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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

The resignation, or John Bull overwhelmd with grief. 24 Mar 1809

RCIN 810761

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A hand-coloured print of John Bull dressed in a farmer's smock standing holding a handkerchief to his face as he sobs. Although acquitted of receiving money in return for offices, the Duke of York nonetheless resigned his position on 18 March 1809. It was widely believed that this would be only a temporary measure and he was duly reinstated in 1811. Here John Bull, a personification of the British people, is shown begging him not to resign. The contrast between the disingenuous Duke and the credulous Bull highlights the former’s betrayal of the public trust. Inscribed in the plate: Pubd. March 24th. 1809 by Ths Tegg No 111 Cheapside