A Kick at the Broad – Bottoms !
London, H Humphrey March 23rd. 1807
Original hand colouring
260 x 355 mm
George III (l.), just risen from the throne, kicks Grenville from the presence, holding him by the pigtail, and raising the sceptre to smite. Other members of the Ministry flee in confusion, their gestures showing that they also have been kicked. The Kings head, as a sign of respect, is hidden by a pillar in heavy shadow which supports the voluminous canopy over the throne, itself in full light. A large label floats from the King: ” – what! – what! – bring in the Papists! – O you cunning Jesuits, you! – what you thought I was like little-Boney & would turn Turk, or any thing? – but if You have no Faith or Conscience – I have!! – ay, & a little Old Protestant Spunk too! – So Out with you all!! – out! – with all your Broad-bottom’d- Popish Plots!!! – Out with you – out! – out! – out!” Grenville wears peer’s robes, which fly back, exposing his heavy posteriors (cf. BMSat 10530) to the King’s toe. He drops a long scroll: ‘Catholic Bill – for bringing the Papists into Power & supporting the Broad bottom Jesuits in their Places for securing the Papists in commanding of the Army & Navy & all the Public offices – .’ This tears as it floats over the shoulder of Howick, the mover of the Bill. Grenville is propelled against the massive Ellenborough, who hurries forward with a savage backward glare. The spectacled Buckingham looks up at his brother in dismay. Temple, huge and globular, waddles off, feeling his damaged back. In front of him, Sheridan, as Harlequin (cf. BMSat 9916), slinks off stooping low. In the foreground Petty and Erskine lie on their backs, legs in the air, both in their gowns, Erskine having dropped the Purse of the Great Seal. Behind the nearer figures are (l. to r.): Windham, Moira with both arms raised, and Lauderdale, looking to the left.; next, Sidmouth in full flight, and on the extreme right. a head identified by Miss Banks as Fitzpatrick, but resembling Gillray’s Adair. On the back of the throne within a wreath: ‘G 3d/ R.’ On its r., and on the extreme left., is a stool which supports a cushion on which rest a large ‘Bible’ and a crown. Behind the throne are the Royal Arms