- Museum number
- Object: Whitlock the second or another tarnish of British valor.
Three British officers abase themselves before Junot (duc d'Abrantès) who is on a larger scale and sits arrogantly on a dais (r.) wearing cocked hat and enormous jack-boots with great spurs. The officers are (l.) Admiral Cotton, who kneels on a cushion of Cotton with hands together; Sir Hew Dalrymple, who bows low, holding the long scroll whose end reaches Junot's dais. Fragments of articles of the Convention of Cintra are inscribed: "Spanish priner [sic] on board the Hulk to .. Exhanged [sic] for French .... Article 4 ... Imovable Property .... Sold. A 5 .... Conveyed to France English Ship[s]." Wellesley, on Dalrymple's l., rather less abject in pose, says: "May it please your Highness to accept these terms as a Convention & should any of them seem to you Ungracefull, dictate, according to your Noble Will: - & you shall be conveyed home (with all your Property 'Moveable & Immoveable') in a Bed of Cotton." The scowling Junot answers contemptuously: "Leave them, I shall order Kellerman to look them over." Behind his chair plunder is piled up, and at his feet are money-bags inscribed '1000 Milrays' [twice], '10,000', '20,000', &c. The plunder consists of plate, including a crosier and mitre inscribed 'Private Property' and papers: 'Gift from Napoleon Estates Title Deeds'. A Portuguese soldier looks round the screen at the back of Junot's seat, saying to the Englishmen, "Why I thought you came as my friends to protect us & drive out these Thieves, but it seems you intend to protect them with their stolen goods - is this British Honor is this British Valor?"
29 September 1808
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres
Width: 351 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
After being defeated at Vimiero by Wellesley, see BMSat 11024, Junot, in deep depression, sent Kellermann with a flag of truce to make overtures for the French evacuation of Portugal under a convention. Dalrymple summoned Burrard and Wellesley to advise. Preliminaries, signed by Wellesley, 22 Aug. arranged that the French should not be considered prisoners of war and should be taken to France in British ships. He approved this owing to Dalrymple's embargo on the following up of his victory. Negotiations continued: Cotton refused Junot's claim that the Russian fleet in the Tagus should be included in the convention. The objectionable terms were that the French were allowed to carry off 'private property'; this was alleged to cover plunder. French subjects in Portugal, like pro-French Portuguese, were to be under British protection for a year. The Russian ships were surrendered to Cotton, under a separate convention signed by him, to be held in deposit by England until six months after the peace, officers and crews to be transported to Russia. The Portuguese soldier is probably General Bernardin Freire (who had quarrelled with Wellesley and removed his troops before the battle), to whom a copy of the terms of the armistice had been given. He sent it to Sousa, the Portuguese Minister in London, with a violent and untruthful commentary. Sousa presented it to Canning on 3 Sept. This made a sensation, and the Convention was received in England as calamitous, Wellesley being held up to special reprobation. Officers in Portugal were astonished to find from British newspapers that the Convention had roused more indignation than Whitelocke's surrender (see BMSat 10974), when it had secured the object of the expedition without further fighting. A protest by Freire was published in The Times on 26 Sept. Caricatures inflamed opinion. A Court of Inquiry was necessary to still the popular outcry and was held 19 Nov. to 23 Dec. Fortescue, 'Hist. of the British Army', vi. 234 ff.; Oman, 'Hist. of the Peninsular War', i. 263 ff.; 'Pol. Reg.', 1 Oct. 1808, &c.; 'Ann. Reg.', 1808, pp. 265-70; 'Wordsworth's Tract on the Convention of Cintra' , ed. A. V. Dicey, 1915. See BMSat 11034, 11042, 11043, 11045, 11046, 11047, 11048, 11215, 11327.
Reid, No. 48. Cohn, No. 2103. Listed by Broadley.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number