- Museum number
- Object: Non commission officers embarking for Botany Bay
A ship's boat, containing the Prince of Wales and his friends, puts off from shore. In the stern is Sheridan clenching his fist at two bearded Jews (left) who kneel in supplication for payment of their debts. Behind them stands Perdita Robinson, her hair loose, her arms outstretched, also in despair at the departure. Captain Morris stands in the stern, pushing off with a boat-hook. George Hanger turns round to threaten the two Jews with his bludgeon (cf. BMSat 6924). In front of him sits a man in legal gown and flowing wig, his face almost concealed, identified in an old hand (in BMSat 6992) as Erskine. His wig is inscribed 'Leather Bag'. The two central figures are the Prince and Fox; the Prince sits astride a cask of 'Imperial Tokey', holding up a glass and looking reflectively towards the shore; Fox stands behind him, his hands resting on the hilt of a large sword inscribed 'chop Logic'. In the bows stands Burke, bending forward, his arms outstretched as if giving a benediction; he wears a monk's robe with a mitre in place of the usual biretta (cf. BMSat 6026). At his feet sit North and Portland, wearing his coronet. Sheridan, Morris, and Fox wear armour and helmets; that of Sheridan is inscribed 'From Drury', that of Morris 'W Morris'; that of Fox is plumed, and decorated with a fox's head, a gallows, and the words 'We escape'. The Prince wears a fool's cap trimmed with his feathers. On the extreme left a gallows and a ship on a very small scale, inscribed 'Black Wall', are faintly indicated, showing that the departure is from Execution Dock where pirates and others were hanged. 1 November 1786
- Production date
Height: 288 millimetres (cropped)
Width: 450 millimetres (cropped)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A satire on the bankruptcy, political and financial, of the Opposition, cf. BMSats 6671, 6980, &c. In September the newspapers first reported the intention of the Government to send convicts to Botany Bay, e.g. 'London Chronicle', 14 Sept. 1786. The scheme was mentioned in the King's Speech of 23 Jan. 1787. 'Parl. Hist.' xxvi. 212. See Rose, 'Pitt and National Revival', 1911, pp. 436 ff. See BMSats 6992 (a sequel), 7122, and BMSat 7127. For Fox and the Jews see BMSat 6617, &c, and cf. BMSat 6991. Similar in manner to BMSat 6281.
The attribution to Boyne is due to Andrew Edmunds (email Feb 2021).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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