- Museum number
- Object: The operation
Britannia sinks to the ground, one knee on her shield, her broken spear beside her, while blood gushes from wounds in her breast. Above her, with a dagger raised to strike, stands a minister wearing a ribbon and star. Two others hold basins to catch the gushing blood, while two stand behind drinking from bowls of blood; another stoops to look at Britannia; a lawyer hands a bowl to Bute, seated (r.) in a high-backed chair. In the foreground (r.), seated on steps, is Lord Talbot, a stout man drinking from a bowl; he wears a spit instead of a sword to show that he is Lord Steward of the Household. 1 August 1773
- Production date
Height: 180 millimetres
Width: 113 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
From the 'Oxford Magazine', x. 254. An adaptation of BMSat 4198 from the 'Political Register' June 1768, the same plate being used.
In the original version, Chatham was seated in the chair taking a bowl, he has been altered to Bute, by the redrawing of the head and the removal of his crutch. The judge offering him the bowl, identified by Mr. Stephens as Lord Mansfield, has been altered into a poorly characterized lawyer. This suggests, as do the features of the judge, that the original was intended for Lord Camden, as Lord Mansfield would certainly not have been removed from obloquy. The head of Bute in the original has been altered by the removal of the Scots cap and some change in the features, as otherwise there would have been two Butes. There is a slight change in the features of the minister identified by Mr. Stephens as Weymouth, and he is now probably intended for Lord Sandwich. The other figures have not been altered. It remains an attack on the Ministry in general, and on Lord Bute, but the temporary unpopularity of Chatham had long been forgotten. Beneath the design is engraved, as before,
"The Blood & Vitals from her Wounds he drew,
And Fed the Hounds that help'd him to pursue. Dryden."
Cf. BMSat 5126, also an altered plate.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number