- Museum number
- Object: The political-banditti assailing the saviour of India
Hastings, in oriental dress, rides (right to left) a camel. He and the camel look down with dignified contempt at Burke (left), who fires a blunderbuss point-blank at the 'Shield of Honour' on Hastings's left arm. On the shield is a crown. Behind Hastings are Fox and North (right): Fox raises a dagger with burlesqued gestures and an expression of frenzied rage; North, very short and fat, clutches one of the bags behind Hastings inscribed 'Lacks Rupees added to the Revenue'; this is tied to another inscribed 'Rupees Do'. The three assailants are much caricatured and all wear armour; Burke, grotesquely thin and like some malignant insect, wears a Jesuit's biretta (cf. BMSat 6026). He somewhat resembles the Don Quixote of BMSat 7678, &c, cf. also BMSat 7158; a wallet of 'Charges' is slung across his shoulder, bare feet project from the greaves which cover his legs. North wears his Garter ribbon over his armour, with a feathered helmet and top-boots. The point of a large sabre with a damaged blade projects through the tattered scabbard which is inscribed 'American Subjugation'. Fox wears the cloak of a conspirator over his armour (cf. BMSat 6389, &c). Hastings (not caricatured) wears a jewelled turban, floating draperies, trousers, and slippers; his camel is heavily draped. On its back are bags, inscribed 'Saved to the Company' and 'Eastern Gems for the British Crown', with a rolled map, 'Territories acquired by W. Hastings'. The background is a mountainous landscape. 11 May 1786
Hand-coloured etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 306 millimetres
Width: 420 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
One of many satires on the pending impeachment of Hastings, see BMSat 6925, &c. Similar in spirit to BMSat 7270. Contrast BMSat 7278, also by Gillray. See Rose, 'Pitt and National Revival', 1911, pp. 224 ff., and BMSat 6979, &c.
Reproduced: 'Social England', ed. Traill, 1904, v. 499; S. C. Roberts, 'Picture Book of British History', iii, 1933, p. 25. Copy by Fairholt in Wright, 'Caricature Hist. of the Georges' , p. 421.
Wright and Evans, No. 31, dated 1788, when the plate was reissued.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number