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Object: The Conference
Object: Instructions Given to Sir Robert Ladbroke, Knt, William Beckford, Esq; the Right Hon Thomas Harley, Esq; and Barlow Trecothick, Esq; Representatives of the City of London: By their Constituents
Satire from the Oxford Magazine 1769 concerning the clash of political interest between Thomas Harley and William Beckford, both MPs for the City of London. Beckford stands on the left in mayoral robes facing Harley and saying “Receive Instruction & not Silver” he holds a paper lettered “They have a Right to give us Instructions” Harley, a Merchant Taylor, holds a tailor’s goose, a soldier’s coat and shears, and responds “Teach us our Lesson! Are we then School Boys? Rather cut asunder my Thread of Life”. The figures are enclosed by a frame with pillars surmounted by the heads of putti. On the side by Beckford is a small English rose; on Harley’s side is a Scottish thistle to indicate his support for Bute.
Beneath the image in letter-press is INSTRUCTIONS Given to Sir ROBERT LADBROKE, Knt. WILLIAM BECKFORD, Esq; the Right Hon. THOMAS HARLEY, Esq; and BARLOW TRECOTHICK, Esq; REPRESENTATIVES of the City of London: By their CONSTITUENTS. And two columns of fourteen articles largely designed to oppose current government policy and alleged practices. These are signed CHARLES CLAVEY Chairman of the Common Hall. Guildhall, Feb. 10, 1769.
Etching and letterpress
- Production date
Height: 98 millimetres (engraving)
Height: 304 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 138 millimetres (engraving)
Width: 192 millimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
- On the 10th February 1769 the Common Council of the City of London met, elected Clavey their Chairman, and drew up this set of instructions for their Members of Parliament.
Those named in the letterpress were the four MPs for the City of London. Harley was said to have received a lucrative contract for military clothing as a reward for the part he played in suppressing anti-government disturbances in the City when he was Lord Mayor, 1767-68. Beckford was a keen supporter of William Pitt, Lord Chatham, and opposed to the Duke of Grafton’s administration; he had been Lord Mayor, 1762-63 and was to become Lord Mayor again, 1769-70.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
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