The Unitarian arms

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The Unitarian arms
London : Pub July 14, 1792, by SW Fores, N 3 Picca.dilly, [1792]
Peel 1769
London : Pub. July 14, 1792, by S.W. Fores, N. 3 Piccadilly, [1792]
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

Five lines of prose below title: Addressd to those peacable subjects of this Kingdom who prefer the present happy constitution to that anarchy & bloodshed so zealously sought for by these restless advocates for Priestly & Paine's sophistical tenets.
Library's copy trimmed within plate mark; mounted onto bound album, leaf with an accompanying letterpress broadside containing an explanation of the print's iconography, and evidently intended to be joined to the foot of the print to make a single broadside in two sheets; with a caption title reading, "Blazoning of the Unitarian arms. ... Explanation of the emblems introduced. " (see Peel 1770).


Design in an oval. A burlesque coat of arms symbolizing the supposed character of the Unitarians represented by Priestley. The shield rests on a vulture which grasps in its beak and claws the motto: 'Under these Garbs do we act.' On a shaded (sable) ground a harpy suckles young harpies and holds up the cap of Liberty with a pendent banner on which is a crown surrounded by drops of blood. On a border round the shield are ten groups of ten intertwined serpents. The crest is the Devil and a number of fiends attacking a glory of rays surrounding a triangle, symbolizing the Trinity. The supporters are (dexter) Religion, a veiled woman holding a book and cross, her foot on a skull, and (sinister) Hypocrisy, a woman with the feet of a bird of prey, reading a book, and holding (concealed) a dagger with a notched blade; a trumpet is slung to her waist; a small wallet containing 'a bandelure' hangs from her neck in place of a cross. She tramples on a crown. She wears a ragged drapery, intended to suggest humility, over a rich garment. Cf. George.