© National Portrait Gallery, London
King William IV
by Francesco Bartolozzi, and by Paul Sandby, published by Antonio Poggi, after Benjamin West Click on the links below to find out more
line and stipple engraving and aquatint, published 15 January 1782
21 1/2 in. x 15 1/8 in. (547 mm x 384 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
- King William IV (1765-1837), Reigned 1830-37. Sitter associated with 142 portraits.
- Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), Engraver. Artist associated with 164 portraits, Sitter in 16 portraits.
- Antonio Poggi (active 1776-1800), Printseller. Artist associated with 8 portraits.
- Paul Sandby (1725-1809), Watercolour painter and engraver and a founder of the Royal Academy of Arts. Artist associated with 4 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.
- Benjamin West (1738-1820), History painter and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 39 portraits, Sitter associated with 43 portraits.
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford resigns as Prime Minister over recent setbacks in America and is succeeded by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham who takes office for the second time. Rockingham dies on 1 July and is succeeded by William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne.Repeal of Poynings Law and Declaratory Act of 1720 gives virtual legislative autonomy to Ireland.
Art and science
After a poor reception in the mid 1770s, actress Sarah Siddons makes a triumphant return to the Drury Lane Theatre, London in the title role of Isabella, or, The Fatal Marriage
. She will become the century's best known tragic actress. Clergyman and artist William Gilpin publishes Observations on the River Wye
; a central text in the formulation of the concept of the picturesque.
American War of Independence: Siege of Gibraltar reaches a climax in the Grand Assault but French and Spanish forces are unsuccessful. Britain loses Minorca prompting the Prime Minister, Lord Rockingham, to open peace talks with the Americans. Thomas Grenville is sent to Paris to negotiate with Benjamin Franklin. Paper manufacturer Joseph Montgolfier sends a hot-air balloon 1000 meters into the air, in front of a crowd in the Ardèche in France.