The Age of George III

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"Peter and Paul Expell'd from Paradise"

This Gillray cartoon was sent to me by Bill Webber; my thanks to him.

Peter and Paul

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This Gillray cartoon was published in December 1806 by SW Fores, No. 50 Piccadilly. The title is "Peter and Paul expell'd from Paradise" and the couplet is

The World was all before them where to choose
Their place of rest, and Parson T---e their guide.

The 'Gate of St Stephen' is the entrance to Parliament; the two swords, labelled 'Middlesex' and 'Westminster' — held by the two successful candidates, Sheridan (with the very red face) and Admiral Hood — represent the parliamentary seats for which James Paull and Sir Francis Burdett had stood unsuccessfully as candidates. Paull and Burdett are following the Rev. Horne Tooke to Wimbledon, where Horne Tooke lived. Burdett was usually portrayed by his opponents as a goose.

This was the last of a series of cartoons on the topic produced by Gillray. the Westminster election in 1806, a three-way race between Sheridan, Sir Samuel Hood (a supporter of Grenville), and a newcomer and rich radical, James Paull. Sheridan had seen himself as a natural heir to Fox’s old seat, but when he appeared before his constituency, he was greeted with hoots and catcalls. Radical pamphleteer and politician William Cobbett, who is present as part of Paull’s entourage, wrote in his Political Register, “[Sheridan] retired from before the people for the first time perhaps in his life, in an agony of mortification and in a rage too violent to admit of concealment.” Ultimately Sheridan and Hood were elected, with Paull coming in third. As Draper Hill points out, Gillray consistently ridiculed Sheridan and, undoubtedly aware of Sheridan’s sensitivity to the redness of his face, made certain that Mrs. Humphrey’s colourists emphasized that disfigurement.

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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