by John Smibert
oil on canvas, 1730
40 in. x 29 1/2 in. (1016 mm x 749 mm)
Given by Rev. William Josiah Irons, 1882
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The Irish philosopher George Berkeley was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and taught there from 1707. He was appointed Dean of Derry in 1724 and made Bishop of Cloyne in 1734. Berkeley took a missionary party to America in 1728 but failed to secure promised government funds to found a missionary college in the Bermudas and so returned home four years later. John Smibert, who made this portrait, accompanied Berkeley to America and settled there. The background is thought to show the Hanging Rock, Rhode Island, where Berkeley wrote his Alciphron (1732). More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
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Events of 1730back to top
Current affairsJohn and Charles Wesley form a Holy Club at Oxford which becomes the cradle of Methodism.
Glasite sect, which promoted a form of primitive Christianity, established in Scotland by John Glas.
Last native roe deer in England is reputedly killed in Northumberland.
Art and scienceFrench sculptor Louis-Francois Roubiliac settles in London from Paris.
The Daily Advertiser is established as the first newspaper funded by advertising.
Mathematician and inventor John Hadley invents the octant, a navigating device which precedes the sextant.
InternationalFrederick, Crown Prince of Prussia, tries to flee to Britain but is imprisoned by his father Frederick William I.
Pope Clement XII succeeds Benedict XIII as the 246th pope.
Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius observes the aurora borealis and suggests the existence of the earth's magnetic field.