- Museum number
- Object: Good news from Madras
Britannia, with Pitt and Dundas, regards a fort (right) from which flies a British flag. Before the fort stands an Indian potentate in chains; he turns his head in profile to the left to scowl at Britannia. Britannia is seated, on her right stands Pitt, on her left Dundas. Behind Pitt (left) is a military officer, evidently Cornwallis, resting his hand on his sword and looking down at a kneeling Indian woman (left) who holds out a scroll: 'Chart of India and Deccan'. In the foreground on the extreme left 'the patriot' stands in profile to the right holding a pen. In the background is the sea. On the design (right) is etched:
'The Patriot's eye in a fine phrensy rolling,
Doth glance from Heaven to Hell, from Hell to Heaven!
And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown
The Patriot's pen turns them to shapes, and gives
To airy nothing a local habitation and a name.'
Beneath the title is etched: 'Britannia triumphant'; 'Tyranny punished'; and the peaceable possession of Indian secured to Great Britain for ever!' c. September 1791
Etching with hand-colouring
- Production date
Height: 360 millimetres
Width: 313 millimetres (irregularly cut)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A companion print to BMSat 7939.
A satire on exaggerated reports of a British victory (cf. BMSat 8090, &c.). News of the storming of Bangalore by Cornwallis on 21 March reached London on 4 Sept. 1791. Tipu Sultan was defeated but not captured. 'London Chronicle', 6 Sept. 1791. 'Camb. Hist. of India', v. 336. The war with Tipu and its conduct was attacked by the Opposition, to the astonisne indignation of Cornwallis. 'Cornwallis Corr.' ii. 116, 125, &c. Cf. Lt.-Gen. Grant, M.P., to Cornwallis, 3 March 1791: 'The House of Commons at present puts me a little in mind of the American War. Tippoo has not such powerful and numerous supporters as 'Jonathan' had, but if the devil was to appear in the figure of an Asiatick Prince, and disturb the peace of the British Government, he would find some friends in this country. . . .' Ibid., ii. III. Cf. BMSat 7928, &c.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1999 Jul-Oct, Edinburgh, NG Scotland, The Tiger and the Thistle
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number