Retort Courteous or the Disloyal Address Returned without Ceremony
London Pub by S W Fores Piccadilly March 25 1797
Etching with hand colouring, sheet 255 x 360mm (10 x 14"). Trimmed; paper tone; faint impression.
An address to George III praying him to dismiss his ministers as the first step towards obtaining peace was voted by the Livery in Common Hall on 23 March 1797. This print, issued two days later, shows the two sheriffs who visited St. James's to ask when the King would receive it. They were not admitted, however, with the King sending out a message by the Duke of Portland that he received addresses only from the Corporation of London. Portland here kicks the sheriffs (one of whom holds the 'Address from the Faithless Citizen') down a flight of steps made of 'Portland Stone', denouncing the 'Opposition trick'. Underneath the stairs Charles James Fox looks on disappointedly, while Prime Minister William Pitt, with an elongated neck, leans in on the left and seconds Portland. Etching by Richard Newton (1777-98), caricaturist and miniature painter, a prodigious talent who died at the age of 21, leaving over 300 separately issued prints and 80 in books. This is one of his latest prints, after he left his early employer, the radical publisher William Holland, to open his own 'Original Print Warehouse' in Covent Garden.
BM Satires 9001; Alexander 240
[Ref: 39531] £240.00