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- Object: ('Extraordinary' news.)
Two designs side by side with separate titles:  'THE TOWER GUNS Suprise [sic] the first. John Bull and his wife are at supper. A plainly dressed manservant enters (l.) to say: "Law Sir if there isn't the big guns at the Tower going off!" John, who is seated full face in a dressing-gown between table and fireplace (r.), waves his night-cap and his pipe, and exclaims: "The Tower Guns at this time of Night! 'Extraordinary' News arrived! by Jupiter we've sent Juno to the Devil, and taken the Russian Fleet! - Illuminate the House call up children & tap the goose-berry Wine Mrs Bull, we'll drink to our noble commanders in Portugal." Mrs. Bull, ugly and gap-toothed, sits full face behind the table, grinning delightedly. The setting illustrates a prosperous but unpretentious citizen's menage. Over the chimney-piece, a corner of which is visible on the r., is a Chinese lion. John has hung his wig on a fire-screen pushed behind his high-backed armchair. The table is lit by one candle. On it are a piece of cheese, salt-cellar, and a tankard. There are a grandfather clock pointing to 10.5, and a bust portrait of 'William Duke of Cumberland' [1721-65]. A cat sleeps near the fireplace.
 'THE GAZETTE Suprise the Second'. Well-dressed elderly men cluster round one of their number (l.) who reads from an 'Extraordinary Gazette'. They listen with angry dismay. He reads: "Art. iv - The French Army shall carry with it all its Artillery of French calibre, with the Horses belonging to it, and the tumbrils supplied, with sixty rounds per gun, all oth..." A fat man (r.) interrupts: "What! carry away sixty Pounds a Man! why that ought to have
been in the pocketts of our brave fellows! D - m me if I ever believe the Tower Guns again!!!" They stand on a pavement, with the windows of an office behind them. Over the half-open door are the letters 'LOY . . .' [Lloyd's].
- Production date
Height: 261 millimetres
Width: 420 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
The news (a dispatch of 21 Aug. signed by Wellesley) of Junot's defeat at Vimiero, see BMSat 11024, &c., reached London on 1 Sept.; further encouraging details were known on 2 and 3 Sept., and the surrender of the French army was expected. Dalrymple's dispatch containing the Convention of Cintra, see BMSat 11035, &c., signed 30 Aug., reached London on the evening of the 15th, when the Park and Tower guns were fired. The 'Extraordinary Gazette' of 16 Sept., in which the Convention was published, was received with execration: (e.g.) 'Courier' of 30 Sept. quoted 'Pol. Reg.', 1 Oct. Article iv is correctly quoted. For the 'Gazette' see also BMSat 11043, 11045. For the delusive guns cf. BMSat 11367.
Reproduced, Wright and Fayle, 'Hist. of Lloyd's', 1928, p. 176.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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