|Method||Copper engraving and stipple|
|Published||Engraved for the New Lady's Magazine. Published by Alex.r Hogg at the King's Arms No. 16 Paternoster Row, Sep 30. 1786|
|Dimensions||Image 100 x 70 mm, Plate 142 x 102 mm, Sheet 210 x 1280 mm|
A bust portrait of Margaret Nicholson, looking slightly off to the right, wearing a low cut dress with a shawl, and her hair tied up with a few stiff curls hanging down, and decorated with feathers, ribbon and pearls.
Inscription below image: 'Mrs. Margaret Nicholson, who attempted to Stab the King of Great Britain Augt.2.1786, and being judged Insane was sent to Bedlam Augt.9.1786, where it is supposed she will remain for life.'
Margaret Nicholson (1745-1828), an English woman who became infamous after attempting to murder King George III on 2 August 1786.
Nicholson approached the King at St. James's Palace on the pretext of presenting him with a petition. She then tried to stab him with a dessert knife before she was restrained. The noted physician Dr John Munro, certified her insane, her reason for the attempt being that she thought she had rights to the crown, and she was committed to Bethlem Royal Hospital for life under the Vagrancy Act of 1744. She died there forty-two years later. King George III enjoyed a boost in popularity after the attack, and was praised for his perceived calm and progressive attitude towards the mentally ill.
Isaac Taylor (1730-1807) was an English engraver. Born in Worcester, he moved to London in around 1752. He worked at a silversmith's before working for the cartographer Thomas Jefferys. He married Jefferys' niece Sarah in 1754. He produced a number of plates for the Gentleman's Magazine, William Owen Pughe's Dictionary and Andrew Tooke's Pantheon. In 1765, Taylor was admitted a fellow of the Society of Artists, and in 1774 was appointed secretary. Between 1770 and 1776 Taylor moved between premises in Holborn and Chancery Lane. His friends included Thomas Bewick, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith, Francesco Bartolozzi, Richard Smirke, and Henry Fuseli. In 1780 Taylor retired to Edmonton where he died in 1807.
Condition: Overall time toning and surface dirt built up. Staining to edges of sheet.