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The Coming of Independence
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Stamp Act Cartoons Key Events Maps Transcript Webography

In this satire, how does the artist use symbolism and humor to deride Parliament?

Image of a cartoon used to deride Parliament during the Stamp Act.  Image has four sections that are discussed in the text below. The dates on the skulls above the vault in which the coffin will be interred refer to uprisings by the Jacobites, supporters of King James after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, who continued to believe that the king's authority came from God, not Parliament. The procession is led by Dr. William Scott, who, under the name Anti-Sejanus, published letters in support of the Stamp Act in London's Public Advertiser. He is followed by Solicitor-General Wedderburn and Attorney General Norton, mockingly referred to as 'Two Pillars of the Law.' They are followed by Lord Grenville, carrying the coffin, and Lord Bute, who, along with other ministers, is weeping. In the background, a statue of William Pitt, celebrated as a defender of the colonists, is being loaded for sail to America on the ships in the harbor, Conway, Rockingham, and Grafton, ministers who had effected repeal of the Act. The numbers 122 and 250 on the small loading vessels refer to the votes for repeal in the House of Lords and House of Commons. The numbers on the black flags, 71 and 122, refer to the number of votes against repeal of the Stamp Act in the House of Lords and Commons.

1. The dates on the skulls above the vault in which the coffin will be interred refer to uprisings by the Jacobites, supporters of King James after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, who continued to believe that the king's authority came from God, not Parliament.

2. The procession is led by Dr. William Scott, who, under the name Anti-Sejanus, published letters in support of the Stamp Act in London's Public Advertiser. He is followed by Solicitor-General Wedderburn and Attorney General Norton, mockingly referred to as "Two Pillars of the Law." They are followed by Lord Grenville, carrying the coffin, and Lord Bute, who, along with other ministers, is weeping.

3. In the background, A statue of William Pitt, celebrated as a defender of the colonists, is being loaded for sail to America on the ships in the harbor, Conway, Rockingham, and Grafton, ministers who had effected repeal of the Act. The numbers 122 and 250 on the small loading vessels refer to the votes for repeal in the House of Lords and House of Commons.

4. The numbers on the black flags, 71 and 122, refer to the number of votes against repeal of the Stamp Act in the House of Lords and Commons.


Something More

Title: The Repeal or the Funeral Procession of Miss Americ-Stamp
Artist: Benjamin Wilson
Date: 1766


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