© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Joseph Pitts Click on the links below to find out more
marble bust, 1846
29 5/8 in. (752 mm) high
- George Stephenson (1781-1848), Inventor of the railway-engine. Sitter in 9 portraits.
A version of the bust owned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; probably made for E.L. Betts, one of the contractors for the Grand Toronto Railway of Canada.
The Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel divides his own party by repealing the unpopular Corn Laws, which prohibited the import of cheap grain from overseas, viewed by many as causing the famines in Ireland (which peaked in this year), as well as domestic hardships following a bad harvest. Peel, defeated on a separate issue, resigns. The Whig Earl Russell becomes Prime Minister.
Art and science
Ether is used for the first time as anaesthetic in an operation by the dentist William Morton, while surgeon John Collins Warren removes a tumor on a patient's neck. Edward Lear, the popular humourist and artist, and author of illustrated nonsense verse (including 'The Owl and the Pussycat'), publishes his Book of Nonsense
The first Anglo-Sikh war ends with the Treaty of Lahore, by which Jammu and Kashmir are ceded to the British. The war had been fought between the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab and the British East India Company, with conflict escalating after internal disorder in the Punjab led the East India Company to increase their military presence on the border.