- Museum number
- Object: A noble lord, on an approaching peace, too busy to attend the expenditure of a million of the public money-
Lord Lansdowne sits at a small writing-table, pen in hand, a number of papers before him. Three Jews (left) stand obsequiously on his right, but he turns with his enigmatic smile towards a French post-boy (right), a grotesque dwarfish man with long queue and jack-boots holding his whip and hat, who holds out to him with a cunning smile a paper inscribed:
'My dear Lord Paris 7th Jany 1783
I am happy to hear you have so nearly concluded your Alley Arrangements. The Preliminaries shall be signed coute que coute by the Time you desire, & you may rely on the Courier's arrival on the Eve of the 23d
Billy Paradice [William Eden.]'
Under Lansdowne's elbow is a paper inscribed 'Memorandums Pay off the Mortgage on Jesuits Colledge in Berkeley Square - Pay off Solomons any for 500£ pr Annm Inquire what Tayt will take for my Bond for 3000£ given for furniture sold at Christyes'. The foremost Jew holds out to Lansdowne a paper: 'Policy £15 to return £100 if the Preliminaries arrive by Jany 23d 1783
£1000 prem recd J. Gee
£1000 do ---- I. Bond
£1000 do P. Jones
£1000 do J. Wolls
£1000 do W Long
£1000 do P. Pinder'
On a shelf, inscribed 'Waste Paper', in the upper right corner of the design, are three large bundles of papers: 'Ordnance Estimates', 'State of the National Debt', and 'Civil List'; two piles of documents hang from the shelf. On the wall above Lansdowne's head are two bust portraits: 'John Calvin', wearing a steeple-crowned hat, gown, and bands, and 'Ignatius Loyola', a profile portrait of Burke wearing a Jesuit's biretta as in BMSat 6026, &c. 12 March 1787
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 274 millimetres
Width: 378 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The last name, on the paper that the foremost Jew holds out to Lansdowne, suggests that the other names have a satirical significance: J. Bond, clerk and afterwards magistrate at Bow Street, was satirized by Gillray in 1782 (BMSats 6120, 6121); P. Jones is perhaps Paul Jones, see BMSat 5559, &c.
Lansdowne is attacked for the Peace Preliminaries of 1783, cf. BMSat 7623; the accusation of timing them for purposes of speculation was not made in the satires catalogued in volume v (see BMSat 6184, &c). For his sympathies with nonconformity cf. BMSat 7628. Lansdowne (Shelburne) was called the Jesuit of Berkeley Square; hence probably the appearance in the print of Burke, though he had resigned on Shelburne's appointment as First Lord of the Treasury, see BMSat 6011, &c. The occasion of this print is the Treaty of Commerce with France (implied in 'Billy Paradice'), see BMSat 6995, &c, and perhaps also the altercation between Richmond and Lansdowne on 5 March, &c. See BMSat 7148, &c. For the use of Sayers's signature cf. BMSat 7146.
Grego, 'Gillray', p. 85. Wright and Evans, No. 21.
Reproduced, Fitzmaurice, 'Life of Shelburne', 1912, ii. 200.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number