Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

The Devil, the Pope and the Pretender

[NOTE   The ritual described in the following reports was performed annually for a few years during this period.]

17-20 November 1711   On Saturday morning, about 2 of the clock, were seiz’d, by three messengers, and some of the Guards, in Drury-lane, the effigies of the Pope, Devil, and Pretender, in a box, with a canopy over it, 4 Jesuits, 4 Cardinals, and 4 Fryars, and carried to the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Dartmouth’s Office. They were design’d to be carried in procession that evening, in order to be burnt at night; that day being the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, was the pretence of making such a show, in order to draw a great mob together, who might have done a great deal of mischief, had not the same been prudently prevented, by seizing the aforesaid effigies, and by raising the trained-bands of this City, and the Militia of Westminster, which were out that day in the morning till yesterday. This design was, undoubtedly, intended to disturb the peace of this Kingdom, and reflect on the Queen and Ministry; of which expect to hear more hereafter. [Post Boy]

7-10 February 1713   Friday last being the happy anniversary of Her Majesty’s birth, who then enter’d into the 49th year of her age, the Gentlemen who formerly celebrated the anniversary of the birth of the Late Glorious K. William at the Three Tuns and Rummer in Gracechurch-street, did greedily lay hold of the opportunity to pay the like respect to her Majesty; and that they might not be charg[e]able with any breach of the peace, deputed some of their number a few days beforehand to acquaint the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor with their intention, that his Lordship might take care they shou’d not then be insulted, and have their windows broke by the train’d bands, as on the Fourth of November last, when they paid that respect to the memory of the Great K. William.

The Gentlemen abovemention’d being joined with many others of distinction, thought it proper to add to the solemnity by burning in effigy the Devil, the Pope, and the Pretender; the two former having had the chief influence in revoking the Edict of Nantes, of which her Majesty is guarantee [i.e. guarantor] by treaty; and the latter having at the instigation of the Devil, the Pope, and the French King, attempted to dethrone and destroy her Majesty, and to disturb the Hanover Succession, which lies nearest her Royal heart, and by consequence was next to her own possession, the chief cause of the joy of that day.

The effigies being prepar’d accordingly, the Pope dress’d in his Pontificalibus was plac’d in a chair cover’d with red; and the Pretender on his left, in a French dress, with a wooden shoe hanging on his left arm, and in his right hand a candle, which he held to the Pope and the Devil, as proper emblems of the blessings we are to expect from one, bred up in the idolatry of Rome, and the tyranny of France. Behind those two, was placed the effigies of the Devil, as the sole author of the spiritual and temporal tyranny, which is put in execution by the Scarlet Colour’d Whore, and such Kings and Princes of the earth, as she intoxicates with her cup of fornication. The Pope and the Devil were represented grinning, and their young pupil smirking, to express their different way of looking at this nation. Instead of laying any marks of State upon his shoulders, ’twas thought more proper to have a little French ware strung about his neck, of half a score turneps [sic] and onions. And the

following motto writ on his breast,

   Magnæ Spes altera Romæ, In English thus, With Pope and Devil here I come,
The other Hope of Mighty Rome.

The Gentlemen who met at the Three Tuns, took due care to provide Constables for keeping the peace, and having all things in readiness, the Devil, the Pope, and the Pretender, were carry’d three times round the fire with great solemnity, and thrown into it, with loud acclamations of the spectators, who vy’d with one another who should give most blows to the effigies of those three Grand Enemies to Christianity and human liberty.

While this was doing, the Gentlemen above stairs went in course to the balcony with glasses of wine in their hands; and drank the following healths: First to the QUEEN. 2. To the Queen and the Church. 3. To the Queen and the Protestant Succession in the illustrious House of Hanover. 4. To the Queen and the confusion of the devices of the Pretender and all his well-wishers. Each health being follow’d by many loud Huzza’s, and answer’d by the people in the street, who had plenty of beer allow’d them. The like healths were drank from some neighbouring balconies, and the air resounded with the loud ecchoes of No Popery, No Slavery, No Pretender, No Wooden Shoes; but God bless the Queen, the Church, the House of Hanover, the Duke of Marlborough, &c.

All this pass’d without the least disorder, till at last the wicked souls of the Jacobites being griev’d at this Protestant solemnity, they sent a parcel of their emissaries to break the Queen’s peace, and disturb the harmony of the people by cries of a contrary tendency; but they were soon put to silence, and soundly drubb’d for their pains.

These disciples of the Pope, the Devil, and the Pretender, had laid some mobs in ambuscade to assault the people about the fire, and sallying from their lurking holes wounded one of the Constables, and some others, with long staves, brickbats, &c. but were soon knock’d down and dispers’d, and one of their leaders, who had the impudence to cry out, No Hanover, was soundly buffeted for his pains, and made to cry out, God bless the illustrious House of Hanover; but such is the moderation of a Protestant mob, that tho’ they had sufficient provocation to break his windows, by way of reprizal for those of the Three Tuns that were broke, partly by his instigation, on the 4th of November, they deliberately abstain’d from that poor piece of revenge, which is only proper for Jacobites and Papists to execute.

The street being thus clear’d of the Jacobite mob, who, notwithstanding they were animated by steels and cle[a]vers, &c. did run with the same precipitancy as their predecessors did on Salisbury-Plane [sic], the solemnity ended in peace, to the great mortification of Abel and the Examiner’s Masters [Abel Roper, publisher of the Examiner], who had the additional sorrow to hear and see that the effigies of their attainted impostor was convey’d to the flames before Young Man’s Coffee-house at Charing-Cross in his native vehicle a warming-pan, with the like solemnity as in Gracechurch-street, so that as the morning of Her Majesty’s Birth-Day was solemniz’d at St. James’s by a very splendid Court, the evening concluded thus, with suitable demonstrations of joy, notwithstanding all the endeavours of the disciples of the Devil, the Pope, and the Pretender, at both ends of the town to hinder it. . . . [Flying-Post: or, The Post-Master]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "The Devil, the Pope and the Pretender", 28 November 2001, updated 30 November 2001 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/pope.htm>

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