- Museum number
- Object: Treachery-Treachery-Treachery-!!
A large cask, upright on a low stand, is in the centre of the design, with four slits for letters, which are being used by enemies of Britain for treasonous correspondence. From the top of the cask, and surrounded by froth, emerge the upper part of Whitbread's head and his right arm, holding out a loaf of bread. He says to the enemy agents: "Take this Loaf of Brown bread back with you." The cask is inscribed 'Old [scored through and replaced by] New English Porter'. On the left of the cask the agents are (1) a man with a bag inscribed 'Agent from Fouche' [sie], posting a letter: 'To our estee[med] Friends in England'. (2) A plainly dressed man with lank hair and broad-brimmed hat with a number of documents under his arm labelled 'Agent from Madison'. He posts a letter with the same inscription. (3) On the extreme left a courier hurries forward holding a bag 'from Genoa'. The seal only of his letter is displayed. On the right the most prominent figure is (4) a French officer, thin, ragged, and foppish, wearing great jack-boots, and holding in his left hand a heavy courier's whip and a bag 'From Buonaparte'. He is labelled 'Agent from Buonaparte'. He posts a letter showing the sealed side. Beside him is a theatrically dressed man holding a paper inscribed 'agent from Murat', and posting a letter 'To our Most Esteemed Friends in England'. Behind and on the extreme right stands John Bull, a stout citizen with a walking-stick. He says: "I do remember such a man as Mr Fox who did send one Adair to Russia on private Business; & yet he did escape, Alack!! 'twere bettet if justice were administred!!!!" A printed slip is pasted to the print: 'Explanation of the Brown Bread. On the 26th. of April, a Young Lady of Condition arrived at the Hotel "Bellevue" in Brussels, with a large suite of Servants, but one of them being known to an officer to be an active Agent of "Bonaparte's", the whole group were arrested. Among them a Man . . . with a "brown loaf" under his Arm . . . the officer observing his solicitude to get rid of his "brown loaf" . . . discovered several Letters inside, directed to "Bonaparte" and his "Minister's". See "Morning-Post", "Statesman and Morning Advertiser", of May, 2nd. 1815.'
10 May 1815.
Hand-coloured etching and letterpress
- Production date
Height: 246 millimetres (image)
Height: 305 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 350 millimetres
Width: 355 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Whitbread's opposition to the war is stigmatized as sedition. Documents, letters from Castlereagh, &c., found in the French archives were sent to the 'Morning Chronicle' by Napoleon, cf. No. 12532, and used by the Opposition for attacks on Castlereagh. Whitbread on 28 Apr. introduced a Motion against war with France, 'a war that, if not otherwise terminated, must, in the opinion of all thinking men, be soon abandoned, from a deficiency in our very physical resources'. He also asserted that the Allied Declaration of 13 Mar., outlawing Napoleon, was a vindication of assassination. 'Parl. Deb.' xxx. 960-9; cf. No. 12581. The acquisition of Genoa by Sardinia was denounced by the Opposition; on 27 Apr. Mackintosh moved a resolution against the transfer in a long speech. Ibid., pp. 891-935. Castlereagh had agreed with Talleyrand and Metternich, that, despite the treaty of 11 Jan. 1814, see No. 12522, Murat should lose the throne of Naples; on Napoleon's return, Murat rushed to arms, invaded the Papal States and reached the line of the Po before 10 Apr. A letter from Talleyrand to Castlereagh of 15 Dec. 1814, showing the (secret) intentions of the Allies towards Murat, was one of the documents sent to the 'Morning Chronicle'. Lord Grey raised the question of Naples on 20 Apr. 1815. Ibid., pp. 702-4. For Madison see No. 12281; for Fouché, No. 12527. For Adair's mission to Russia in 1791, to counteract (it was believed) Pitt's policy, see No. 8072, &c.
Reid, No. 481. Cohn, No. 2045.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number