satirical print(related to)
- Museum number
- Object: This day, a charity sermon will be preach'd at St Stephen's chapel for the poor charity children of St James's parish
The Duke of York (left) and the Prince of Wales (right) stand one on each side of a church door, each holding out a collecting-plate, and each saying, "Pray remember the poor Charity Children of St Jams parish". Behind, a crowd of men leave the Church, Pitt holding out a plate to them, saying, "What is £130,000 pr Ann when you consider the price of provisions & other things pray remember." Three labels rise from the heads of the reluctant congregation (M.P.s): "I have disinherited my own Son for contracting Debts at Brothels & gaming Tables; At the last Charity Sermon both his Father & he promis'd. that he shd not become chargeable to the parish again"; "This Begging is made a Trade of".
The tiny Duchess of York, also holding a plate, stands with her left hand under the Duke's arm, saying, "I was born in a strange Land of honest Parents, but their characters are neither here nor there pray remember". The Princess of Wales, three ostrich plumes in her hair, stands with her plate behind the Prince's back, looking at him reproachfully over her right shoulder and saying, "I came here naked & he hath half cover'd me pray remember". On the extreme right stands the stout Mrs. Fitzherbert in profile to the left, clutching papers inscribed '6000 Pr Ann' (see BMSat 8485); she says: "It's always good to have something in hand." The Duke of Clarence, wearing striped sailor's trousers and a cocked hat, stands on the extreme left with an infant (one of the Fitzclarences) in his arms; he holds a paper (or collecting-box): 'Mrs Jordans Night'. The infant holds a paper: 'For the Benefit ofMrs Jordan - a new Way to pay Old Debts the part of Sr Giles Overreach by Mr George, being his second Appearance in that Character.' (Massinger's comedy, revived several times in the eighteenth century.) The Duke looks down disconsolately as if aware that he would have no share in the collection but would be forced to rely on his mistress's earnings.
In the background the King and Queen are seated on one horse as in BMSat 6918, a sign-post pointing 'To Windsor'. The King says: "I never interfere in Parish Business they must provide for their own poor." The Queen says: "Charity begins at home Love who knows what we may all come to." (Cf. BMSat 7836.) 19 June .
Pen and ink and watercolour
- Production date
Height: 226 millimetres
Width: 339 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
A satire on the debates (27 Apr. and 14 May) on the King's message asking for an establishment for the Prince and Princess of Wales and for the payment of the Prince's debts. Grey protested that this was the second application 'and that, too, after a solemn promise had been made, that no future debt should be incurred'. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxi. 1465 ff. At charity sermons, the most important being the annual one in St. Paul's for London charity-schools, some of the children who would benefit held collecting-plates. For the Prince's debts see BMSat 8673, &c. The Dukes of York and Clarence were also heavily in debt, see BMSat 8666, and cf. BMSat 9033. For food-prices, see BMSat 8665, &c.
Dr Andrew Norton (personal communication, May 2009) points out that this drawing is not the original design but probably an amateur copy, hence the initials "F T". An impression of the finished print in the Lewis-Walpole Library (ref: 7220.127.116.11) bears the title "A mock charity sermon to a dissenting congregation" in the lower margin which is cropped or missing from this version. The publication line, "Pub May 25 1795 by J Aitken Castle Street Leicester Square" shows that the print was available more than three weeks before the date of the present drawing.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number