Politics and War

41 Political Ravishment, or the Old Lady of Threadneedle-Street in Danger!

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Hand-colored etching by James Gillray (1757–1815). [London], Published by H. Humphrey, May 22, 1797.
24.8 x 34 cm, imageDA gb29a xx
A man attacks an old woman who wears a dress of one-pound notes. She sits on a locked chest labeled "Bank of England." Satire on the suspension of gold payments by the Bank of England. Prime minister William Pitt was forced to implement the issue of paper money when the Bank announced a gold shortage, due to loans it had made to finance the war with France. Rumors circulated that the Bank's coin was merely being held in reserve to send to the Continent in support of the war. Hence the significance of the locked chest, and the coins in the pockets of the lady's paper money dress.
42 Midas, Transmuting all into Gold Paper

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Etching by James Gillray (1757–1815). [London], Published by H. Humphrey, March 9, 1797.
35.5 x 25.5 cmDA gb33 xx
Another satire on the creation of legal tender bank notes by the Bank of England. (See 41). William Pitt is pictured spewing paper money out of his mouth, while gold coins are locked up in his stomach.
43 La Bonnet-Rouge: –or– John Bull Evading the Hat Tax

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Etching by James Gillray (1757–1815). [London], Published by H. Humphrey, April 5, 1797.
36.5 x 26.5 cmDA gb30 xx
Satire on the Pitt administration's doubling of the duty on fur hats and other items, to raise revenue for the war with France. John Bull (the English citizen) is pictured avoiding the hat tax by wearing the French revolutionary cap, or "bonnet-rouge," a symbol not in favor with the English government.
44 The Political Balloon; or, The Fall of East India Stock

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Etching by unknown artist. [London], Published by W. Wells, December 4, 1783.
35 x 25 cmDA gb34 xx
Refers to British Foreign Secretary Charles James Fox's bill to replace the directors of the East India Company with seven commissioners. Supporters of the bill hoped it would rid the Company of the directors' treachery and corruption in India. It was rejected by the House of Lords.
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