12 of 18 portraits of William Congreve
by John Faber Jr, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, 1733 (1709)
13 7/8 in. x 9 7/8 in. (351 mm x 250 mm) plate size; 14 1/2 in. x 10 5/8 in. (369 mm x 269 mm) paper size
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Current affairsPrime Minister Robert Walpole narrowly escapes defeat in the House of Lords over the investigation into the South Sea affair. His Excise scheme, introduced the previous year, also provokes widespread resistance among merchants and is withdrawn. Sugar and Molasses Act is passed by Parliament to tax British colonists in North America.
Art and scienceJohn Kay, working in the Lancashire woollen industry, patents the flying shuttle to speed up weaving.Poet Alexander Pope publishes his philosophical Essay on Man, which proposes a system of ethics in poetic form. Clergyman Stephen Hales publishes the second volume of his Statical Essays, Haemastaticks, describing the measurement of the 'force of the blood', later known as blood pressure.
InternationalPhilip V of Spain and Louis XV of France sign the Treaty of Escurial and form an alliance against Britain.Voltaire publishes Letters on the English Nation comparing France unfavourably with England.British colonist James Oglethorpe founds Savannah, Georgia.
- Portrait of the Day: Sir Isaac Newton
22 May, 12:30