- Museum number
- Object: Blue & buff charity;-or-The Patriarch of the Greek Clergy apllying for relief.
Fox, as a beggar, holds out his bonnet rouge to the door of the 'Crown & Anchor' tavern to catch the shower of dishonoured paper which the talons of the Devil are scattering; smoke and flames issue from the doorway. Fox, unkempt and unshaven, his tattered coat and breeches scarcely covering his naked body, has an expression of desperate eagerness; he holds under his coat a dagger which drips blood. From his coat-pocket project a dice-box and cards, the Knave of Clubs uppermost (cf. BMSat 6488). Behind him are his needy followers: Sheridan (a pair of pistols in his coat-pocket), M. A. Taylor, and Horne Tooke immediately behind him, also clutching concealed daggers and holding out their bonnets rouges. Close behind these are Hall the apothecary, Priestley, and Lord Stanhope, whose attitudes show that they too are clasping daggers and proffering caps for alms. From Hall's pocket protrude a syringe and a medicine-bottle labelled 'W. Pitt.' Three other heads are indicated. The Devil's words issue from the door among flames:
"Dear Sir | Seldom have I experienced more heart-felt pleasure | "than now in executing the wishes of my Committee; - I flatter | "myself you will not be displeased with the convincing proof of the | "esteem of so many & so honorable persons; who far from imagining they | "are about to confer any obligations upon you, will think themselves | "honoured & obliged by your acceptance of their endeavours to be | "grateful for your unremitted efforts to effectuate | the Grand Object they have so deeply at heart."
Fox answers: "Dear Sir - You will easily believe, that it is not | "mere form of words when I say, that I am wholly at a loss how | "to express my feelings upon the Charity which you are now in so kind a | "manner showering upon me, - In my wretched situation, to receive such a proof | "of the esteem of the Committee, - to be reliev'd at once from Contempt & Beggary! | "for such as me, to receive a Boon which even the most disinterested would think their | "lives well spent in obtaining! is a rare instance of felicity, which has been reserved for me; - | "It is with perfect sincerity that I declare, that in no other manner in which a Charity | "could have been bestow'd upon me, would have been so highly gratifying to every feeling | "of my heart, - I accept, therefore, with the most sincere gratitude, the bounty of the Committee | "and consider it as an additional obligation upon me, to adhere strictly to whatever mea- | "-sures the Committee may find it convenient to pursue; & to persevere thro' thick and thin | "in That line of conduct, to which alone, I am conscious, that I am indebted for this, as | "well as for every other mark of their approbation. - "
Sheridan says: "Make haste, Charley! - make haste! - make haste! - for I long to have my turn come on; - I have been a Greek Emigrant a hell of a while, & relief could never come more seasonable: - and here's our "little Chicken" wants to peck up a little corn; & our old friend Blood & Brentford, the orthodox Parson, swears he has a right to a Particle; heres Glysterpipe expects to be paid for purging Administration; & old Phlogistick the Hackney Schoolmaster, expects some new Birmingham halfpence - besides ten Thousand more, with empty pockets, & hungry bellies, lads fit for any enterprize! who only want engagement; - but cannot get a Crust, before you are served! make haste Charley! - make haste! make haste." Over the tavern door is inscribed 'Whig Club'. The papers pouring into Fox's cap are inscribed 'Forged Notes' (twice), 'Swindlers Notes', 'Jews Bonds', 'Bankrupts Notes', 'Country Bank' (twice), 'Gamblers Notes', 'Blue & Buff Bonds', 'Forfeited Mortgages'. 12 June 1793.
- Production date
Height: 350 millimetres
Width: 412 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
A satire on the subscription raised for Fox, on account of his desperate financial plight, agreed at a meeting of the 'Crown and Anchor' tavern on 5 June, Adair in the chair, resolving 'that an effective demonstration and honourable proof of the affection esteem and gratitude of his constituents and of the public, ought to be offered to Mr. Fox as an acknowledgment and retribution due to his services and merits' ('Gazetteer', 30 June). The words of the Devil and of Fox parody Adair's letter and Fox's answer, printed in Lord Holland's 'Memoirs of the Whig Party', i. 62-5. Fox wrote to his nephew: 'the sum [£70,000] will pay all my debts that are in any degree burdensome, and give me an income upon which I can live comfortably. . . '. Ibid. This was an annuity of £3,000, see Stirling, 'Coke of Norfolk', 1908, pp. 398-404. For the King's opinion of the gift, see Rose, 'Pitt and Napoleon', p. 224. For M. A. Taylor as the 'Chicken' see BMSat 6777. Horne Tooke, ex-parson of Brentford, owed much to his friends' bounty. For the allusions to Priestley see BMSats 7632, 7887, &c. Hall ('Liberty Hall') the apothecary was secretary of the Whig Club and one of Fox's leading supporters at Westminster elections (see Vol. vi). He was secretary to the 'Blue and Buff Charity' committee. Flames issue from the 'Crown and Anchor' tavern also in BMSat 7889, where the door is 'the Gate of Pandemonium'. For Fox and the Jews cf. BMSat 6617, &c. The Devil (hands only visible) represents Adair. For the subscription see also BMSats 8330, 8332, 8438, 8622, 9266, 9282, 9343, 9353.
Grego, Gillray, p. 172 (small copy). Wright and Evans, No. 106. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number