- Museum number
- Object: Tax on Receipts
Four men stand in a row protesting to Lord John Cavendish, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, against the tax on receipts. He turns away from them, holding in his hand a large document inscribed "Tax on Receipts", to speak to a man wearing a court-suit, bag-wig, and sword who stands (right) in profile to the left, saying "Persevere my dear Lord, don't mind the Canaille - the Tax won't affect me". From his pocket hangs a paper, "Memoirs of a fine Gentleman". He is perhaps intended for the Prince of Wales. Cavendish answers "so Charly Says". Next Cavendish (left) is a shoemaker, out-at-elbows, wearing a cap and apron, holding a last and a rope, his stockings ungartered and his shoe unbuckled. He says, "My Lord it will throw Trade in Confusion". A stout alderman in a furred gown, the most prominent figure of the design, holds out both hands saying, "Aye, and if this is allowed, Perhaps next year you'll stamp the whole Compting house apparatus - Tax receipts - Zounds! you might as well Tax Venison & Turtle". Next him is a butcher in his apron, his steel dangling from his waist, a knife at his side. In his hat is stuck a candle. He says, "What if I make my Mark - I must pay for it". On the extreme right is the well-known figure of Jeffery Dunstan, knock-kneed, with his ragged clothes, open shirt, and sack over his shoulder as in BMSat 5637. He says, "I suppose, as how, you'll Tax complimentary Cards, by and by!" The print is "Humbly Dedicated to Sir Cecil Wray, Bart". 14 June 1783
- Production date
Height: 249 millimetres
Width: 358 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
Wray, whose candidature for Westminster had been supported by Fox, but who opposed the Coalition Ministry, led the opposition to the Tax on Receipts. 'Parl. Hist', xxiii. 998, 1010. The tax is said to have been suggested by Sheridan; Sichel, 'Sheridan', ii. 36, an origin which invited satire. For the Receipt Tax see BMSat 6241A, 6243, 6260.
The profile head of Cavendish, a good portrait, is delicately drawn in a different manner from that of the rest of the design.
Perhaps by an imitator of Colley's manner, cf. BMSat 6233.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number