- Museum number
- Object: The state of the nation
Fourteen single figures, in two rows one above the other, each seated in a little compartment representing a latrine. The upper row are all men, the lower all women. All wear hats. Almost all are in attitudes expressive of alarm, discomfort, or resignation. Names are written beneath each in an old hand, showing that all are in fact caricatures of men. They are (left to right.): upper row - "Ld B"' [Barrington ?] his face concealed by his hat; "Ld M." [Mansfield] with the face of an aged man; "L. N." [Lord North] scarcely recognizable; "L. G. G." [Lord George Germain]; "Mr. Rigby"; "Ld S." [Sandwich?], his head concealed by his hat. "Ld Land", turning up his eyes sanctimoniously [Shelburne ?].
The lower row of women: "Col Bare" [Barré], his head almost concealed by his hat; "Mr Sawb." [Sawbridge], the City patriot, his head leaning on his hand with a very melancholy expression; "Ld Car." [Carlisle?], a young woman of pleasing appearance, with an untroubled expression; "S. F. N." [Sir Fletcher Norton]; "Mr W." [Wilkes], recognizable by his squint; "D. R." [Duke of Richmond?]; "Mr. Johnson", with a certain resemblance to Dr. Johnson. 24 June 1778
- Production date
Height: 241 millimetres
Width: 343 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
General attacks on the Government were made by moving for a committee on the State of the Nation; see motions by Fox and the Duke of Richmond (accepted by North) 2 Dec. 1777, followed by debates in committee, 2, 11, 16, 19 Feb. 1778. Chatham's last speech 7 Apr. 1778 was in a debate on the Duke of Richmond's motion for an address to the king upon the State of the Nation. 'Parl. Hist.' xix, pp. 472 ff., 513 ff., 672 ff., 718 ff., 745 ff., 1012 ff.
There are other versions of this design, see BMSat 5480, 5481; it appears on the wall in BMSat 5633 and also in a pen drawing by Rowlandson, 'The School of Eloquence', in the collection of Mr. Oppé, exhibited Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1931-2 [what may be another version of the drawing is in the Royal Collection, RCIN 913719]. It is mentioned in BMSat 6199.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number