3 of 3 portraits of William King
by Thomas Cook, after Robert Dellow
line engraving, published 1781
3 1/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. (80 mm x 80 mm) plate size; 8 3/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (214 mm x 138 mm) paper size
Given by the daughter of compiler William Fleming MD, Mary Elizabeth Stopford (née Fleming), 1931
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Artistsback to top
Events of 1781back to top
Current affairsAmerican painter John Singleton Copley, now resident in London, completes his celebrated painting The Death of the Earl of Chatham, depicting the collapse of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham on 7 April 1778, during a debate in the House of Lords on the American War of Independence.
William Pitt the Younger, later Prime Minister, enters Parliament.
Art and scienceAstronomer William Herschel discovers Uranus, the first planet to be found by means of a telescope, and names it Georgium Sidus (George's Star) in honour of George III.
Artist and theatre designer Philip James De Loutherbourg presents his innovative miniature mechanical theatre, the Eidophusikon, at his house in Soho, London.
InternationalAmerican War of Independence: British general Charles Cornwallis is forced to surrender at Yorktown. Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation - the last state to do so - completing 'the Confederation of the United States'.
Zong Massacre: 133 Africans are thrown overboard the slave ship Zong on the orders of a British slave-trader who then attempts to reclaim their value from insurers. The case becomes a landmark in the fight for abolition.