© National Portrait Gallery, London
King George III
by Thomas Rowlandson, published by I. Jones Click on the links below to find out more
hand-coloured etching, published 10 December 1781
7 1/4 in. x 6 3/8 in. (184 mm x 162 mm) paper size
- Britannia, Allegory of a nation, emblem of empire, and patriotic icon. Sitter associated with 12 portraits.
- King George III (1738-1820), Reigned 1760-1820. Sitter associated with 183 portraits.
- I. Jones (active 1781), Publisher. Artist associated with 1 portrait.
- Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), Satirical draughtsman. Artist associated with 26 portraits, Sitter associated with 4 portraits.
American painter John Singleton Copley, now resident in London, completes his celebrated painting The Death of the Earl of Chatham, depicting the collapse of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham on 7 April 1778, during a debate in the House of Lords on the American War of Independence. William Pitt the Younger, later Prime Minister, enters Parliament.
Art and science
Astronomer William Herschel discovers Uranus, the first planet to be found by means of a telescope, and names it Georgium Sidus
(George's Star) in honour of George III. Artist and theatre designer Philip James De Loutherbourg presents his innovative miniature mechanical theatre, the Eidophusikon, at his house in Soho, London.
American War of Independence: British general Charles Cornwallis is forced to surrender at Yorktown. Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation - the last state to do so - completing 'the Confederation of the United States'. Zong Massacre: 133 Africans are thrown overboard the slave ship Zong on the orders of a British slave-trader who then attempts to reclaim their value from insurers. The case becomes a landmark in the fight for abolition.