- Museum number
- Object: The political cartoon for the year 1775
A two-wheeled open chaise is being driven rapidly towards a chasm (left), into which the two horses, inscribed "Pride and Obstinacy", are about to plunge. The driver, Lord Mansfield, flourishes a whip, on his left sits the king, his eyes closed, holding a paper inscribed "I Glory in the Name of Englishman". Behind the chaise in the place of a footman, stands Bute, a drawn broadsword in his right hand; he holds out papers inscribed "Places", Pensions", and "Reversions" towards a crowd of spectators. A wheel passes over an open book, "Magna Charta", the horses trample on another inscribed "Constitution". In the air (left) a demon flies off with a sack inscribed "National Credit". A group of four bishops wearing mitres, and two laymen, one being North, hold out their hands obsequiously towards the chaise; the foremost bishop is eating. The text explains that they are "feeding on garbage, or picking up white sticks [rods of office], blue or red Rags [ribbons of the Garter or the Bath], &c, &c." Behind the chaise are a running footman and two men who stretch out their arms as if to check its disastrous course; one is Chatham with crutches and a gouty leg, the other in judge's robes is probably Lord Camden. Beyond the chasm (left) is a group of Scotsmen, two write at a table, three others stand. The text explains them as "Scotch clerks - Secretaries - Governors, &c.". In the background (left) is the sea; on the horizon is a town in flames inscribed "America". In the foreground (right) is a crowd of men and women of all conditions, including a bearded Jew, and a macaroni holding up a lorgnette who offers a purse to a young woman. A grimacing minister wearing a ribbon faces the crowd offering a money-bag. They represent "the incorruptible virtue of Modern Electors as practised lately in the immaculate Boroughs of Hindon and Shaftesbury". George III is described as "a full grown young man in leading-strings" (cf. BMSat 5132), driven to destruction by his advisers. 1 May 1775
Etching and some engraving
- Production date
Height: 125 millimetres
Width: 191 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 'Westminster Magazine', iii. 209.
For the gross corruption at Hindon in 1774 see Oldfield, 'Representative History of Great Britain', 1816, v. 126 ff. For the Shaftesbury election see BMSat 5341.
The word cartoon appears to be used ironically in its meaning of a design for a picture as it was used by Leech in 1843 for his caricatures of mural cartoons. The earliest instance in the 'O.E.D.' of its use for a satire is 1863.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number