© National Portrait Gallery, London
Samuel Johnson ('Apollo and the muses, inflicting penance on Dr Pomposo, round Parnassus')
by James Gillray, published by William Holland Click on the links below to find out more
hand-coloured etching, published 29 July 1783
10 5/8 in. x 12 3/4 in. (269 mm x 325 mm) paper size
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Poet, critic and lexicographer. Sitter associated with 50 portraits.
- James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
- William Holland (active 1782-1802), Book and printseller. Artist associated with 12 portraits.
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne resigns as Prime Minister over the proposed peace terms with the United States. Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford briefly forms a government with Charles James Fox in April but is succeeded by a government under William Pitt the Younger who, at the age of 24 becomes the youngest British Prime Minister ever to take office. The highwayman John Austin is the last person to be publicly executed at Tyburn.
Art and science
Physician and natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin begins publication of A System of Vegetables
, a translation from Latin of the work of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in which he coins many common English names of plants.
Defeat of Charles James Fox's India Bill in the House of Lords which aimed to assist ailing British East India Company. American War of Independence: Treaty of Paris is signed by Britain, France, Spain and the United States, under which the British government recognises US independence. Britain begins to evacuate loyalists and the last British troops leave New York City three months later.