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Le Bonnet-Rouge;-or-John Bull evading the hat tax.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Le Bonnet-Rouge;-or-John Bull evading the hat tax.
  • Description

    John Bull stands full-face on the pavement outside a shop window, holding on his head a red cap trimmed with fur of quasi-military, quasi-libertarian shape. He is the yokel with wrinkled gaiters of BMSat 8141, &c, but a tattered great-coat is held together by a military belt. In his left hand is a ragged hat. He says, with a broad grin: "Wounds, when Master Billy sees I in a Red-Cap, how he will stare! - egad; I thinks I shall cook em at last. - well if I could but once get a Cockade to my Red Cap, & a bit of a Gun - why, I thinks I should make a good stockey Soldier!" The shop is that of 'Billy-Black-Soul [Pitt], Hatter, & Sword-cutler \ Licenced to deal in Hats and Swords.' Above the door (right) are the royal arms and 'Stamp-Office' (the tax on hats being levied by a stamp). Within the window are crossed swords and military cocked hats with a number of stamps bearing the royal arms. In the foreground (left) is a pile of dead cats with a paper: 'List of Cats Killed for making skin caps 20000 Red 5000 Tabb . . .' 5 April 1797
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1797
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 354 millimetres
    • Width: 256 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within image and production details: 'Js Gy inv & fect- / Pub April 5th 1797, by H. Humphrey New Bond Street, & St James's Street'.
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    The hat-duty dated from 1784, cf. BMSat 6914. For John Bull as soldier cf. BMSat 8977, &c.
    Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 221-2. Wright and Evans, No. 169. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 9004 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1797  Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1797 Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA142984

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