- Museum number
- Object: The r-y-l hunt or the petitioners answer'd
George III riding Britannia, who is on hands and knees, and accompanied by ministerial dogs with human faces, their names on their collars, proceeding from the House of Venality (left), towards a phalanx of petitioners (right) standing behind the cylindrical rolls of the county petitions; these surround the "Temple of Patriotism". The king holds Britannia by the hair and pierces her breast with a spear; he says, "Cease Mortals, Cease your prayers I'll have my will. Tho' half my Empire lost I am Sovr'g'n still." Britannia says, "Thare [sic] thus he gores me to the heart Himself unconscious of the Smart." The dogs are barking menacingly at Liberty who sits on a mound holding her cap on a staff; she says, holding out her left arm towards the petitioners, "O Save me Save me". A dog (North) wearing a ribbon and star, with "Boreas" (in reversed looking-glass script) on his collar, says, "I'll gnaw the Strumpets liver." Mansfield, a dog whose collar is inscribed "Caen Wood" (cf. BMSat 4885), says "I'll be round upon her with as much speed as if it were to take a fee, but I am afraid these dam'd Petitions will save her."
Germain, a dog with "Minden" on his collar, turns his back on "Liberty" and is addressed by "Woolsack" (lord Thurlow) who says, "Hey day Minden dont be ashamed dont give up the Chase by turning tail". 'Minden' answers, "No No I am not ashamd its only a way that I have got always to turn my tail when I fight" (an allusion to the battle of Minden (see BMSat 3680-7). Caribb says "Bow vow vow vow. This Phrenzy of Public virtue must be [word erased] down." This is probably Lord Hillsborough, regarded as responsible for the expedition against the Caribs of the Island of St. Vincent which had been the subject of bitter complaint in parliament, see BMSat 5540. The last dog "Twitcher" or Sandwich, is very lean and walks on three legs. He wears a ribbon and star (though actually he had no order), an ensign flag is thrust through his ribbon, and by his side is a broken anchor, indicating his bad management of the Navy. He says,
"Condemn me not for being last
The Dog unskilld and lame cannot go so fast."
The petition-rolls (right) are inscribed (left to right) "Herts", "Bucks", "Hants", "Der[by]", "Wilts", "Kent", "Deven [sic]", "Essex", "Cambride", "Nottinghm", "Middlesex", "Sussex", "Surry", "York", "Westminr", "Petition of City of London". The petitioners are massed in front of and beside the "Temple of Patriotism"; they say "The Constitution will aid us in our Protection". To the left of the petitioners is a tree in full leaf, its trunk inscribed "The sound will florish". The roof of the temple is decorated by statues or figures, comic in effect and perhaps in intention, of "Wisdom" (Athene with a spear), "Hope", "Perseverance", "Fortitude", "Faith". Above it, in clouds, is a coat of arms held up by an angel who says, "Behold their arms". On the escutcheon is Justice holding scales, the supporters are cylindrical documents: "Bill of Rights" (script reversed) and "Magna Charta". The crest is a dove, or possibly a hawk. The motto, "our cause is just".
On the other side (left) is another circular building, "House of Venality", similar in construction to the Temple of Patriotism. Over the centre doorway is written "Placemen", over the left door "Contraitors [sic]", over the right "Pensioners". The figures on the roof are "Folly", "Cruelty", "Despair", "Ignorance", "Oppression". By it is the decayed stump of a tree inscribed "The Saps corrupted".
On a hill behind stands Bute, in Highland dress, with his arm round the shoulders of the devil, they both point to the dogs who are baiting Liberty. The devil says "Dear Sawney I am indeted to you for this sport." Bute answers "Ay Belzy you may say that our nation has been very active for you." 4 June 1780
- Production date
Height: 251 millimetres
Width: 347 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
For county petitions, associations, and committees of correspondence see BMSat 5638, &c. It is to be noted that the date of the print is the king's birthday.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number