Political Ravishment or The Old lady of Threadneedle Street:
James Gillray’s print shows William Pitt the Younger ravishing an old lady representing the Bank of England. This print immortalised the nickname Old Lady of Threadneedle Street for the Bank of England. It is not clear whether the name had been in use before but Gillray was the first to print it.
The cartoon was issued in 1797 at the time when the government under Pitt, attempting to reduce the national debt, had ordered the bank to issue paper bank notes rather than gold.
The old lady is saying: “Murder! murder! Rape! murder! – O you Villain!… what have I kept my honor untainted for so long, to have it broke up, by you at last? O Murder! Rape! Ravishment! Ruin! Ruin! Ruin!!!”
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