- Museum number
- Object: Delilah depriveing Sampson of those Locks in which consisted his Strength
Lady Hertford, seated regally on a small sofa, cuts locks from the head of the Regent who reclines against her knees, asleep. The locks already cut are on the ground inscribed respectively 'Sheridan', 'Norfolk', 'Moira', 'Holland', 'Erskine'. She is about to shear off one inscribed 'Grenville'; the last, 'Grey', is still on his head. The Prince, who is conventionally handsome, and wears uniform, holds a paper signed '[Gren]ville / Grey'; his garter, inscribed 'Honi so . . .', is loose, and his left hand hides the star on his breast. Lord Yarmouth (right) stands holding a guttering candle; he points to the uncut lock, saying, "Don't forget that lock laying [on] the shoulder its Grey dy'ye see!" In his pocket is a pamphlet: 'Art of Milling' [see No. 11842]. To leave no doubt as to his identity, a basket of fish is beside him inscribed '[Y]armouth Herrings'. Lady Hertford is heavily handsome; a small crown, which might pass as a tiara decorates her head; one foot rests regally on a footstool. A pillar and drapery behind her suggest regal state. On the sofa beside her is a rolled document headed 'Road to Hertford from Pall Mall'. On the ground (left) are empty wine-bottles; on a book by the Prince's feet, 'Economy of Human Life', lies a broken bottle from which wine pours. Behind (left) stands Perceval in his Chancellor of the Exchequer's gown, watching from behind a curtain which he holds aside; Castlereagh stands behind him, saying, "By Jasus, but she's as pretty a Barber as ever I clap't my eyes upon." Perceval answers: "Hush! Hush! you'l wake him before they are all cut."
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 351 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The Prince's attachment (since 1805) to Lady Hertford had been notorious at least since 1807; the final break with Mrs. Fitzherbert was in June 1811, but this is the first appearance in these prints of the former as the Prince's mistress and mentor, apart from the reference in No. 10635 (1806). The disappointed Whigs attributed their desertion to her influence, see Fulford, 'George the Fourth', 1935, pp. 121-3. For the Regent's proposals to Grey and Grenville that they should join Perceval's Ministry see No. 11855, &c. Grey, in the Lords, spoke of 'an unseen and separate influence that lurked behind the throne.... An influence of this odious character, leading to consequences the most pestilential and disgusting, it would be the duty of parliament to brand . . .'. 'Parl. Deb.' xxii. 85 (19 Mar. 1812). The first of many satires on her political influence, cf. (e.g.) No. 11866. For Mrs. Clarke as 'Dalilah', cf. No. 11262.
Milan, No. 2360. Reproduced, Shane Leslie, 'George IV', 1926, p. 80.
There is also a reissue (n.d.) with the imprint removed.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000 Jun-Dec, London, Wallace Collection, 'Founders of the Wallace Collection'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number