© National Portrait Gallery, London
John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll
by James Watson, after Thomas Gainsborough Click on the links below to find out more
- Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Portrait and landscape painter. Artist associated with 262 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.
- James Watson (circa 1740-1790), Engraver. Artist associated with 193 portraits.
Radical John Wilkes is expelled from Parliament once again, on the grounds that he was an outlaw when he was voted in. He is re-elected by his Middlesex constituents, then expelled and re-elected twice more, until Parliament declares his opponent, Henry Luttrell, the winner.First of 69 anonymous Letters of Junius
appears in the Public Advertiser
, exposing political corruption. The politician Sir Philip Francis is now believed to have been responsible.
Art and science
Josiah Wedgwood opens his Etruria Works for the manufacture of pottery.Inventor Richard Arkwright patents a spinning frame able to weave fabric mechanically.Gordon's London Dry Gin is produced for the first time. First Royal Academy exhibition is held. Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage
is first published.
Captain Cook observes the transit of Venus in Tahiti while his passengers, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, collect valuable specimens of Pacific flora. The expedition travels on to New Zealand where Cook begins charting the country's entire coastline. Treaty of Madras ends the First Anglo-Mysore War but fails to settle dispute.French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot tests a steam wagon, probably the first working mechanical vehicle.