spanish Armada shown in a horseshoe formation; in the centre, a tent in which the destruction of England is plotted by the Pope, a cardinal, the Devil, a Spanish grandee (possibly Philip II) and a Jesuit seated at a table with three monks in attendance; to right, Guy Fawkes approaches the House of Lords where the vault is stacked with barrels of gunpowder; in the distance is a notional view of the fortifications at Tilbury. 1621
Etching; the plate burnished in places to create a variety of textures
- Production date
Height: 406 millimetres
Width: 517 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Text from Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998, cat.95. )
This engraving is one of the best documented of the century. The lettering states that it was 'Invented by Samuell Ward preacher of Ipswich' and 'Imprinted at Amsterdam Anno 1621'. Ward (1577-1640), one of the most prolific puritan pamphleteers, was appointed town preacher of Ipswich in 1603. The end of the Twelve Years' Truce in 1621 and the collapse of the Protestant position on the Continent saw a spectacular increase in the number of political prints produced abroad. Concern in England centred on the proposed Spanish marriage of Prince Charles. This threatened to produce a Catholic heir and a return to the days of Bloody Mary. Hence there was a wave of Puritan propaganda, led by Thomas Scott, whose Vox Populi of 1620 caused a sensation. James regarded all matters of foreign policy as coming under the royal prerogative, and tried to ban all public discussion in a proclamation of 24 December 'against excesse of lavish licentious speech of matters of State', a ban reiterated in July the following year.
Scott and Ward were allies, and Ward's print, despite its apparent commonplace subject, formed part of the same campaign. Scott's pamphlet was thought by Simon d'Ewes in 1621 to lie behind the extreme antagonism of Londoners to the Spanish ambassador Gondomar ('Autobiography and Correspondence', ed. J.O.Halliwell, 1845, I p.158), and Ward's intention was also to whip up anti-Spanish feeling. A report on the reception of this print is given in BL Harley Ms.389. Folio 15 is a sheet setting forth the text of the print with a thumb-nail sketch identifying figures, all roughly in positions corresponding to those on the print itself. Hind took this to be Ward's directions to the engraver, but it is in fact a description of the print by Joseph Mead, a fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge with wide-ranging interests in politics and science, to his friend Sir Martin Stuteville. Mead's letter accompanying this description, written in February or March 1621, records the trouble that Ward got into. Gondomar lodged a formal protest with the Privy Council (one of many he made in this period) stating that 'his master was dishonoured and abused by those pictures'. Ward was summoned to London for examination by the Privy Council, and subsequently imprisoned.
From prison Ward sent two petitions to the Privy Council in April 1622 begging for pardon (published by John Bruce in Notes and Queries, 1 January 1868, pp.1-2). The second has some interesting details about the print: 'Humblie shewing that this embleme was by him composed, the English verses excepted, and some other addicion of the printers, five yeeres since, in imitacion of auntient rites gratefully preserving the memories of extraordinarie favors and deliverences in coines, arches, and such like monuments, sent nigh a yeere since to the printers ... without anie other sinister intencion, especiallie of meddling in any of your Majesties secrett affaires: of which at the tyme of the publishing your petitioner was altogether ignorant ...' Despite the disingenuousness of this plea, Ward was released after promising to be 'more cautelous for the future'.
Scott fled to Holland in March 1621, where he served as minister of the English church and chaplain of the English garrison in Utrecht from 1622 until his death in 1626. In exile he published Vox Populi, part II in 1624, which again contains a fictitious report to Spain put in Gondomar's mouth that includes the remark 'and I thinke Ward of Ipswich escaped not safely for his lewd and profane picture of 88, and their Powder treason'. Ward kept getting into trouble with the authorities, although he was warmly defended by the citizens of Ipswich, and between 1636-8 had to flee to Holland.
It may have been through Scott that Ward made the contacts to get his design engraved in Amsterdam. Although the name of the engraver is not given, the most likely candidate is a member of the Hondius dynasty of map publishers, who had close connections with the exiled English puritans (see K.L.Sprunger, Trumpets from the tower, Leiden 1994, p.53). While the plate was in Amsterdam, a Dutch edition was printed with five columns of Dutch verses by Jan Jansz. Starter printed below in letterpress (an impression is in Wolffenbüttel: see Harms II 193). Impressions of the English edition were advertised for sale by J.Marriot and J.Grismand at the end of the second edition of Ward's The Life of Faith in 1621 (STC 25049a) as 'a most remarkable monument ... necessary to be had in the house of every good Christian, to shew God's loving and wonderfull providence over this Kingdome, when the Papists twise sought their utter ruine and subvertion'.
By 1654 the plate passed into the hands of Peter Stent, who added the title 'The Papists Powder Treason' at the top of the plate. It was still being reprinted in the 1670s by Stent's successor, Overton, despite being very worn. The popularity of the print is shown not only by the exceptional number of impressions surviving but also by the copies made of it. One (BMSat 42) is more or less contemporary with the original. The other (BMSat 43/BM Sat 1223) is an etching in English and German. It is lettered 'Invented by Samuell Ward, preacher of Ipswich, now repeated by a Transmariner Ao.1689', the year of the Glorious Revolution when anti-Catholic sentiment was again rife.
Copies were also made in other media. A needlework version of the print was made by Dame Dorothy Selby, who also had it copied on her tombstone. These and other adaptations are described on pp.318-20 and 325 of the article on Ward's print by Alexandra Walsham, 'Impolitic pictures: providence, history and the iconography of Protestant nationhood in early Stuart England', in R.N.Swanson (ed.), The Church Retrospective, Studies in Church History vol.33, Woodbridge 1997, pp.307-28.
See also Helen Pierce, 'Unseemly Pictures: Graphic Satire and Politics in Early Modern England', New Haven and London, 2008, pp.35.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1998 BM, 'The Print in Stuart Britain, cat.95
2000 Jan-Mar, Ipswich, Christchurch Mansion, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000 May-Jul, Bristol, City Mus and AG, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000 Oct-Dec, Lancaster, Peter Scott Gallery, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000/1 Dec-Feb, Banff, Duff House, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2001 Feb-May, Cardiff, National Mus, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2005 Sep-Dec, London, NPG, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Associated events
Associated Event: Spanish Armada 1588
Associated Event: Gunpowder Plot 1605
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The series registered as 1847,0723.1 to 113 was purchased from W B Tiffin for £98 15s the lot. Unfortunately when the register numbers were written on the back of the prints, they were numbered either 0713 or 0723, apparently at random. The 0713 and 0723 runs dovetail together to form a complete series, though in some cases the final number is not the one given in the register. It is too late to alter so many wrong numbers, so the mistaken numbers will have to continue to serve as the register numbers, but this note has been added to each of the records in the sequence to explain the position. (AVG, 2016)
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number