Paul Rainer (biography)Medium:
Watercolour on BoardSize:
12" x 13" (310mm x 325mm)Date:
1969This is the original Watercolour painting by Paul Rainer.
Massereene laughed in the Governor's face. "If you shoot me, you will have to pay my debts." In 1779 Lord Massereene was a foot-loose and fancy free aristocrat enjoying life in Paris. With an income of 100,000 francs a year he could afford an opulent lifestyle. However in less than six months he had spent 376,732 francs and debtors prison beckoned.
His personal fortune back in Ireland meant he could "buy" better lodgings within the prison and even entertain with a choice wine cellar. Although tricked into trying to escape and being sent into the hideous underground section of the prison, Massereene was soon back in his comfortable quarters.
10 years later the French Revolution began . He was persuaded by fellow prisoners to lead them to escape, which is when the Governor threatened to shoot him and where our quote originates. No idle boast - it was the law - and so the prisoners marched out of prison and eventually Massereene sailed from Calais back to Ireland.
From Look and Learn #386 7 June 1969.