"We come to recover your long lost liberties" [graphic] : scene, the House of Commons / Sir John Dalrymple inv. ; Js. Gillray fecit.

[State with publisher's name and date in imprint scored through].
Pubd. March 1st, 1798, by Js. Gillray, 27 St. James's Street
[1 March 1798]
Physical Description:
2 prints on 1 sheet : etching with engraving on wove paper, hand-colored ; plate mark 26.3 x 36.2 cm and plate mark 5.7 x 36.2 cm, on sheet 36 x 39 cm
Title etched below image.
Publisher's name and publication date in imprint are scored through with lightly etched lines.
"Price, 6 d. Colourd. 1 sh. 3 d."
Smaller plate consists entirely of etched text and is printed below title of plate with image.
Three columns of text on lower plate begins: Description. One French soldier putting hand-cuffs, and another fetters on the Speaker, whose mouth is gagged ...
With: Gillray, J. "We come to recover your long lost liberties": scene, the House of Commons. London: Pubd. March 1st, 1798, by Js. Gillray, 27 St. James's Street, [1 March 1798].
Temporary local subject terms: Literature: Allusion to Consequences of the French invasion, by Sir John Dalrymple -- Uniforms: Convicts of Botany Bay -- Musical instruments: Drumstick as a gag -- Interior of House of Commons -- Threat of French invasion -- Propaganda -- Declaration of rights -- Hanover succession -- Journals of the House -- Blazons: Death's head -- Branding irons -- Allusion to Botany Bay -- Clerks -- Cap of Liberty -- Blacksmiths -- Bellows -- Chafers -- Maces -- Magna Charta -- Fore hammers -- Statutes -- Cobblers -- French Republicans -- Speaker of the House -- Military: French soldiers.
Peter Murray Hill; Oct. 1958; Acquisitions no.: 958-10-1-13.
Watermark: 1794.
"Under the title, and from a separate plate, is etched in three columns: 'Description. - One French Soldier putting Hand-cuffs, and another Fetters on the Speaker, whose Mouth is gagged with a Drumstick. The rest of the Members [left], two & two, tied together by the Arms with cords, (Mr Pitt & Mr Dundas by the Leg with an Iron Chain, which has three Padlocks, but the Key-holes spiked up). They are all, dressed in the Uniform of the Convicts of Botany-Bay, to wit, Coats of two Colours, long Breeches [i.e. trousers], no Stockings, & their Heads close shaved; French Guards opposite to the Members, with their Hats on; one of whom carries an Axe, & a Blazon of a Death's Head on his Breast. Two Clerks near him with their Pens in their Ears, hanging their Heads [tied back to back]. Republicans in the Galleries waving their Hats, in which are triple-colour'd Cockades, & clapping their Hands. An English Blacksmith [right], in his Waistcoat & Cap of Liberty, breaking ye Mace in pieces with a fore Hammer, the Statutes tumbled on the Floor, the Cap of Liberty [inscribed 'EgaliteĢ'] raised high behind the Speaker's Chair, below which is painted in Capital Letters, " This House adjourned to Botany Bay - sine die." The Chaffers and burning Charcoal continuing to stand in their present places in the House, but filled with red-hot Irons, to sear One Cheek of the Members before they set off; & the Other, if they shall be found Guilty, by the Verdict of a French Jury, of returning to their own Country without Leave of the French Directory in Writing. An English Cobler in the Cap of Liberty, blowing with a Bellows one of the Chaffers the Fuel, the Journals of the House.' [Dalrymple, op. cit. inf., pp. 1-2.] The Speaker holds in his mouth a drum-stick, at each end of which is a bow of parti-coloured ribbon, adding a touch of burlesque. The table lies on its side on the ground and on the heavy cloth lie papers, ink-stand, books: 'Journals of the House' (torn), 'Declaration of Rights', 'Hanover Succession', 'Claim of Rights', 'Magna Charta'. The chained members are on the Ministerial side of the House only, the Opposition side is filled with fierce-looking French soldiers, cavalry (wearing plumed helmets) with drawn sabres, infantry (wearing cocked hats) with fixed bayonets. All have daggers in their belts, except their officer, apparently Bonaparte, who has two pistols in his sash, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword. Pitt and Dundas, chained back to back, stand slightly apart from the other members, guarded by a ruffian with axe and 'blazon' of skull and cross-bones. Three members are chained together by the front bench (left to right): Wilberforce, [?] Lord Mulgrave, Windham. The cobbler and the blacksmith are Fox and Sheridan, much caricatured and scarcely recognizable. [See Dalrymple's prospectus: 'Consequences of the French Invasion', p. vi. He charged Gillray 'not to introduce a single Caricature, or indulge a single sally that could give pain to a British Subject. I had little Occasion to repeat the Advice, for he is a Man of Genius; and, like all such Men, is fair and human'. Dalrymple wrote to Gillray: 'I beg you will not impute what I am going to mention to any Breach of my promise not to interfere in any of the prints. But I confess I wish that the Gag was out of the Speaker's Mouth. It may hurt his feelings as a Gentleman . . .' (n.d.). B.M. Add. 27337, fo. 20. The gag was Dalrymple's idea.]."--British Museum online catalogue.
Variant Titles:
Consequences of a successfull French invasion ; no. I, plate 1st
Associated Names:
Gillray, James, 1756-1815 [Printmaker]
Dalrymple, John, Sir, 1726-1810 [Artist]
Gillray, James, 1756-1815 [Publisher]
Fox, Charles James, 1749-1806
Melville, Henry Dundas, Viscount, 1742-1811
Mulgrave, Henry Phipps, Earl of, 1755-1831
Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821
Pitt, William, 1759-1806
Wilberforce, William, 1759-1833
Windham, William, 1750-1810
Etchings -- England -- London -- 1798
Satires (Visual works) -- England -- 1798
Watermarks (Paper)
Content Type:
Prints & Photographs
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Yale Collection:
Lewis Walpole Library
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Lewis Walpole Library
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Digital version