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A pair of inflated breeches, inside which corpulent members of Grenville's ministry sit around a table devouring loaves and fishes, are poised on an ostrich feather as several men attempt to pull down the legs while a man with a pair of shears and a tape measure sits on the 'rock of independence'. Etching by J. Gillray.

  • Gillray, James, 1756-1815.
  • Pictures

About this work


The breeches belonged to Charles James Fox. Members of the ministry gorge on fish except two men who eat normally. Rats gnaw at the featuers supporting the breeches. The two parties trying to pull down the precariously poised ministry are Burdett and his friends (right) and William Pitt's supporters (left). Pitt the younger had died in 1806 but support for his policies continued. Fox was at this time foreign secretary within Grenville's administration who were nicknamed the 'broadbottoms' due to their large posteriors. Burdett was the opposition. The figure on top of the rock is James Paull who competed against Burdett for a place in parliament in 1806


[London] : [Thomas McLean], [1830].

Physical description

1 print : etching ; image 14.8 x 20.5 cm


Political mathematician's shaking the broadbottomd hemispheres: -'-Mr Paull is fixed upon a rock, and be assured he will prove the fulcrum by means of which the present broadbottomites will be overset' A Birmingham toast, as given on the 14th of July by the - Revolution Society

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. viii, London 1947, no. 10697

Lettering note

Lettering at top of image: 'To that last hope of the country,-'the new opposition', this representative of 'Charley's old breeches in danger', is respectfuly submitted


Wellcome Library no. 585506i



  • English

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