A Bottle of Smoke!! [Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821)]. [Pains and Penalties Bill]. All a Bottle of Smoke!! Or John Bull and the Secret Committee. [London]: Published by John Fairburn, July 1820. 11" x 17" hand-colored lithograph. A few chips, minor tears and light soiling to margins, colors vivid. A well-preserved copy. $500. * The repudiation of Queen Caroline by King George IV was one of the most sensational trials in English history. Estranged soon after their marriage, Caroline was eventually banished to a private residence after the birth of her daughter, Princess Charlotte Augusta. In 1814 Caroline moved to Europe. In 1820 her husband's accession to the throne brought her back to Britain. The King asked his ministers to get rid of her. After she refused a monetary offer, the Earl of Liverpool introduced The Pains and Penalties Bill to the House of Lords in July 1820 in order to strip Caroline of the title of Queen Consort and dissolve her marriage. (The bill alleged that Caroline had an affair with a servant, Bartolomeo Bergami, while in Italy.) The bill was approved by the House of Lords, but it was not submitted to the House of Commons, where it would have been defeated. Despite the King's best attempts, Caroline remained a popular favorite. Indeed, her popularity increased during the trial. Although she prevailed, she fell ill and died shortly after the coronation of George IV. She was certain that she was poisoned by one of the King's agents. The trial inspired numerous books, pamphlets and ephemera, such as this anonymous print. One of many publications that supported Caroline's cause, it dismisses the Bill as both as groundless and a perversion of the legal system. John Bull pulls a "bottle of smoke" out of the seat of justice, the Green Bag, while a serpent representing George IV slithers out of a hole in its side. Several members of the House of Lords with padlocked mouths stand in the background. George, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum 13761. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: All a Bottle of Smoke!! Or John Bull and the...
Publication Date: 1820
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