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Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill

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Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill
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Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill

Caricaturist James Sayers produced this political cartoon that mocks Foreign Secretary Charles James Fox after his East India Bill failed in the House of Lords by comparing him to the mythical Phaeton. Fox falls from the chariot drawn by a unicorn and a British lion.

In the ancient Greek myth, Phaeton was the son of the Oceanid Clymene and the sun god Helios. Desiring to confirm his parentage, Phaeton travels to the palace of Helios in the east and asks his father to drive his sun-chariot for a single day. Despite the warnings of Helios of the dangers and difficulties, Phaeton insists on driving the chariot with disastrous results. He cannot keep a firm grip on the horses, driving the chariot too close to the earth and burning part of it, then too far from it, freezing another part. Finally, Zeus strikes Phaeton with a lightning bolt, killing him instantly. His body falls into the river Eridanus, where his grieving sisters are turned into black poplar trees.

The myth was a common theme among artists, particularly Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens in the first decade of the seventeenth century. In this cartoon, Sayers uses the well-known myth to illustrate Fox's fall from power based on the failure of his East India Bill. This copy of the print includes erased lines from Thomas Gray's 1768 "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," perhaps mocking Fox's attendance at Eton College.

[CARTOON ART.] James Sayers, "The Fall of Phaeton," Printed Engraving by Thomas Cornell, January 6, 1784. 1 p., 10.5" x 13.75". Erasure of text beneath title; very good.

Excerpts
"Dieu et Mon Droit" ("God and My Right")

"India Refo[rm] Bill"

"Pluto" / "The Fall of Phaeton" / "Published as the Act Directs by Thomas Cornell Bruton Street / 6th January 1784"

Historical Background
The Fox-North Coalition of former parliamentary adversaries took charge of the British government in April 1783. The Treaty of Paris, signed in September 1783, formally ended the American Revolutionary War.

Foreign Secretary Charles James Fox introduced the East India Bill to nationalize the East India Company to provide the Fox-North government with a new source of appointments. Although it passed the Commons by 153 to 80, the King declared that he would consider any peer who favored it his personal enemy. The bill went down to defeat by a vote of 95 to 76 in the House of Lords on December 17, 1783, and the King immediately dismissed the Fox-North Coalition.

James Sayers (1748-1823) was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, as the son of a merchant captain. He began work as a clerk in an attorney's office. His father's death in 1780 left him a small fortune, with which he went to London and became a political caricaturist. He supported William Pitt the Younger and opposed Charles James Fox. In response to his support, Pitt provided Sayers with a place as marshal of the Exchequer court. He drew his caricatures with pencil on oil paper, and etchers created printable versions. He also wrote political propaganda in prose and verse.

Thomas Cornell (fl. 1780-1792) was a print and bookseller and publisher in London. He frequently issued prints by caricaturists James Sayers and Thomas Rowlandson. He was also a bookseller to the Prince of Wales (later King George IV).

Charles James Fox (1749-1806) was born in London and was indulged by his father. He attended Eton College and Hertford College, Oxford, but left before graduating. Encouraged by his father, he became known for gambling, womanizing, and favoring foreign fashions. His father purchased a seat in Parliament for him in 1768. Over the next six years, he addressed the House of Commons 254 times, supporting the Grafton and North ministries and opposing John Wilkes. He briefly held positions on the Board of Admiralty and the Board of the Treasury. Under the influence of Edmund Burke, who became his mentor, Fox aligned with the Rockingham Whig party and became a harsh critic of Lord North and the conduct of the American War for Independence. Fox corresponded occasionally with Thomas Jefferson and had a personal antipathy against King George III. His opposition to the King led the radical movement to embrace him. When North finally resigned in March 1782, the Marquess of Rockingham replaced him as Prime Minister and appointed Fox as Foreign Secretary. When Rockingham died unexpectedly on July 1, the Earl of Shelburne replaced him, and Fox refused to serve in Shelburne's administration. Fox joined forces with his former nemesis Lord North to oppose Shelburne. The Fox-North Coalition government came to power in April 1783, despite King George III's resistance. After the House of Lords rejected the Fox-North Coalition's East India Bill, King George dismissed it and nominated William Pitt in their place. For the next twenty-two years, Fox opposed the Pitt government. He became known for his antislavery views, his defense of religious and political minorities, and his support of the French Revolution. After Pitt's death in January 1806, Fox briefly served as Foreign Secretary in William Grenville's ministry until Fox's death in September.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill

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0156: Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill

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...

