- Museum number
- Object: Execution of two celebrated enemies of old England and their dying speeches Novr 5 1813
The arms of two gibbets extend symmetrically, high above a bonfire; between them is an equally high post supporting a board on which the title is etched. From one (right) dangles a realistic effigy of Napoleon (scarcely caricatured) in cocked hat, uniform, and Hessian boots. From the other hangs a ruffianly fellow holding a dark lantern. They face each other in profile. The fire is under Napoleon; smoke and flames drift towards Guy Faux. Country people cheer the bonfire, with two boys capering hand in hand in the centre foreground. Below the design (an alternative title): 'Bonfire at Thorpe Hall near Louth Lincolnshire on 5th Novr 1813 given by ye Revd W. C. to the boys belonging to the Seminary at Louth in consequence of the arrival of news of the Decisive Defeat of Napoleon Buonaparte by the Allies [see No. 12093] at 11 O Clock P M on ye 4th & Louth Bells Ringing all night.' Below is etched in two columns (left): 'GUY FAUX'S DYING SPEECH I Guy Vaux meditating my Country's ruin by the clandestine and diabolical means of Gunpowder Plot, was most fortunately discovered and brought to condign punishment by Old England and here I bewail my fate.' / 'NAPOLEON BUONAPARTES DYING SPEECH [right]. I Napoleon Buonaparte flattered by all The French Nation that I was invincible, have most cruelly and most childishly attempted the subjugation of the World, I have lost my fleets, I have lost the largest and finest armies ever heard of, and I am now become the indignation of the World, and the scorn and sport of boys. Had I not spurned the firm wisdom of the Right Hon. Wm Pitt I might have secured an honourable Peace. I might have governed the greatest Nation but Alas my ambition had decieved me and Pitts plans have ruined me.'
27 November 1813.
- Production date
Height: 444 millimetres
Width: 282 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
For the adoption of Pitt's plans for the defeat of Napoleon and the reconstruction of Europe see C. K. Webster, 'The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh'y i. 53-63. Cf. No. 12100. W. C. is William Chaplin of Louth Hall who was a chaplain to the Regent. For the 'Dying Speech' cf. No. 12115, &c.
Rowlandson, ii. 260. Broadley, i. 338 f. De Vinck, No. 8840. Van Stolk, No. 6203.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number