1 of 3 portraits by Ralph Earl
- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Ralph Earl
oil on canvas, 1783
50 in. x 39 in. (1270 mm x 991 mm)
This portraitback to top
Richard, later Admiral, Kempenfelt joined the East Indies fleet in 1757 and took part in the capture of Pondicherry (1761) and Manila. In this portrait by Earl he wears the full dress uniform of a flag officer in the Royal Navy: a blue-coat faced with white and laced with gold braid, and a white vest also laced with gold and white breeches. When the Royal George sank at anchor off Spithead in 1782, Kempenfelt was one of over 800 who drowned, a tragedy which drew attention to the poor state of many British ships.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 302
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 349
Events of 1783back to top
Current affairsWilliam 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 sciencePhysician 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.
InternationalDefeat 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.
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