- Museum number
- Object: Princely piety, or the worshippers at Wanstead.
Plate from the 'Scourge', ii, before p. 473. Miss Tylney Long, the heiress, on a fantastic throne, receives declarations from suitors. She is coloured yellow (gold) and her throne is flanked by large florid cornucopias disgorging guineas. Her seat is at the top of five steps inscribed respectively 'Infancy 10', 'Puberty 15', 'Womanhood 20', 'Discretion 25', 'Old Maidism 30'. She rises in alarm or astonishment, unconscious of Death, a tall, crowned skeleton, who stands behind her with drapery swirling wildly round him, pointing with his javelin towards two men who are dancing together on the extreme left. These, still holding hands and capering, look up horror-struck, the only persons who have seen Death. A fool, with cap and bells, ass's ears, and protruding tongue, stands beside them playing a fiddle. One of the dancers drops a pistol, a second pistol lies on the ground beside him, with a star, and a paper inscribed 'Copy of Verses on Pole's Dancing'. In his pocket is a paper: 'Caligny 25 Lord Kil[worth]'. His partner also drops a pistol. At the foot of the throne (left) kneels a more grotesque pair: Romeo Coates in theatrical dress, trunk-hose and cape, and a long rapier, with a cock seated on his head and crowing 'Cock a doodle doo-o'; he kneels on one knee, the right leg thrust forward, his hand theatrically on his breast. Beside him, nearer the throne, is Skeffington, ogling the heiress through a lorgnette and holding out a large paper headed 'Ode first' and inscribed 'To the Scourge—Skeffington'; other papers beside him are: 'Ode on Miss Tilney—To the Scourge' and 'Ode 4th Miss Long'. Both men have sharp grotesque profiles.
The pendant pair on the right of the throne are on a rather larger scale, being bulky while the others are thin: the Duke of Clarence, in admiral's uniform (he was given the rank by the Regent in 1811), stands holding out his right arm with a declamatory gesture while with his left hand he presses back Baron de Geramb, who kneels on money-bags. Behind and above this pair stands Mrs. Jordan emptying a chamber-pot or Jordan (see No. 7908, &c.) over the Duke, pouring out a stream of tiny sons and daughters, five boys, with their father's features, and at least three girls. She stands on a chest inscribed 'Bushy Money Chest M T' [empty]. She says: "False faithless perjured Clarence / behold thy Children!!! hem, Shakespeare." Three boys cling to their father's head and shoulders; one is in naval, one in military uniform, the others in childish dress. The Duke tramples on the 'Marriage Act'; in a pocket is a paper: 'To the House of Commons'. The Baron is a grotesque figure with huge moustache, a skull and cross-bones on the braided tunic which defines a paunchy body, and another on his cap in which is an enormous plume. He holds a money-bag; the three bags on which he kneels are inscribed respectively 'From France', 'For Secret Inteleg[ence]', and 'To the Baron'. Beside him is a paper: 'Sophia of Cadis'. He holds out behind him a paper inscribed 'Secret Intelegence' which Napoleon, on the extreme right, is about to take. The latter straddles, wearing the great jack-boots, large bicorne, and sabre of earlier caricatures; he holds out a money-bag inscribed 'To the Baron, de Wiskers for Secret Intel—' and looks with gloating eagerness at the paper he is about to receive.
1 December 1811.
- Production date
Height: 193 millimetres
Width: 405 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The plate relates to verse satires, dialogues, &c. on the admirers of the heiress, pp. 235-42 (1 Sept.), Coates being introduced 'not because of his pretensions, but his boasts and wishes'. Catherine Tylney-Long, here traduced as an angular old maid, was born 2 Oct. 1789; her fortune included Wanstead House which had cost over £360,000. Lord Kilworth (b. 1792) and Wellesley-Pole, rivals for the heiress, met to fight a duel over newspaper verses on the lady; the affair was amicably settled on the ground (9 Aug.) but a second meeting took place over an apology demanded by Kilworth; shots were exchanged, after which they agreed to meet as friends. 'European Mag.' lx. 148 f. Wellesley-Pole was accepted, the engagement being announced on 25 Nov., and in Jan. 1812 he changed his name to Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley. In 1811 the Duke of Clarence, pressed for money and anxious to marry, parted from Mrs. Jordan with whom he had lived at Bushey Park for twenty years (see vols. vi, vii, viii); he then made repeated proposals to Miss Tylney-Long but was refused. The three other suitors are included as eccentric bachelors much in the public eye. For Skeffington see vols. vii, viii; for Romeo Coates, No. 11769. Baron de Geramb (1772-1848) was a military adventurer who came to England from Spain, ostensibly to form a foreign legion for the service of Spain. He published a 'Lettre à Sophia de Cadiz' in 1811 (see No. 11943), and wits identified Sophia with Miss Tylney-Long ('The Satirist', ix. 224 f.). He is here represented as a spy in the service of Napoleon; shortly after this, having resisted arrest for debt, he was deported to Denmark, and arrested and imprisoned by Napoleon. He was notorious in England in 1811 but was to become famous as Procureur-général of the Trappist order, and author of devotional works. For the heiress's suitors see also Nos. 11747, 11748, 11774, 11844. For the Marriage Act (1772) see No. 4970.
Reid, No. 129. Cohn, No. 732. Listed by Broadley.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number