John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich

by William Aikman
oil on canvas, circa 1720
49 1/2 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1257 mm x 1010 mm)
Purchased, 1885
Primary Collection
NPG 737

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  • William Aikman (1682-1731), Portrait painter. Artist or producer associated with 29 portraits.

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Events of 1720back to top

Current affairs

Collapse of the South Sea Company's shares causes financial crisis in London and ruins many investors. Their rapid inflation and the speculation mania it had encouraged become known as the South Sea Bubble. Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend returns to the Whig ministry. Robert Walpole 1st Earl of Orford, who had resigned in 1717, also returns and restores public credit in December.

Art and science

Entrepreneur Ralph Allen is appointed to take over the Cross and Bye Posts, which manage mail not going via London, leading to his eventual reform of the entire British postal system.
History painter James Thornhill is appointed Serjeant Painter to the King and becomes the first British artist to receive a knighthood.


International

Treaty of the Hague signed between Britain, France, Austria, the Dutch Republic and Spain ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
In Lhasa, the Dalai Lama accepts Chinese imperial protection, which lasts until 1911.
Two political parties emerge in Sweden's parliament and become known as the Hats and the Caps.

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