© National Portrait Gallery, London
by James Gillray Click on the links below to find out more
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, 1781?
11 1/8 in. x 14 3/4 in. (281 mm x 374 mm) paper size
- James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 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.