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Sir William Davenant

10 of 10 portraits of Sir William Davenant

Sir William Davenant

after John Greenhill
line engraving, (1673)
7 3/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. (186 mm x 115 mm) paper size
Given by Sir Herbert Henry Raphael, 1st Bt, 1916
Reference Collection
NPG D19652

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Events of 1673back to top

Current affairs

Controversially, James, Duke of York marries a Catholic, Mary of Modena, daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena. Parliament passes anti-Catholic legislation, the Test Act, which excludes recusants from public office. Officials are required to take an oath and deny the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

Art and science

Poet laureate, John Dryden, influenced by the war against Holland, writes Amboyna, a tragedy about the Amboyna massacre,1623, when English sailors were murdered by Dutch traders in Indonesia. The Chelsea Physic Garden is established by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to train apprentices in plant identification.


War with Holland culminates in the Battle of Texel which effectively exhausts both sides, but results in a strategic Dutch victory. With tension mounting between the allies, lord of the Admiralty, Prince Rupert, blames the unsatisfactory outcome on French admiral d'Estrees, and poor provisions.

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