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George III in an act of Royal Beneficience

Watercolour on paper

18 x 23 in. (45.7 x 58.4 cm)

DESCRIPTION

This watercolour may relate to an incident recorded in a print by Charles Howard Hodges, after Thomas

Stothard, in the collection of the British Museum (See image below). Dating from 1793, the inscription of

the mezzotint reads as follows:

“During the late tour to Weymouth in the autumn of the year 92 their Majesties, accompanied by the Prince

of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, &c., visited the County Jail at Dorchester, where, enquiring if there

was any case of peculiar hardship amongst the prisoners confined for debt, a poor cottager (Wm. Pitfield)

was pointed out, who had been confined upwards of seven years for the costs of an action amounting to

£220. His Majesty, struck with the artless manner in which the poor old man related the story of his

misfortune, not only relieved him at the moment, but before he quitted the town caused him to be liberated

by paying the amount of the action.”

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