Revenue officers nabbing a smuggler

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Revenue officers nabbing a smuggler
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Charles Williams

Revenue officers nabbing a smuggler.

London, C Knight 1805

Etching

Original hand colouring

245 x 345 mm

Neat repair to tear at bottom, just affecting image

£180

A scene in the mouth of a cave with the sea in the background. The smuggler is Melville, in Highland dress, caught by Fox, Sheridan, and Whitbread, revenue officers wearing spurred top-boots. He kneels, with hands clasped, looking up at Whitbread (r.), who stands over him with a raised whip; he screams: "Marcy O' me wha can bear sick a lashing Indeed you shall ha it aw Gentlemen - ee'n to the last Baubee". Whitbread, his heavy lash inscribed 'Whitbreads Intire', answers: "Be quick then and dont trifle with us, we have got some more of your gang to look after!!" Fox (l.) is a spectator with his whip under his arm; he says: "I say lay it on well, remember he is an Old offender, we shall flog something out of him I am ready when you are tire'd." He stands by Sheridan, who holds Melville by the plaid, and raises a whip with a heavy lash inscribed 'Sherrys - Genuine - Stingo.' Sheridan says: "Aye! Aye! Whity and I will do his business, you are not quite active enough my Old friend - Come Sir where have you hid the rest of your Smuggled property?" In his pocket is a paper: 'The Forty Thieves desroy'd [sic] by . . .' On the extreme left., behind Fox, Pitt hastens forward with raised arms and alarmed expression; he exclaims: "O Lord! O Lord! what desperate hands my poor Friend has got into." In the middle distance (r.) Trotter, also in Highland dress, runs off to the right. with a large sack on his shoulders, inscribed 'Peculation Sack 50.000'; guineas fall from a rent in the sack. He looks over his shoulder, saying, "It will come to my turn Next so I'll trot off in time with this Triffle." On the ground (r.), by the rocky wall of the cave which borders the design, are a cask of 'Madeira' and three large sacks inscribed 'Peculation Sa[ck] 100.000'; 'Peculation Sack 50.000'; 'Peculation Sack 30.0 . . .' The uppermost of a bundle of cheque is inscribed 'Pay to m . Order the Sum of. . . '. c. July 1805 B M 10415