4 of 8 portraits of Thomas Ashton
by James Macardell, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
12 3/4 in. x 8 7/8 in. (327 mm x 226 mm) plate size; 13 in. in. x 9 in. (333 mm x 230 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Events of 1756back to top
Current affairsGovernment falls after criticism of its handling of the Seven Years War. Prime Minister Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle is succeeded by William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, who forms a ministry effectively run by William Pitt the Elder.
Art and scienceSatiristist Thomas Rowlandson is born in Old Jewry in the City of London. His main rival James Gillray is born exactly a month later in Chelsea.
Completion of William Edwards' Old Bridge, Pontypridd; the longest single span bridge in Britain for the next forty years.
International'Black Hole of Calcutta': a group of British prisoners, including East India Company servant John Zephaniah Holwell, are locked in a small, overcrowded dungeon overnight when Fort William in Calcutta is captured by troops of the Nawab of Bengal. Holwell claims 123 of the 146 prisoners died.
Outbreak of the Seven Years War in which Britain, Hanover, Prussia and Denmark are pitted against France, Austria, Russia and Sweden.