Handbill poem, with illustration, entitled 'A Parody on Mr. Clarke.'

John Pitts, ballad seller of Seven Dials [Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany; Mary Anne Clarke (1776-1852)]
Publication details: 
[circa 1809] 'printed and sold by J. Pitts, No. 14, Gre<at> St. Andrew-street, Seven-Dials.
SKU: 6874

Printed on one side of a piece of rough wove paper, 25 x 9 cm. At the head is a crude woodcut of lady playing keyboard, dimensions 2 x 3 cm. On aged, creased paper with wear to extremities. Text clear and entire, but not properly centred, with the result that the last two letters of the word 'Gre' in the address cropped. The poem consists of six stanzas of six lines each. First stanza 'YOU have heard of Mrs. Clarke, | Who, one night in the dark, | With her husband fell out about bacon; | But the theme I shall sing, | Is of no such vulgar thing, | If you think it you're grossly mistaken.' A few years after the end, in May 1806, of her affair with the Duke of York, Clarke produced a volume of recollections, including the letters she had received from him. In exchange for its suppression, negotiated by Sir Herbert Taylor, she accepted £7000 and a substantial life annuity. The printed edition was destroyed, with the exception of one copy which was deposited in Drummond's Bank. The fourth stanza reads, 'But protection being gone, | Why of course trade was done, | What was poor Mrs. Clarke then to do; | But to threaten late protector, | If he dar'd so to neglect her | That his tricks should all come to view'. Not in Shepard's Short-List. Excessively scarce: no copy on COPAC.