4 of 4 portraits of Stephen Kemble
by James Heath, after John Raphael Smith
stipple engraving, published 1808
7 1/2 in. x 5 3/4 in. (191 mm x 146 mm)
Given by Henry Witte Martin, 1861
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Events of 1808back to top
Current affairsThe 'Mary Anne Clarke affair' erupts in which Clarke, mistress of Frederick, Duke of York, was said to have used her influence with him to run a military promotions racket. Championed by radical government opponents, it ends in the Duke's resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the army.
Art and scienceSculptor John Flaxman begins Nelson memorial for St Paul's.
Richard Trevithick demonstrates model railway travelling at 12 mph.
InternationalAfter taking Portugal, Napoleon invades Spain, deposes the Spanish Bourbon monarchy and appoints his brother Joseph as the new King. The
Peninsular War then begins under Sir John Moore and Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, aiming to protect Portugal and exploit Iberian hatred of French tyranny.