Print, ARGUS

In order to interact with this document, you must have the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player.
Download Flash or View the Document

  • Attributed to: James Gillray; Publisher: W. Renegal
  • England
  • May 15, 1780
  • Black and White Etching
  • 1960-79

The lower margin reads: "ARGUS./ Pub.d May 1780, by W. Renegal."

This satire attributed to Gillray comments on George III's reluctance to deal effectively with English problems. Fully attired in his royal robes, a sleeping monarch allows government leaders to usurp the symbols of his power. Mansfield, in a judge's robe, removes the king's crown. He is observed by the Scotsman Bute, who holds the king's scepter and is aided by a figure whose speech suggests that he is also Scottish, probably Alexander Wedderburn, the attorney general. Observing the scene from the rear is America, a male Indian, who comments: "We in America have no Crown to Fight for or Loose."

Britannia, a despairing female, sits to one side, badly torn maps of Great Britain and America at her feet. To the left a ragged unidentified Englishman suggests widespread commercial ruin, while just behind him Ireland walks away declaring his independence.

In the right rear a Dutchman runs away with two bee hives that symbolize the commercial wealth Holland has gained at Britain's expense.

Browse Content By Theme