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Henry Addington as a medical practitioner bleeding the exhausted John Bull, assisted by other politicians; representing Britain's strength being sapped by nepotism in politics and by war with Napoleon. Coloured etching by J. Gillray, 1803.

  • Gillray, James, 1756-1815.
Date
2 May 1803
Reference
12193i
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view Henry Addington as a medical practitioner bleeding the exhausted John Bull, assisted by other politicians; representing Britain's strength being sapped by nepotism in politics and by war with Napoleon. Coloured etching by J. Gillray, 1803.

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Credit: Henry Addington as a medical practitioner bleeding the exhausted John Bull, assisted by other politicians; representing Britain's strength being sapped by nepotism in politics and by war with Napoleon. Coloured etching by J. Gillray, 1803. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

Henry Addington was prime minister. John Bull is supported on a commode by Lord Hawkesbury (foreign secretary; subsequently Lord Liverpool); Fox and Sheridan offer warm water; while Addington's son ("young Clysterpipe") and Napoleon catch the blood in their hats. The young Addington collects "3,000 pr. annum" in his "Clerk [of the] Pells" hat and Napoleon collects: "West Indies, Cape of Good Hope, Malta, Ceylon" in his hat. John Bull is seated on: "Reservoir for the clyster-pipe family", beside him lies a torn sheet: "Rule Britannia - an old song". The politicians call for "courage" on the part of John Bull

Publication/Creation

[London] (27 St. James's Street) : H. Humphrey, 2 May 1803.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark 26.6 x 35.8 cm

Lettering

Doctor Sangrado curing John Bull of repletion ... Js. Gillray invt. & fect.

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VIII, London 1947, no. 9986
W.H. Helfand, 'Medicine and pharmacy in British political prints: the example of Lord Sidmouth', Medical history, 1985, 29: 375-385, p. 376 ("The print is a parody on the physician Dr Sangrado in the popular French romance by Le Sage, Gil Blas. Addington is again the doctor bleeding John Bull, who sits on a commode labelled "Reservoir for the Clysterpipe family!". The print has a double purpose-to protest the level of taxes necessary to support the war with France that had temporarily been halted and to comment on the lucrative sinecure Addington had obtained for his then sixteen-year-old son, to which the words "Clysterpipe family" refer. Both of these prints relate to taxation, for the theme of John Bull being treated, and particularly bled, by physicians is one of two classic formulas for such events, the other being John Bull crushed under the burden.")

Lettering note

Lettering continues: "- a hint from Gil Blas - with the kind offices of young Clysterpipe & little Boney"

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 12193i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English



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