16th - 19th century antique and decorative prints and maps
|Valley of the Shadow of Death
A Pig in a Poke
Tiddy - Doll
A Great Stream
A Great Stream from a Petty-Fountain;
or John Bull swamped in the Flood of new - taxes; - cormorants fishing the stream
A hand colored copper plate engraving, by James Gillray, first issued in 1806 by Hannah Humphrey. This image was published by Henry G. Bohn in 1847-1851 as part of The Works of James Gillray from the Original Plates with the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected.
To the left we see John Bull (the personification of Britain) in a sinking boat which has been swamped by a mass of new taxes to fund the war against Napoleon. He has lost hold of an oar with the name of "William Pitt" written on it. [William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister from 1804-1806 as well as Chancellor of the Exchequer (or minister of finance)]. On the right we see a man's head (probably Lord Henry Petty the new Chancellor of the Exchequer) from whose mouth pours a fountain of water labeled "new taxes" which are named in the cascades of the fountain (taxes on salt, tea, hops, malt, sugar, alcohol, candles, horses, servants, soap, houses, land, stamps, windows, property, etc.).
In the foreground we see 10 hungry cormorants with human heads devouring the fish, crabs, and eels which thrive in the waters of the tax fountain. In the middle ground there are 2 other human-headed birds; in the distance we can see dozens more hungry cormorants heading towards the tax feast. The heads of the cormorants probably depict prominent politicians and other figures of the day.
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