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- Object: The infernal sloop, chasing the good ship Brittania
The Britannia in full sail, fleeing before another ship (left) manned by devils; a boat (right), with five oarsmen and a steersman, tows the Britannia; there are rocks in the foreground (right). The figures are on a minute scale, with large inscribed labels issuing from them.
A shot from the Infernal Sloop has just broken the Union flag from its staff in the stern. Next it stands Bute, saying: "Let her Sink to the Dee'I, I'll have my will!" The rest of the crew of the Britannia (left to right.) are: Lord Holland, with a fox's head, saying: "Oh! What will be come now of my Unaccounted Millions". Holland had been styled in the City petition of 1769 "the public defaulter of unaccounted millions", see BMSat 4296. Lord Mansfield, in Judge's wig and gown, says: "His y' Cursed Licentiousness of the Press that weighs us Down". Jeremiah Dyson, as an African slave, says to Mansfield: "Oh! Masters, Masters, what will you do for me your poor Mungo now". For Dyson as Mungo see BMSat 4267. Lord Sandwich, holding a curved cricket bat, says: "d------n em they'll Twitcher my Notches" (an allusion to his fame as a cricketer and his nickname of Jemmy Twitcher from the 'Beggar's Opera'). A small figure standing on bales inscribed "National Debt" and "Pensions" says: "Keep to my Plannings and you'll be Safe Enough"; he resembles Grafton rather than North, who succeeded Grafton as First Lord of the Treasury on 28 Jan. 1770. Crouching behind bales inscribed "Places" and "Pensions" is the very unpopular Duke of Bedford, identified by his words, "Oh Mercy on Bloomsbury Jack". In the bow, standing on a bale inscribed "Stamp Act", a man with outstretched arms says: "Arrah we shall be Drown'd on them Curst American Rocks"; he is evidently Lord Hillsborough, Secretary of State for the Colonies and an Irishman. Sitting astride the bowsprit is a man in a legal wig, saying: "if She Sinks I'll be Justice of Water instead of Air". He is probably Sir Fletcher Norton, appointed Chief Justice in Eyre of His Majesty's forests south of the Trent immediately after defending Mansfield's conduct in the Wilkes case in the Commons on 1 Feb. 1768, and elected Speaker in Jan. 1770, generally satirized as Sir Bull-face Double Fee. See BMSat 4238, 4462, and index. Possibly he is Eyre, the Recorder, see BMSat 4843. The men in the boat are rowing hard; the steersman says: "Pull like Men my Boys well [sic] keep her up yet". Two of the oarsmen say: "Ah Jack we made ye Foe Fly when Pit had the Helm, and if we keep sober & Resolv'd we may bring her into Harbour Yet".
The Britannia is so heavily laden with bales inscribed "Secret Services", "National Debt", "Pensions", "Places", "Reversions", and "Stamp Act" that she is low in the water; the sea is rough and the 'American Rocks' are near. For other allusions to the Stamp Act see J,1.110, &c. 1 November 1770
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Height: 119 millimetres
Width: 177 millimetres
- Not on display
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