The Prophecy of Famine. A Scots Pastoral... inscribed to John…

~ The Prophecy of Famine. A Scots Pastoral... inscribed to John Wilkes, Esq. London: Printed for the author, and sold by G. Kearsley. 1763.

4to (222 × 178 mm), pp. [4], 28, with half-title; closely cut at head throughout, upper line of title-page (’The’) just touched with slight loss; modern panelled sprinkled calf, gilt; upper cover detatched; armorial bookplate of Oliver Brett.

First edition. Published in January 1763 (and running to at least five editions in that year) The Prophecy of Famine is a xenophobic ‘Scots pastoral’ in heroic couplets, dedicated to John Wilkes, Churchill’s co-editor of the radical journal The North Briton. Begun as a contribution to that journal the poem ridicules the hugely unpopular Bute ministry and the earl’s Scottish supporters. Bowing to unprecedented public opposition (it is estimated that he was lampooned in no less than four hundred satirical prints and broadsides) Bute resigned as Prime Minister in the following April.

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