Consequences of a Successfull French Invasion. James after Sir John DALRYMPLE GILLRAY.

Consequences of a Successfull French Invasion.

London: J. Gillray, n.d., 1798.

Etching; 320 x 360 mm., mounted.

Parliament is adjourned to Botany Bay

The original eighteenth century version of this rare transportation engraving, where the Parliament of Great Britain has been condemned - the chair of the Speaker being inscribed "This House adjourned to Botany Bay".

The original eighteenth century version of this rare transportation engraving, where the Parliament of Great Britain has been condemned - the chair of the Speaker being inscribed "This House adjourned to Botany Bay".

This is an example of the rare, original printing with both the date and the publishing details scratched through in ink. A later version was issued in the 1850s.

Stephens in his great catalogue of the British Museum's print collection shows that this is the first of a series of four political satires by Gillray after Dalrymple, and one of a pair depicting government (the other two have agricultural settings). Showing a mad scene in the House of Commons, this is sub-titled "No. 1 Plate 1st. We come to recover your long lost Liberties…". The second such print, more frequently seen, is set in the House of Lords and is sub-titled "No. 1 Plate 2d. We explain the Rights of Man to the Noblesse…".

This rare Gillray cartoon takes a satirical look at the decision of the English parliament to create a penal settlement at Botany Bay, in contrast to the atmosphere of reform and concern with civil liberties in the newly created republic of France and in the American colonies. Gillray turns the tables on the politicians of the House of Commons responsible for the Botany Bay decision: French revolutionaries led by Napoleon storm the parliament gagging the Speaker and placing all the Members in chains and dressing them in the garb of convicts. All the symbols of House are destroyed: the mace is smashed, the statutes discarded on the floor, and above the Speaker's chair are the words, "The House is adjourned to Botany Bay - sine die".

Although recorded and reproduced by Jonathan King in The Other Side of the Coin, we have not found this first issue of 1798 listed in standard Australian catalogues.

King, 'The Other Side of the Coin', p.18 (reproducing the image); Stephens, Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, VII, 9180.

Price (AUD): $4,850.00  other currencies Ref: #3002930

Condition Report