- Museum number
- Object: Neddy's Black Box
Burke kneels before a throne, from which the Prince of Wales has risen, eagerly holding out his hands for the head of Charles I which Burke proffers in a round box inscribed 'Treasury Box'; he says, "My Liege I told them in the House no day so proper to settle the Regency as Charles's Martyrdom". Sheridan stands behind Burke, leaning eagerly forward, and saying with a sinister scowl: "I too am for Dispatch such days best suit our Purpose"; from his pocket hangs a paper: 'Horn Tooke's Letter on the Princes Marriage' ('Prince' appears to have been scored through). Beneath the title is etched: 'Containing what he does not value three skips of a louse".
'"Why not Debate it on Friday I say it is the only Day in the Year on
"which it ought to be Debated (Charles's Martyrdom) and carried up in the
"Black Box". - Vide M Burk - s Speech on Tuesday last.' 30 January 1789
- Production date
Height: 236 millimetres
Width: 335 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A satire on Burke's speech of 27 Jan. 1789 on the Regency Resolutions (see BMSat 7488, &c), in which he blamed Pitt for disrespect to the Prince in not sending his letter of 30 Dec. (cf. BMSat 7493) in a black box, protested against the decision that the House could not sit on 30 Jan. (the anniversary of Charles I's execution) 'of all days the most fit for taking that step which was to annihilate the constitution ...', and attacked the lords of the Household as sticking 'by the Kings loaf, while protesting that they 'did not value the money three skips of a louse'. 'Parl. Hist.' xxvii. 1116-18. Burke's speeches on the Regency were characterized by extravagance and unseemliness for which he was often called to order. Cf. BMSats 7492, 7627, 7689, and Lecky, 'Hist. of England', 1887, v. 130-3. Tooke's 'Letter' is the pamphlet, 'A Letter to a Friend on the reported Marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales', 1787, in which he maintained that such a marriage would be legal despite the Royal Marriage Act, cf. BMSat 7501.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', i. 245.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1989/90 Nov-Jan, Glasgow Mus & AG, World of Thomas Rowlandson
1990 Jan-Mar, Leicester City AG, World of Thomas Rowlandson
1990/1 Nov-Jan, Maidstone Museum, World of Thomas Rowlandson
1991 Jan-Mar, Swansea, Glynn Vivian AG, World of Thomas Rowlandson
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number