Political Cartoon Mocks Charles James Fox and His Reform Bill

Caricaturist James Sayers produced this political cartoon that mocks Foreign Secretary Charles James Fox after his East India Bill failed in the House of Lords by comparing him to the mythical Phaeton. Fox falls from the chariot drawn by a unicorn and a British lion.

In the ancient Greek myth, Phaeton was the son of the Oceanid Clymene and the sun god Helios. Desiring to confirm his parentage, Phaeton travels to the palace of Helios in the east and asks his father to drive his sun-chariot for a single day. Despite the warnings of Helios of the dangers and difficulties, Phaeton insists on driving the chariot with disastrous results. He cannot keep a firm grip on the horses, driving the chariot too close to the earth and burning part of it, then too far from it, freezing another part. Finally, Zeus strikes Phaeton with a lightning bolt, killing him instantly. His body falls into the river Eridanus, where his grieving sisters are turned into black poplar trees.

The myth was a common theme among artists, particularly Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens in the first decade of the seventeenth century. In this cartoon, Sayers uses the well-known myth to illustrate Fox's fall from power based on the failure of his East India Bill. This copy of the print includes erased lines from Thomas Gray's 1768 "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," perhaps mocking Fox's attendance at Eton College.

[CARTOON ART.] James Sayers, "The Fall of Phaeton," Printed Engraving by Thomas Cornell, January 6, 1784. 1 p., 10.5" x 13.75". Erasure of text beneath title; very good.

Excerpts
"Dieu et Mon Droit" ("God and My Right")

"India Refo[rm] Bill"

"Pluto" / "The Fall of Phaeton" / "Published as the Act Directs by Thomas Cornell Bruton Street / 6th January 1784"

Historical Background
The Fox-North Coalition of former parliamentary adversaries took charge of the British government in April 1783. The Treaty of Paris, signed in September 1783, formally ended the American Revolutionary War.

Foreign Secretary Charles James Fox introduced the East India Bill to nationalize the East India Company to provide the Fox-North government with a new source of appointments. Although it passed the Commons by 153 to 80, the King declared that he would consider any peer who favored it his personal enemy. The bill went down to defeat by a vote of 95 to 76 in the House of Lords on December 17, 1783, and the King immediately dismissed the Fox-North Coalition.

James Sayers (1748-1823) was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, as the son of a merchant captain. He began work as a clerk in an attorney's office. His father's death in 1780 left him a small fortune, with which he went to London and became a political caricaturist. He supported William Pitt the Younger and opposed Charles James Fox. In response to his support, Pitt provided Sayers with a place as marshal of the Exchequer court. He drew his caricatures with pencil on oil paper, and etchers created printable versions. He also wrote political propaganda in prose and verse.

Thomas Cornell (fl. 1780-1792) was a print and bookseller and publisher in London. He frequently issued prints by caricaturists James Sayers and Thomas Rowlandson. He was also a bookseller to the Prince of Wales (later King George IV).

Charles James Fox (1749-1806) was born in London and was indulged by his father. He attended Eton College and Hertford College, Oxford, but left before graduating. Encouraged by his father, he became known for gambling, womanizing, and favoring foreign fashions. His father purchased a seat in Parliament for him in 1768. Over the next six years, he addressed the House of Commons 254 times, supporting the Grafton and North ministries and opposing John Wilkes. He briefly held positions on the Board of Admiralty and the Board of the Treasury. Under the influence of Edmund Burke, who became his mentor, Fox aligned with the Rockingham Whig party and became a harsh critic of Lord North and the conduct of the American War for Independence. Fox corresponded occasionally with Thomas Jefferson and had a personal antipathy against King George III. His opposition to the King led the radical movement to embrace him. When North finally resigned in March 1782, the Marquess of Rockingham replaced him as Prime Minister and appointed Fox as Foreign Secretary. When Rockingham died unexpectedly on July 1, the Earl of Shelburne replaced him, and Fox refused to serve in Shelburne's administration. Fox joined forces with his former nemesis Lord North to oppose Shelburne. The Fox-North Coalition government came to power in April 1783, despite King George III's resistance. After the House of Lords rejected the Fox-North Coalition's East India Bill, King George dismissed it and nominated William Pitt in their place. For the next twenty-two years, Fox opposed the Pitt government. He became known for his antislavery views, his defense of religious and political minorities, and his support of the French Revolution. After Pitt's death in January 1806, Fox briefly served as Foreign Secretary in William Grenville's ministry until Fox's death in September.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

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