- Museum number
- Object: Prince William's defeat or the tr-as-ry stormed.
Pitt and his supporters are on the steps of the 'Tr--s--y' (Treasury), a classical building with a portico. Pitt and two others hold pistols, but are defenceless before the heavy artillery of Fox and his followers, who stand (left) with a row of cannon inscribed 'Constitution Proof' which fire balls at the defenders. These balls are 'Regency', which has knocked a crown off Pitt's head, making him stagger back, 'East India Bill', 'Promotion[s] of Administration', 'Window Tax', 'Maid Servants Tax', 'Commutation Tax', 'Shop Tax', 'Fortification', a large ball which has struck down the Duke of Richmond (cf. BMSat 6921, &c). On the steps with Pitt are two bishops wearing mitres (one of whom holds his arm and is probably Pretyman, cf. BMSat 7146) and a naval officer who is probably Chatham. Seven other persons are poorly characterized and cannot be identified.
Fox is directing operations, the Prince's profile appears behind him, and Burke holds a paper inscribed 'Constitu[tion h]ope of'. North wears a bandage across his eyes, indicating his blindness. Hats are waved, and the besiegers hold a number of large banners, three of which are inscribed:  'Incorruptible by Interest and Uninfluenced by Power! Public Spirit without Party principles Huzza!!!'  'Men for Ministers and Boys for Pastime.'  'The Rights of the Females and No Tax under Petticoats'. Beneath the design is etched:
'New peals of shouts came thundering from afar!
Cries, threats and loud laments, and mingled war!
The guards below, fix'd in the pass, attend!
The charge undaunted, and the gate defend
But bars and balls and fighting guards are vain
The bars are broken and the guards are slain
On the strong doors then all their shoulders ply
Till from their posts the broken hinges fly
The fatal Work inhuman Charles now spies
And all his father sparkles in his eyes
Virgil' 27 January 1789
- Production date
Height: 324 millimetres
Width: 405 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
One of many satires on the Regency crisis, see BMSat 7377, &c. Pitt was called 'Prince William', 'William IV, and 'William the Conqueror' in the Prince's circle, cf. 'Auckland Correspondence', ii. 280, cf. BMSat 7382, &c. For Pitt's taxes see BMSats 6914, 7480, &c. The East India Bill probably connotes the Declaratory Bill, see BMSat 7280, &c. For naval promotions see BMSat 7126, &c. The allusion to the father of 'Charles' appears ironical, since the unpopular Lord Holland was known as the Public Defaulter of Unaccounted Millions, cf. BMSat 4842, &c.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number