- Museum number
- Object: The Tomb=Stone
Satire on leaders of the Opposition delighting in the death of the Duke of Cumberland who had acted on the king's behalf to remove them from office. George Grenville from whose pockets hang papers labelled "General Warrants" (a reference to the Wilkes affair), "Stamps" (the Tax, see BM Satires 4115), "Reversion", "Cyder Tax" (unpopularly introduced by Lord Bute) and "Pensions", Bute (wearing a sash lettered, "Sejanus", the favourite of Tiberius) and the Duke of Bedford with the "Weavers Petition" (see BM Satires 4122) in his pocket hold hands and dance on Cumberland's tomb. Lords Halifax and Sandwich, both with papers lettered "Gen. Warrants" in their pockets stand behind the tomb, the latter holding the tail of a little dancing dog labelled "Anti-Sejanus" and wearing in clerical dress who represents Dr James Scott writer of articles in the Public Advertiser under that name. Weeping women representing "Britannia" and "America" support the tomb and military trophies are piled in front of them. On the left-hand side stands Lord Temple, his face a blank mask, holding the pole of a large flag with the head of Discord or Medusa and lettered "The Oriflame" (the sacred battle flag of France); two snakes are entwined on the pole like those on the caduceus of Mercury. On the right-hand side, a Scottish devil, wearing a plaid and playing the bag-pipes, stands on a large volume lettered "Jemmy Twitchers Laws for the Gang"; his long tail curls over his head and is grasped by Sandwich. Behind him stand two bishops , one of whom can probably be identified as William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester who was parodied in Wilkes's Essay on Woman. The background is sprinkled with stars and a waning moon. At the top of the print words spoken by the protagonists are linked to them by dotted lines: Temple, "Stamp away Brother"; Grenville (Temple's brother), "Mind your time"; Bute, "I am at it again."; Halifax, "Here we are all alive, O."; Bedford, "A little faster."; Sandwich, "Do as they do."; the Devil, "Well done Old Ones."; bishop, "Stay a little"; Warburton, "Shall we dance?" 1766
- Production date
Height: 273 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 438 millimetres (trimmed to image)
- Curator's comments
- This etching is documented as by Benjamin Wilson in his autobiography (published Walpole Society, LXXIV 2012, p.200): 'It represented the remains of the Duke of Cumberland. Upon it [the tombstone] I placed Lord Bute, Geo. Granvile and the Duke of Bedford, dancing the Hayes. There were many other Lords etc. introduced in it. This political print had its effect, for it pleased Lord Rockingham and his friends greatly: but Sir George Savile was an exception, for he did not approve of it. Mr Burke, Mr Cowper and others encouraged me to make another print.'; the other print was 'The Repeal' (BM Satires 4140)
The publication of this print was advertised in the 'Public Advertiser' for 14 and 25 February 1766, as being 'published this day' at the price of 6d.
"Reversion" was a type of patronage involving the promising of "succession to an office or post after the death or retirement of the holder" (OED)
Lord Sandwich was known by his enemies as "Jemmy Twitcher", a reference to one of the thieves in "The Beggar's Opera"
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number