- Museum number
- Object: English slavery; or, a picture of the times.
A strip design in the manner of Bunbury's 'Long Minuet' (BMSat 7229) on four sheets; on the first is an additional imprint: 'Pub. by William Holland N° 50 Oxford Street April 3 1788', and on the third a similar imprint, dated 'April 13'. The words are etched above the heads of the speakers.
 Thurlow, in Chancellor's wig and gown (left), and the King (right) sit facing each other on each side of a small rectangular table. On the table !s a small box inscribed 'B------' [bulse] and a money-bag inscribed '100,000.' The King, his right arm resting on the table, says, "I would not for the world touch either". Thurlow answers, "Nor I, by G--d!" For the bulse see BMSat 6966, &c. See also BMSat 7278, &c.
 Queen Charlotte, her hair and shoulders covered with jewels, is seated, in profile to the right, in a small armchair playing a square piano (inaccurately drawn). She looks up with a pleased smile, saying, "Pounds, shillings, pence and farthings, I Have at my fingers end". The words 'Pounds', 'Shillings Pence' are repeated on her open music-book. For her supposed miserliness see BMSat 7836, &c.
 Mrs. Fitzherbert (right) leads the Prince of Wales (left) by a chain attached to his wrists; he puts his right hand on his heart, turning to her with a smile, and saying, "Delightful Slavery! A day, an hour; of such sweet bondage is worth an eternity of celestial happiness." He wears a military coat with epaulettes. She says, "Who can behold without transport "the glass of fashion, and the mould of form, the observ'd of all observers smiling in chains!" She is richly dressed, her hair decorated with three ostrich feathers, flowers, and jewels. The Prince's feathers are repeated in embroidery on her petticoat and on her shoe-buckles.
Sheet 2.  Hastings, in oriental dress, is seated in a chair, looking to the right, while Pitt (left) stands beside him, holding his bared right arm and a basin, which catches the blood from an incision. Pitt says. "Courage, my dear friend, you will find wonderful benefit from this bleeding". Hastings says, "I trust entirely to your skill for my recovery". It is suggested that Pitt's assent to the impeachment (see BMSat 7139) was given to protect Hastings.
 The Duke of York (left) seated with Fox and Admiral Pigot at a card-table. His fists are clenched, his right arm raised; he exclaims with an angry expression "D---n the Dice! never got such a plucking in my life!" Fox, who sits opposite him, and Pigot extend their hands with a propitiatory gesture; Fox says, "Don't be so furious, try another cast for ten thousand." Cards and dice are on the table; a plucked goose emerges from a dice-box at the Duke's feet. For the gaming of the Duke of York (who lost large sums to Pigot) see General Grant to Comwallis, 6 Apr. 1788, 'Cornwallis Correspondence', i. 362-3. Cf. BMSats. 7359 (9), 7914, 8062, 8073, 8095.
 Lady Archer sits at a dressing-table whose mirror reflects her profile, painting her face; her legs are crossed in a manner then considered indecorous. A monkey sits on the back of her chair imitating her actions. Behind her (left), and with her back to her, kneels one of Lady Archer's daughters, her hands tied behind her back. She weeps, saying, "Pon my honor, mamma, I'll not attempt to run away". On the ground (right) lies an overturned bird-cage with an open door. Lady Archer tried to prevent the marriage of her beautiful daughters, who were co-heiresses of their father's estate; the eldest married the Earl of Plymouth 30 May 1788, the youngest married Henry Howard of Corby 4 Nov. 1788. See Huish, 'Memoirs of George IV', 1830, pp. 248 ff. On 29 Feb. 1788 Storer writes: 'Lady Archer's three daughters have made a secession from their mother's house, and have set up a separate establishment.' 'Auckland Correspondence', i. 472. See BMSats 7428-30. For Lady Archer see also BMSat 5879, &c.
Sheet 3.  Miss Farren seated in a chair in profile to the right, holding an open book, looks at Lord Derby who stands legs astride, arms extended, saying, "I think this attitude will eclipse the Prince's Bow!" (see BMSat 7439). She says, "Admirable, my Lord! quite new too! never saw such grace and dignity in my life!" She appears to be assisting at his rehearsal of a part, cf. BMSat 7215. For Derby's attachment to Miss Farren see BMSat 5901, &c.
 A fat and ugly parson sits at a circular table eating greedily. On the table are a sucking-pig, two decanters, &c. Behind his back (left) stands the Devil dressed as a cook with cap and apron. He is lashing a sucking-pig which he holds by the tail, saying, "You shall find him as tender as a chicken, master". The parson answers, "That's right, Cook, twig the rascal well, give him a Negro flagellation!" One of many satires on the tithe pig, and on the gormandizing parson.
 Burke, an emaciated parson, stands in a pulpit in profile to the left, his hands on an open book, saying, "And behold he lived upon the fat of the land and was fed with good things!" Probably a satire on Burke's financial difficulties.
Sheet 4.  A very slim and foppish young man is seated at a dressing-table whose draped oval mirror (right) reflects his face. He applies a cosmetic to his cheek. On the table is a high Kevenhuller hat and a box inscribed 'Chicken Gloves'. Beneath is written in a contemporary hand 'H. Greville. vid. follies of fashion'. He is probably Charles Greville, 1762-1832, fifth son of Fulke Greville of Wilbury, Wilts., and father of the diarist.
 A lady wearing a large feathered hat stands clasping her hands to her breast and saying (or singing) "My heart, my good heart, says my Henry is true". She turns her head in profile to the right, towards a box in which Prince William, wearing a ribbon and star and seated in profile to the left, claps ecstatically, saying, "Bravo! bravissimo! encore!!!" She is identified in a contemporary hand as Mrs. Billington (at this time singing at Covent Garden as well as at concerts). 13 April 1788
Etching, printed on four separate sheets
- Production date
Height: 271 millimetres (Sheet 1)
Height: 271 millimetres (Sheet 2)
Height: 268 millimetres (Sheet 3)
Height: 270 millimetres (Sheet 4)
Width: 652 millimetres (Sheet 1)
Width: 647 millimetres (Sheet 2)
Width: 655 millimetres (Sheet 3)
Width: 438 millimetres (Sheet 4)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The title reflects the agitation for the abolition of the slave trade, the committee (afterwards the famous Abolition Society) meeting for the first time on 22 May 1787. Cf. BMSat 7303. Similar in manner to BMSat 7439.
Advertised by Holland as 'English Slavery . . . exhibiting twenty Public Characters just as the World would wish to see them. Price 7s 6d. or 13s 6d coloured'. Catalogue appended to 'Jordan's Elixir of Life . . .', 1789.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number