© National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Thomas Overbury
by Silvester Harding, after Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger Click on the links below to find out more
4 5/8 in. x 3 3/4 in. (117 mm x 95 mm)
Act of Parliament extends inventor James Watt's patent (first granted in 1769) and the first steam engines are built under it.First known building society - Ketley's Building Society - is established in Birmingham by Richard Ketley, landlord of the Golden Cross Inn.
Art and science
First performance of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play The Rivals
at the Covent Garden Theatre in London.Artist J.M.W. Turner is born. Satirist James Gillray's first engravings and etchings are published.Navigator Captain Cook publishes his discovery of a preventive cure against scurvy, in the form of a regular ration of lemon juice.
War of American Independence begins with British defeat at Lexington and Concord and lasts until 1783. British achieve a narrow and costly victory over the Americans at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Edmund Burke delivers a speech to the British Parliament on conciliation with the American colonies. First performance of Pierre Beaumarchais' comic opera The Barber of Seville
in Paris. Pope Pius VI succeeds Pope Clement XIV as the 251st pope.