© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Alexander van Aken, after Markham Click on the links below to find out more
mezzotint, published 25 February 1740
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Satirist and divine. Sitter in 26 portraits.
- Markham. Artist associated with 5 portraits.
- Alexander van Aken (1701-1757), Painter and engraver. Artist associated with 20 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
The song Rule, Britannia! by Thomas Arne is performed for the first time at Cliveden, the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales.A now discredited account by antiquarian William Stukely asserts that Stonehenge was built by druids.
Art and science
Samuel Richardson publishes the first two volumes of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
, the best-selling novel of the period.Artists Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough both arrive in London. Reynolds is apprenticed to the leading portrait-painter Thomas Hudson, while Gainsborough begins his artistic training with the French engraver and illustrator Hubert-Francois Gravelot.
Death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and the succession of his eldest daughter Maria Térèsa heralds the start of the War of the Austrian Succession. Britain, already fighting Spain (in the War of Jenkin's Ear), is drawn into the wider conflict as an ally of Austria until 1748.Frederick II becomes King of Prussia.Pope Benedict XIV succeeds Pope Clement XII as the 247th pope.