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- Object: The triumphal entry into St James's, or the downfall of the modern Colossus.
The royal princes are grouped at the gate of St. James's Palace (left) and have just hurled a bundle of crowned batons at Perceval, who approaches, standing like a circus-rider on a white horse (of Hanover) with the head of the Prince of Wales. He staggers under the blow and is about to fall; in his left hand is a sceptre; between his feet, on a tasselled cushion which serves as saddle, is the crown. He wears a fool's cap and his Chancellor of the Exchequer's gown. The batons are bound like fasces with a ribbon inscribed 'Protes[t] unity [a]gainst Restri[ctions]'. Before the princes stands a trumpeter in oriental dress, about to welcome Perceval; he turns his head to look with dismay at the Duke of York who has just flung the missile; his trumpet has a banner inscribed 'Bow The Knee Before Him'. A label floats up from the princes: 'York, Clarence, Kent, Cumberland, Sussex, Cambridge and Gloucester sends [sic] you this greeting'. They are poorly characterized: York is the most prominent, Clarence behind him, identified by his naval uniform, Kent on the extreme left, Cumberland in Hussar uniform on the right, Sussex, wearing a feathered Scots bonnet, Cambridge and (their cousin) Gloucester between York and Kent and behind the trumpeter.
Behind Perceval is a dismayed group, wearing blue spencers over their coats, and fool's caps. They say "Death to our hopes he is Off just at the journey's End". One holds a banner inscribed 'Honble Band of Blue Spencer Pensioners'; to it is tied a bag inscribed 'Empty'. In front of the 'Pensioners' and on the extreme right is Sheridan next Moira who turns to him, saying, "This makes the Old Proverb good". Sheridan: "Aye Frank, but he need not have hurry'd so". Behind him is Whitbread, saying, "He had better have mounted one of my dray Horses".
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 375 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
See No. 11705, &c. Perceval, like Pitt in 1788-9 (see No. 7382, &c.), is accused of trying to appropriate royal power by restrictions on the powers of the Regent. The peers of royal blood signed at Carlton House on 19 Dec. 1810 a protest against the intention of Ministers to establish a restricted regency as unconstitutional and 'contrary to . . . the principles that seated our family upon the throne . . .', 'H.M.C., Dropmore Papers', x. 87 (Cobbett dates the letter 12 Dec, 'Pol. Reg.' xix. 8). This was done at the Prince's instigation. Windsor Archives, cited M. Roberts, 'The Whig Party, 1807-1812', 1939, p. 360. The 'Spencer Pensioners' are (Tory) followers of Spencer Perceval. The trumpeter, whose turban is part-coronet, is probably Wellesley. The position of Moira, Sheridan, and Whitbread among Ministerialists seems odd, but may connote their expected triumph. See 'Parl. Debates', xviii. 802, &c.; Holland, 'Further Memoirs of the Whig Party', i1905, pp. 75-80.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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