In this 19th-century satirical print, Charles Williams explores the theme of the suffering of the British people represented by John Bull under the heavy taxation and debt imposed by the British Government during the war against Napoleon. Bull and Prime Minister Henry Addington (1801-1803) confront themselves in ‘The Unskillfull [sic] Waggoner of the State Waggon Bogged!!!’ Looking outside his window in a shirt and a night-cap, Bull holds out a bayoneted gun the people waiting outside his house. Addington and George Tierny are standing in the water asking Bull to pay his tax. Besides them is an overloaded cart and in the background, a herd of horses can be seen whose heads represent figures of the government including Lord Spencer, Melville, Pitt, Grenville, Fox and Sheridan.
Charles Williams was a prolific caricaturist, etcher and illustrator who occasionally used the pseudonym ‘Ansell’ or ‘Argus’. He worked with George Cruikshank and illustrated The Every-Day Book by William Hone.
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