John Jones after Sir Joshua Reynolds
The Right Honourable Charles James Fox
14 x 20 inches
Three-quarter length mezzotint portrait of Charles Fox; engraved by John Jones after the painting by Joshua Reynolds and published in London in 1784.
In this famous image of Fox (1749-1806) we see him standing at a table with his hand resting on parliamentary papers upon which is written, "A Bill for the better regulating of the affairs of the E. I. Company &c [&] Representation of the Commons to the King March 15 1784". Fox, as a Whig Secretary of State and in cahoots with Lord North (Prime Minister from 1770-82), brought forward the India Bill in 1783. He wanted to nationalise the activities of the East India Company and bring it under government control. It was rejected in the House of Lords and the king dissolved parliament thereby dismissing Lord North and the troublesome Fox. North's replacement was Fox's arch rival William Pitt; an appointment which perpetuated the political conflict begun by their respective fathers Henry Fox and Pitt the Elder. The bill was represented in the following year in 1784 and was carried in the Commons by a majority of just one!