Sir Philip Francis
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir Philip Francis
by James Lonsdale
oil on canvas, circa 1806-1810
29 1/2 in. x 24 in. (749 mm x 610 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818), Whig politician and pamphleteer. Sitter in 16 portraits.
Artistback to top
- James Lonsdale (1777-1839), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 106 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Sir Phillip Francis is best known as the likely author of the Letters of Junius (1769-72), an anonymous series of brilliant political polemics which were one of the literary sensations of the late eighteenth century. Having filled a number of government posts in England and become a well-known scourge of corruption in the British administration, he went to India in 1774 as a member of the Supreme Council of India. He was soon disgusted by the dishonesty that seemed to characterise the Indian governing class and became one of Governor-General Warren Hastings's most bitter opponents. He left India in 1780 and proceeded to assist Edmund Burke in procuring Hasting's impeachment and trial of 1788-95.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1806back to top
Current affairsWilliam Pitt dies in January and his lifelong opponent Charles James Fox dies in September. Pitt is succeeded by William Wyndham, Baron Grenville, who forms the 'Ministry of all the Talents' coalition .
Prince of Wales instigates the 'Delicate Investigation'; a Parliamentary enquiry into claims that his wife Caroline had an illegitimate child.
Art and scienceJohn Constable embarks on a formative tour of the Lakes and makes landscape studies of the Langdale Pikes and Helvellyn.
Turner exhibits his Thames views to acclaim at his own London gallery.
Humphrey Davy discovers the elements potassium and sodium by passing an electrical current through molten compounds.
InternationalSoprano Angelica Catalani arrives from Italy to make her London debut, amazing audiences with her showpiece arias.
Napoleon turns his forces east against Austria, Russia and Prussia and enjoys a wave of French victories.
British attack on Buenos Aires under General William Beresford fails.