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Anticipations for the pillory.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Anticipations for the pillory.
  • Description

    Plate from 'Town Talk', iv. 165. A double pillory stands on a scaffold placed under an avenue of trees adjoining a house (left) evidently intended for Montagu House, Blackheath, the residence of the Princess of Wales. A constable or sheriff raises the upper half of the pillory, in readiness for the two people who shamefacedly advance on the scaffold, Lady Douglas covering her face, and supported by her husband who is in uniform. A festive crowd surrounds the platform. On the left a naval officer (Sir Sidney Smith) in uniform, wearing a star and seated on a horse. He points to the scaffold, looking down at a one-legged sailor (left) to say: "Shiver my timbers if there might not be two or three others by the side of her." The sailor: "God bless your Honour! remember poor Jack that serv'd at the siege of Acre with your Honor—I wish we had the Keel-hauling her." Beside him stands a military officer (his coat coloured blue). A woman holds out her apron to collect mud or stones shovelled up by a man who says: "Give her enough! She wants a mask to hide her shameless face." She answers: "I'll make her repent saying my child's not my own, or I'm not Sophy Austin." A woman with a large basket on her arm cries: "Buy my nice Pillory Nuts! My Warm Douglas gingerbread." A well-dressed man says: "Ecod I'll taste this gingerbread I think it must have a d—d quantity of gall in. & must be confounded bitter." A man with a wooden leg stands beside his pannier-laden donkey shouting: "Fine high flavour'd rotten Eggs sixpence a hundred!" A man holds out his hat, saying, "Lets have a hat full! a rotten Egg is a good antagonist to a corrupt heart." A boy holds out his hat, saying, "master give us a few I'm a desperate good marksman." The crowd is decently dressed, men in top-boots, women in bonnets and cloaks or fashionable pelisses. On the right a stage-coach inscribed 'Greenwich and Woolwich' appears above the spectators, with inside and outside passengers. The driver turns to watch the pillory, saying, "So may all her Royal Highness's enemies be exhibited!" In Montagu House, behind a garden wall, four sash-windows are open; three women and the Princess look out; she says: "This is my hour of Triump [sic]."
    1 April 1813
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1813
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 275 millimetres
    • Width: 429 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and text in image, and "Pubd April 1st 1813 for the proprietor of Town Talk"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    On 5 Mar., after the Princess's appeal to the Speaker, see No. 12026, Cochrane Johnstone (see No. 12209, &c.) complained that the Douglases persisted in their story (that William Austin was the son of the Princess), and asked why they were not prosecuted. On 15 Apr. a realistic effigy of Lady Douglas, placarded 'Conspiracy and Perjury' and 'Diabolical Perjury', was carried through Greenwich, Blackheath, &c. and finally burned before a large and applauding crowd. 'Examiner', 18 Apr. 1813. It had been established to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of 1806 that W. Austin whom the Princess had adopted was the child of his alleged parents. James Brougham, after interviewing the Princess in 1819, wrote to his brother: 'She has told me all about "W. Austin" who is not ye son of Austin but quite another person. ... She told Perceval, Eldon, and yrself [Brougham] that W. A was not her son, wh. "was true", but tho' old Austin and his wife both believe him to be their son, he is not.' 'Corr. of George IV', 1938, ii. 281. Cf. No. 12030. See Brougham, 'Life and Times', ii. 425.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 12027 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1813 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)   Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA84904

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