The pit of Acheron, or, The birth of the plagues of England [graphic] / FN: 1784.
- The pit of Acheron, or, The birth of the plagues of England [graphic] / FN: 1784.
- Alternative Title
- Birth of the plagues of England
- Rowlandson, Thomas, 1756-1827, printmaker.
- Published / Created
- 1784 January 28
- Copyright Date
- [28 January 1784]
- Publication Place
- W. Humphry, no. 227 Strand
- "The interior of a witches' cave, three witches round a blazing cauldron; through the mouth of the cave, and in the upper right corner, appears Westminster Bridge, leading to the houses and towers of Lambeth, showing that the cave is in Westminster, evidently the House of Commons. From the flames ascending from the cauldron emerge the heads of Fox, North, and Burke. Other emblems also ascend: a rosary and cross (indicating the popery ascribed to Burke, cf. British Museum Satires No. 6026), a small pig, labels inscribed 'Deceit', 'Pride', 'Corrupt par ...' [liament] (in reverse), 'Loane Lottery'. The witches, whose three broomsticks (left) lean against the side of the cave, are bringing more ingredients to the pot which disseminates the plagues of England: a hag (right) stands about to drop a paper inscribed 'Rebellion' into the cauldron; she says, "Well sister, what hast thou got, for the ingredients of our Charmd Pot". Another witch (left), crouching over a bag from which emerge two men, one of whom is a serpent from the waist downwards, answers, "A Beast from Scotland, tis call'dan Er--skin, famous for Duplicity low Art & Cunning - the other a Monster who'd spurn even at Charters Rights'. Erskine, who is leaping from the sack, says, "I am like a Proteus can turn to any Shape from a Sailor to a Lawyer, and always lean to the Strongest Side". Erskine, first entering Parliament in 1783, see British Museum Satires No. 6369 (8), was one of Fox's martyrs. The serpent-man says: 'Over the Water and over the Lee, Thro Hell I woud follow my Charlee'."--British Museum online catalogue, description of a later state.
Apparent signature "FN: 1784" in lower right corner perhaps stands for the coalition of Fox and North. See British Museum catalogue.
Cf. Grego, J. Rowlandson the caricaturist, v. 1, pages 111-2.
For a later state with imprint burnished from plate and the title re-etched in a single line, see no. 6364 in the Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 6.
Printmaker from description of later state in the British Museum catalogue.
Sheet trimmed within plate mark.
Title etched below image.
- 1 print : etching on laid paper, hand-colored ; sheet 28.7 x 33.5 cm
- Extent of Digitization
- Completely digitized
- Call Number
- Auchincloss Rowlandson v. 1
- Collection Title
- The political and humourous works of Thomas Rowlandson, 1774-1825
- Collection/Other Creator
- Harvey, Francis
- Collection Created
- Container / Volume Information
- Vol. 1 (Box 2 of 2) | Folder I-42
Subjects, Formats, And Genres
- still image
Satires (Visual works)--England--1784.
- Subject (Geographic)
- Great Britain--Politics and government--1760-1789.
- Subject (Name)
Auchincloss, Hugh Dudley--Ownership.
Burke, Edmund,--1729-1797--Caricatures and cartoons.
Erskine, Thomas Erskine,--Baron,--1750-1823--Caricatures and cartoons.
Fox, Charles James,--1749-1806--Caricatures and cartoons.
Humphrey, William, approximately 1740-approximately 1810, publisher.
Lee, John,--1733-1793--Caricatures and cartoons.
North, Frederick,--Lord,--1732-1792--Caricatures and cartoons.
Riviere & Son Binding.
- Subject (Topic)
Access And Usage Rights
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