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Boats at Sidmouth - geograph.org.uk - 2737
 

 

 

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English: Charon's Boat - or - the Ghosts of "all the Talents" taking their last voyage, - from the Pope's Gallery at Rome / Js. Gillray, fec.

A group of naked British Whig politicians, including three Grenvilles, Sheridan, St. Vincent, Moira, Temple, Erskine, Howick, Petty, Whitbread, Sheridan, Windham,and Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, crossing the river Styx in a boat named the Broad Bottom Packet. Sidmouth's head emerges from the water next to the boat. The boat's torn sail has inscription "Catholic Emancipation" and the center mast is crowned with the Prince of Wales feathers and motto "Ich Dien". On the far side the shades of Cromwell, Charles Fox and Robespierre wave to them. Overhead, on brooms, are the Three Fates; to the left a three-headed dog. Above the boat three birds soil the boat and politicians.

1 print : etching, hand-colored.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: [London] : H. Humphrey, 1807 July 16]th.

According to Wright & Evans, Historical and Descriptive Account of the Caricatures of James Gillray (1851, OCLC 59510372), pp. 305–307:

The Broad-Bottom Packet is conveying the late Cabinet and some of its supporters across the river Styx. Charon is personated by Lord Howick, who is rowing,—the "Whig Club" is his oar. He exclaims, "Better to Reign in Hell than Serve in Heaven." Earl St. Vincent is steersman, he calls out, "Avast! Trim the Boat! or these damn'd Broad-Bottom Lubbers will overset us all." Lord Henry Petty is playing on a lyre, he has his foot on the dance, "Go to the devil and shake yourselves." Lord Erskine is exhibiting the effects of the "Catholic Emetic." Whitbread holds "Wesley's Hymns in one hand, and a Pot of Whitbread's Entire" in the other. Lord Moira's eyes are raised to heaven, he is kissing a crucifix held in his right hand, his left grasps the mast, which is surmounted by the features of his partron, the Prince of Wales, under them is "Fitz—Ich Dien." Windham holds in his hand a "Scheme for drilling Imps in Hell." The Bishop of Lincoln has "Unction" on his mitre; he holds in his clasped hands "Pitt Endowments," and "Whig Endowments," intimating that he obtained as much as he possibly could from both the Pitt and Whig Administrations. Lord Lauderdale is in agonies, but exclaims, "Vive Brissot." Sheridan is suffering from the same effects as Lord Erskine. The Marquis of Buckingham holds a cup in his hand, and endeavours to cheer up Lord Grenville, "Courage, Brother! take Extreme Unction and don't despair." The Broad-Bottom "Ballast from Stowe," with a crucifix on it, is the only discernible part of Lord Grenville. Lord Temple has dropped overboard "Pay Office Stationery," and a "List of Places, Pensions, and Sinecures." Lord Sidmouth has fallen overboard into the Styx. The floating Wig-Box, inscribed, "Lord Double-Bottom, his Wig-Box, King's Bench," has evidently belonged to Lord Ellenborough. The "Morning Chronicle" and "Oracle" are floating in the water, and a flag flying on the packet is inscribed "Templa quam dilecta," the family motto of the Grenville family. "Catholic Emancipation" is on the sail. On the right hand top of this print, Cobbett, transformed into a bird, is blowing letters from his Political Register into the packet. The Morning Post bird is conveying "Protestant Letters" into it. A monster bird, compounded of Burdett and Horne Tooke, is emitting "Damnable truths" among the crew. On the left of the print at the top are three witches riding in the air on their brooms, they represent the three fatal sisters or Parcæ. Canning as Lachesis, holds the thread of the late Administration, and Castlereaugh, as Atropos, has cut it asunder. Lord Hawkesbury, as Clotho,* (footnote: Clotho colum retinet, Lachesis net, et Atropos occat.) holds the distaff, because he has spun the thread of the new Administration.
On the opposite side of the Styx are seen departed spirits. Fox is placed between Cromwell and Robespierre. Fox holds up a branch, and cries out, "Welcome to Charley." Robespierre holds his decapitated head in his hand, and welcomes the boat's crew. Colonel Despard and Quigley are recognised by the halters round their necks, they welcome the new arrival. Cerberus is barking at the Packet's Crew.
Date 16 July 1807(1807-07-16)
Source Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-05431 (digital file from original print), uncompressed archival TIFF version (46 MB), level color (pick white point), cropped and converted to JPEG (quality level 88) with the GIMP 2.4.5.
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US-LibraryOfCongress-BookLogo.svg This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.05431.
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