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James Gillray Gallery: 1779 - 1788

 
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RODNEY introducing DE GRASSE

 

Wright & Evans Description | British Museum Description

   
 
 


Engraving from the 1851 Bohn edition
Originally Published June 2, 1782
14"w x 10"h

               
 
 

Wright and Evans Description (More ...)

3 RODNEY INTRODUCING DE GRASSE.
June 7th, 1782.

DE GRASSE. ADM. RODNEY. FOX. GEORGE III. ADM. KEPPEL.

Rodney's great naval victory of the 12th of August, 1782, in which the French Admiral De Grasse was taken prisoner and brought to England, occurred just at the moment of a change of Ministry. The Whigs, while out, had attacked bitterly the management of the Admiralty under Lord Sandwich, whose place, on the resignation of the Tories, was given to the Whig Admiral Keppel. The first act of the Whig Administration was to recall Rodney, and the order for his recall had departed from the British shores when the news of this victory arrived. The victor was rewarded with a very moderate pension, and the lowest peerage, a barony, but he was deprived of the command of the fleet. Fox and Keppel, on each side of the throne, here shew their embarrassment at the unfortunate occurrence of Rodney's victory.

   
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British Museum Description by M. Dorothy George (More ...)

5997 RODNEY INTRODUCING DE GRASSE
Pubd June 7th 1782, by H. Humphrey New Bond Street.

One of four satires by Gillray on Rodney's victory as a blow to the Ministry ... Rodney, in profile to the r., kneels before George III (r.), seated on a throne, his sceptre in his r. hand. Rodney's r. hand is held out towards de Grasse, who stands behind him and on his r.; in his I. hand he holds a sword, its hilt resting on the ground at the king's feet. He is saying, Sire, I have done my Duty & at your Royal Feet, I lay the Scourge of these Destroyers. De Grasse, grotesquely thin and tall, stands erect, his hands folded. Fox and Keppel stand one on each side of the king. Fox, on the king's r., both hands thrust into his waistcoat, is saying, This Fellow must be recalled, he fights too well for us -- & I have obligations to Pigot, for he has lost 17000 at my Faro Bank. Keppel looks at a paper held in his r. hand saying, This is the very Ship I ought to have taken on the 27Th of July. The word Ville is just legible on the paper, the allusion being to de Grasse's flag-ship the Ville de Paris, taken on 'a Apr. 1782. The king is seated on a small square dais, covered by a fringed carpet. On the back of his throne is a crown to which is attached an ostrich feather, the feather which Rodney has added to the Crown by his victory.

   
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