© National Portrait Gallery, London
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham ('The Arms of the Right Honble W_ P_tt')
by Unknown engraver Click on the links below to find out more
etching, 1778 or after
9 5/8 in. x 11 1/8 in. (243 mm x 282 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Catholic Relief Act is the first to provide a measure of catholic emancipation, modifying the penal laws that effectively prevented Catholics from holding public office. The reform is encouraged by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, who had balked at various prosecutions under the statutes now repealed.
Art and science
Francis D'Arblay, writing as Fanny Burney, publishes her novel Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World
, in which she satirises contemporary society.Engineer Joseph Bramah invents a type of flush toilet, replacing the usual slide valve with a hinged flap that seals the bottom of the bowl.
American War of Independence: France, joining the American colonies in their fight against Britain, sends a large fleet across the Atlantic. The British rapidly abandon Philadelphia. The American naval hero John Paul Jones makes successful raids around the coasts of Britain.James Cook's third Pacific voyage, aboard the ships HMS Resolution
and HMS Discovery
, first views Oahu then Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, which Cook names the Sandwich Islands.