- Museum number
Object: Den Conincklijcken Morgen-Wecker (The Royal Morning Alarm)
Object: The Kingly Clocke
A broadside on Charles I's dealings with Spain in the 1636 and his failure to retrieve the Palatinate on behalf of his nephew, Charles Louis of Bohemia; with an engraving by Crispijn II de Passe showing Charles I sleeping on his throne; on the right, the Ambassador from Spain (identified erroneously by Stephens as Count Gondomar), plays a flute (duct-flute, a one-handed recorder) to lull him to sleep, gesturing with his left hand to a chest of treasure and a basket of toys; on the left, the "Hispaniolized courtier" (Lord Cottington, erroneously identified in the later state of the print as the Duke of Buckingham) extends his hands to restrain Louis XIII of France who, wearing full armour, touches the sleeping king's arm to awaken him; on the left, Charles Louis urging Louis XIII forward, leads his brother Rupert and other siblings; in the right background, a doorway with the Earl of Arundel entering; with engraved inscriptions, and numbering 1- 6 linked, not always accurately, to a key in the lower margin; and, on a separate sheet, Dutch and English letterpress titles and Dutch verses in three columns. (n.p.: [1636?])
- Production date
Height: 213 millimetres (engraving)
Height: 346 millimetres (printed area, as assembled)
Width: 265 millimetres (engraving)
Width: 321 millimetres (printed area, as assembled)
- Curator's comments
- The broadside is printed on two sheets, which have not been assembled. For a later edition of the same print, with the signature of de Passe accompanied by letterpress verses in English, see BM 1868-8-8-3224 (not listed in Hollstein). I.M.Veldman, Crispijn de Passe and his progeny, 2001, p.346ff., fig. 180 (from an impression in Amsterdam) shows that the Dutch and English letterpress texts were originally in the same forme, i.e. both printed in Holland; however, the author was not aware of the later state of the plate with the artist's name (see above).
There has been much discussion of the meaning and dating of the print. Stephens states that the central figure is Charles I; he also identifies the courtier behind the sleeping king (named in the later state of the print as the Duke of Buckingham) as Lord Cottington, an ally of Spain. Veldman argues that the print is concerned with the subject of the Spanish Marriage (1619-23) and that the figure identified as the Earl of Arundel is Sir John Digby, James's Ambassador in Madrid at the time. An unpublished discussion of the subject by Alastair Bellany at the British Printed Images to 1700 conference at Birkbeck College (13-14 July 2007) made other suggestions: he considered that Arundel, who is clearly placed apart from the foreground scene, is commenting on it as the "Kingly Cocke" awakening the sleeping king to action and that the verses put into his mouth were a response to his unsuccessful embassy to the emperor in 1636 to negotiate the restoration of the Palatinate to Charles Louis, son of the late Frederick of Bohemia; on his return to England Arundel advocated alliance with France and military action against the empire, "Who knowes to lead an armie, that must get/Better content than any Legate yet"; Bellany, therefore, dated the print to 1636.
M. Jones 'The Print in Early Modern England: An Historical Oversight', New Haven and London, 2010, pp.77-79, footnotes 60-63.
Jones notes that the print exists in several states, unsigned, and also signed- and in the latter state, signed in two different ways: 'C.de Pas' and 'Crispi. Pass coelat'. He concludes that an earlier state must have been updated and that there was some subsequent re-labelling of personnel. Jones questions why the Dutch would be issuing this image in the 1640s. Hind noted that prints of 'the unfortunate family' of Elizabeth and Frederick of Bohemia were popular in England, and specifically, one engraved by Crispijn's brother, Willem de Passe.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Thirty Years War 1618-1648
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number