© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Joseph Wright Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, 1770
48 in. x 38 1/2 in. (1219 mm x 978 mm)
- Thomas Day (1748-1789), Author of 'Sandford and Merton'. Sitter in 2 portraits.
- Joseph Wright (1734-1797), Painter, known as 'Wright of Derby'. Artist associated with 19 portraits, Sitter associated with 7 portraits.
Wright's painting was commissioned by Day's life-long friend, Richard Lovell Edgeworth who called Day 'the most virtuous human being he had ever known'. The composition is intended to portray Day as a man of feeling, with a meditative and melancholy air.
Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Art and science
Oliver Goldsmith publishes his poem The Deserted Village
. Philosopher and politician Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents
discussing the limits of the King's authority. 17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret.Thomas Gainsborough paints his portrait of Jonathan Buttall, which later becomes known as The Blue Boy
'Townshend duties' on imports into the colonies are repealed, except for the duty on tea. However, this concession is soon followed by the Boston Massacre, in which British troops fire into an unruly crowd in Boston, killing five. Captain Cook reaches the eastern coast of Australia, at a place which he names Botany Bay. He discovers the Great Barrier Reef when HMS Endeavour runs onto it. Cook claims New South Wales for the British.