© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Thomas Watson, after Sir Joshua Reynolds Click on the links below to find out more
mezzotint, published 1785
14 5/8 in. x 10 3/4 in. (375 mm x 277 mm) plate size; 14 3/4 in. x 10 7/8 in. (377 mm x 280 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
- Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), Engraver. Sitter in 16 portraits, Artist associated with 164 portraits.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.
- Thomas Watson (1750-1781), Engraver. Artist associated with 56 portraits.
George Prince of Wales secretly marries his mistress Maria Fitzherbert in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.Prime Minister William Pitt introduces a bill proposing parliamentary reform and the abolition of 'rotten boroughs' but is defeated.
Art and science
William Cowper publishes his best -known poem The Task
.James Boswell publishes The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
, narrating his travels with the late writer Samuel Johnson. Physician and naturalist James Hutton presents his studies of local rocks to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, launching the era of scientific geology.
Warren Hastings resigns as Governor-General of Bengal and returns to England. His trial begins on charges of corruption in the administration of India. French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon crosses the Atlantic to sculpt a statue of George Washington. British government establishes a permanent land force in the Eastern Caribbean, based in Barbados.