© National Portrait Gallery, London
by D.P. Pariset, after Pierre-Étienne Falconet Click on the links below to find out more
stipple engraving, (1768)
Given by James Lungley Douthwaite, 1940
William Pitt the Elder retires as Prime Minister due to ill health and is succeeded by Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton. Radical outlaw John Wilkes returns to England from France and is elected as MP for Middlesex. He finally surrenders to the King's Bench and is imprisoned.
Art and science
The Royal Academy is founded with painter Joshua Reynolds as its first president. Encyclopaedia Britannica
begins publication in Edinburgh. It appears in weekly instalments under the editorship of William Smellie.Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in what is now Waterloo.Laurence Sterne publishes A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
Captain James Cook leads his first expedition to the Pacific from Plymouth, heading for Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. Boston citizens refuse to quarter British troops amidst growing unrest in the American colonies Corsica is sold to France by the Republic of Genoa.