This Plate, though engraved during Hogarth's life-time, was not then used: nor would Mrs. Hogarth suffer it to be made public; but, at the earnest persuasions of the Earl of Exeter, she permitted one single impression to be taken off.
After her decease, Messrs. Boydell purchased the Plate, which first appeared in 1790, with the following illustration:
On a pedestal in the centre of the Print is a statue of George the Third in his Coronation-robes. On the front of the pedestal is the head of a Lion in bas-relief, with a leaden pipe in his mouth. A Figure turning a fire-plug represents Lord Bute. A Baronial escutcheon, keys, stars, coronets, croziers, mitres, maces, lie close to the pedestal, around which are placed several garden-pots with shrubs. Two Rose-trees, most plentifully sprinkled by streams from the fountain of favour, were originally inscribed "James III.;" but, James being now blotted out, George is put above it, and, by a little hyphen beneath the lowest figure, marked as belonging to the lowest line. Three Orange-trees have the initials G. R. and beneath the letters is inscribed "Republican." These also receive drops of favour; but a large Laurel planted in a capacious vase, and inscribed "Culloden," is watered by the dew of Heaven — by a copious shower poured from the urn of Aquarius. Besides these six flourishing Plants, there are a number of Yew and Box-trees, clipped into true taste by a Dutch Gardener. Some of them retain their old situations; but an active Labourer is busily clearing the grounds of all these ancient formalities. Many of them he has already wheeled out of their places, and thrown into a ditch, that surrounds the platform, into which he is now tumbling two venerable Box-trees of a most orderly and regular cut; each of them having the letters G.R. expressing, allegorically, the great number of old Placemen who resigned on the accession of his late Majesty.
The only person on the platform, except Lord Bute is his great antagonist Mr. Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland who is employed in removing the Garden-pots. A group on the right hand corner is made up principally of Members of the Upper House. In the Chair under the King's Arms is Sir John Cust, the Speaker. Under him, wiping his fore- head, is William Duke of Cumberland; below whom is Lord Mansfield, and still lower Lord Temple, offering his snuff-box to the Duke of Newcastle. The Earl of Winchelsea, distinguished by a ribband, shews only his back. The figure
on the left is supposed to be the Duke of Bedford. The interrogating figure, with a hat on, is Mr. Rigby; a gentle- man remarkably round, Lord Melcombe; the noble Lord beneath him, the Duke of Devonshire; and the grave Senator in spectacles the Earl of Bath. The persons asleep are not known. —On the other side of the rail, among the figures firing at Peace, Mr. Pitt, with a long gun, is easily distinguishable. Below him, a Trimmer in the act of desertion. The next figure resembles Henry Bilson Legge; and the hand with an ear-trumpet is perhaps the Earl of Chesterfield. Two figures distinguished by a muff and a pair of spectacles are not known. The lowest figure resembles the first Lord Holland; but he is exhibited on the platform. On the dog, immediately behind Lord Bute, is written "Mercy, " allusive, probably, to 1745. In the opposite group, two personages are placed in the pillory. Over the figure of Fanny the Phantom, dressed in a white sheet, is written "Conspiracy." In one hand she holds a small hammer, and in the other a lighted taper, with which she sets fire to a North Briton that is fastened to the breast of John Wilkes, over whose head is written "Defamation," and who is depicted with a most rueful countenance and empty pockets. Among the crowd below, are a Highlander, a Liliputian Chimney-sweeper, a Fellow blowing a cow's horn, a Woman retailing gin from a keg marked "J. W." and a Schoolboy amusing himself à la Teniers with Mr. Wilkes's shoes; whilst an Abigail is trundling a mop over his head.
The group below consists of Sailors and Soldiers. Archbishop Secker is represented confirming two Adults.
At the rooms where the Society of Arts, &c. then met, a number of persons, by the help of a crane, are dragging up a large silver palette, on which is written "Premium." The Man instructing the Workmen is Dr. Templeman, then Secretary; and on the first floor is Lord Romney, their President.
Behind this is the New Church in the Strand: on the opposite side, a triumphal column, or structure, with the word "Hospital," and a scaffolding, with workmen completing a building, in which Hogarth anticipated the present Somerset House.