The times

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Thomas Rowlandson
The times
Peel 1649
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

Attributed to Rowlandson by George.
Year of publication from George.
A satire on the Regency crisis.
Library's copy trimmed within plate mark.


Print shows, in the center of the design, the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, raised on four steps. Britannia on the right of the Chair takes the hand of the Prince of Wales, who is on the left, to lead him up to it; each rests a foot on the lowest step, inscribed 'Voice of the People'. The other steps are 'Public Safety', 'Patriotism', 'Virtue'. Britannia points with her left hand at Pitt and three maniacal and screaming Furies on the right whom she is putting to flight. She says: "I have been long deceiv'd by Hypocrisy but have at last discovered an Intention of sacrifising the rights of my people to satisfy a private ambition". Pitt, fleeing terror-struck, turns his head to say: A long farewell to all my greatness. From his pocket protrude papers inscribed 'Shop Tax' and Commutation. The Furies are half-naked hags with writhing serpents for hair; one, whose belt is inscribed 'Falshood', holds in one hand serpents, in the other a flaming torch inscribed 'Rebellion'; 'Envy' tears her hair, shrieking. The British lion, beside Pitt, looks from behind Britannia's shield at his mistress, roaring angrily. The Prince is being ushered to the throne by 'Liberty' and Justice, who are pretty young women carrying their accustomed symbols. Commerce reclines on the extreme left, leaning on a bale inscribed 'Commerce', and looking admiringly up at her two companions. The Lord Mayor, followed by other citizens, advances from the left, carrying the mace; the arms of the City decorate his gown. He says: "Whilst we mourn the occasion we must feel ourselves happy in reflecting that we are blessed by a Prince whose wisdom will protect our liberties, whose Virtues will afford stability to Empire".

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