- Museum number
- Object: The Cat's Paw
Satire on William Pitt's return to office in 1766, suggesting that he is being manipulated by Lord Bute. An interior of a room with a blazing fire into which Bute, as a monkey with a plaid, encourages Pitt, as a cat, to reach for a chestnut (political office); the cat urinates. On the left, a group of English politicians and a bishop, beneath a "View of Chatham" with the setting sun, express their shock and dismay, but one of their number raises his arms in pleasure cries, "I'm Established" (this is presumably Lord Rockingham who supports the new ministry). On the right, a group of Scots delighted that they will obtain preferment gather around the Duke of Bedford; behind them is a "View of the Isle of Bute" with a rising sun. The chimney-piece is a crown with a thistle and white rose surrounded by a wreath of thorns.
- Production date
- 1766 (circa)
Height: 176 millimetres (image)
Height: 244 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 338 millimetres (image)
Width: 348 millimetres (trimmed?)
- Curator's comments
- In fact Bute no longer had political influence by 1766, but it was alleged for many years that he was the secret power behind the throne.
For a 'sequel' to this print, see BM Satires 4161.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number