- Museum number
- Object: The patriot puzzled- or the trusty Scot producing his vouchers.
A Scot in Highland dress, dramatically registering indignation, raises a cloak covering a lady and her young son to display both to Burdett. He says: "There is the interest and the Vouchers!! forshame!! Your dishonour
Mangles true judgement, and bereaves the State
Of that Integrity which should become it."
[Coriolanus to Brutus, 'Coriolanus', III. i.]
Burdett (left), egged on by Horne Tooke, who furtively clutches his shoulder, puts out a protesting arm, and says, manifesting alarm: "I! I! I! Know nothing about them perhaps Hamilton may." He holds a paper: 'Bond for 20.000 payable in case my son should attain the age of 21.' His foot rests on a paper: 'Interest of 5.000'. Tooke says: "Swear its false my lad or your honor is for ever gone." The lady, Lady Oxford, says: "What thus deny your plighted Troth.! perjured man beware, is this what you call Patriotism." The boy is a juvenile replica of Burdett. There is a background of bare hills and a sign-post pointing towards Lady Oxford and inscribed 'To Oxford'.
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire on the case brought by Burdett 11 July 1811 in the Edinburgh Court of Sessions against William Scott, brother of Lady Oxford, on a bond of £5,000. Scott's defence was that the money was part of a sum given in trust to Scott for Lord Harley whom Burdett thus accepted as his son. Burdett denied the paternity, and maintained that the transaction had no connexion with Harley, but dropped the action, so that the affair looked black. His explanation to his wife was that the money was deposited with Scott because the latter had (falsely) informed him that on his (Burdett's) account the Oxfords were to separate and he therefore wished to make some provision for Lady Oxford. Scott, in refusing to return the money and bringing in Lord Harley, was, on this showing, a blackmailer. To fight the case Burdett would have had to call Lady Oxford as witness. Burdett was attacked in an anonymous pamphlet, 'Adultery and Patriotism', taunting him with his attitude to the Duke of York over the Clarke scandal which Burdett had said 'shewed a picture of hypocrisy & profligacy truly revolting to propriety and decency'. Patterson, 'Burdett and his Times', 1931, i. 295-311. See 'Farington Diary', vii. 13 for an explanation by Sir T. Lawrence, according to which Burdett admitted responsibility for one of the Harleys. In the 'Satirist' for August there are several references to the subject, a 'Letter from a detected Adulteress' (Lady Oxford), a number of epigrams, &c., and a review of 'Adultery and Patriotism'. For Burdett and Lady Oxford cf. Nos. 9240, 9735. The affair was damaging to Burdett, who had lost popularity in 1810 by his exit from the Tower, see No. 11567, &c. Horne Tooke was his political mentor, see No. 10731, &c. See also No. 11733.
Reproduced, Patterson, op. cit. i. 298.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number