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Caneing Conduit Street Etching James Gillray

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Gillray - The Caneing in Conduit Street


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Antique print relating to Australia


James Gillray caricatures Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford, (1775-1804) streetcorner assault on George Vancouver. Pitt came aboard HMS Discovery to partake in the Vancouver Expedition of diplomacy and exploration. When the expedition reached Tahiti, Pitt was flogged for trying to trade a piece of broken barrel-hoop for the romantic favours of an island woman. Vancouver had given strict orders against romancing the natives. Pitt was flogged again for unauthorized trade with Indians at Port Stewart and then again for breaking the binnacle glass while skylarking with another gentleman. On their return to England, Pitt challenged Vancouver to a duel. Vancouver gravely replied that he was unable "in a private capacity to answer for his public conduct in his official duty" and offered instead to submit to formal examination by flag officers. Pitt chose instead to stalk Vancouver, ultimately assaulting him on a London street corner. The terms of their legal dispute required both parties to keep the peace, but nothing stopped his civilian brother Charles from interposing and giving Pitt blow after blow until onlookers restrained the attacker. Charges and counter-charges flew in the press, with the wealthy Camelford faction having the greater firepower until Vancouver, ailing from his long naval service, died. British Museum description : A stout naval officer (right) is attacked by a taller and slimmer officer (left), who siezes him by the coat and raises his cane to strike. A civilian stands between them holding back the aggressor. The stout officer, Captain Vancouver, wears an enormous sword; a fur mantle hangs from his shoulders inscribed 'This Present from the King of Owyhee to George IIId forgot to be delivered'. From his coat-pocket hangs a scroll which rests on the ground, part being still rolled up: 'List of those disgraced during the Voyage - put under Arrest all the Ships Crew - Put into Irons, every Gentleman on Board - Broke every Man of Honor & Spirit - Promoted Spies - ' His left foot is on an open book: 'Every Officer is the Guardian of his own Honor. Lord Grenvills Letter'. From the pocket of the civilian (Vancouver's brother) projects a paper: 'Chas Rearcovers Letter to be publish'd after the Parties are bound to keep ye Peace.' Vancouver's assailant, Lord Camelford, says: "Give me Satisfaction, Rascal! - draw your Sword, Coward! what you won't ? - why then take that Lubber! - & that! & that! & that! & that! & that! & - Vancouver, staggering back, with arms outstretched, shouts: Murder! - Murder! - Watch! - Constable! - keep him off Brother! - while I run to my Lord-Chancellor for Protection! Murder! Murder! Murder". Behind him, on the ground, lies a pile of shackles inscribed 'For the Navy'. Two very juvenile sailor-boys stand together (left) watching with delight. On Vancouver's right is the lower part of a shop (right) showing a door and window in which skins are suspended. Round the door are inscriptions: 'The South-Sea-Fur-warehouse from China. Fine Black Otter Skins. No Contraband Goods sold here.' After the title: 'Dedicated to the Flag Officers of the British Navy.' Originally published in 1796, this is a Bohn restrile of 1851, with another Gillray etching on the reverse. Thin margin at top of sheet.

Additional Information

artist James Gillray (1756-1815)
method Etching
date 1851 (originally 1796)
size 253mm by 360mm (platemark)
SKU AU5075