- Museum number
- Object: John-Bull, baited by the dogs of excise.
A bull, chained, muzzled, and blindfolded, his horns tipped, but snorting fire, is baited by dogs urged on by Pitt who runs forward (right), holding heavy chains labelled 'New Excise Fetters for John Bull'. Pitt points at the bull, shouting, "At him! at him! Tally-ho, ho, ho." From his pocket hangs a paper inscribed 'New Excises intended upon Cyder, Flour, Hardware, Linnens, Woolens, Coals, Butchers Bakers Cheese-mo[ngers] Fish, Water'. Pitt and his dogs are hurrying from the Treasury, over the gate of which the word Treasury has been scored through by Rose, who stands on a ladder on the extreme right, painting the word 'Excise-Office' in large letters. A rose takes the place of his head; in his left hand is his paint-pot inscribed 'Kings' Yellow'. The bull's legs are chained to a post inscribed 'Excise'; he is snorting "Liberty! Liberty! and no Excise! Huzza!" The dogs have human heads and inscribed collars. The two foremost are 'Billy Grenv[ille]', with a pen behind his ear, and 'Dundas'. The Duke of Richmond ('Ordnance') is on the bull's back, biting his ear. Behind are 'Jenky' (Lord Hawkesbury), 'Sir Pepper' (Arden), 'Sydney, Cam' (Camden), and a dog perhaps intended for Carmarthen. In the foreground, lying on a heap of Tobacco which has fallen from a cask so inscribed (which he befouls), is Thurlow, a dog with the head and wig of Thurlow, his collar inscribed 'Snap Dragon', fiercely gnawing a large bone inscribed 'Opposition' at one end and 'Ministry' at the other, while he glares up at Pitt. 9 April 1790
- Production date
Height: 265 millimetres
Width: 418 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
An illustration of Sheridan's violent attack, on 8 March, on the Tobacco Excise Bill, a renewal of the attempt to revive the clamour of 1733 against the transference of the duties on tobacco and snuff from Customs to Excise, see BMSat 7545, &c. See. 'Parl. Hist.' xxviii. 479 ff. and Moore, 'Life of Sheridan', pp. 459-61. For Thurlow's intrigues with the Opposition see BMSat 7377. His dislike of Pitt was notorious.
Grego, 'Gillray', p. 117. Wright and Evans, No. 44.
Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number