Sir Home Riggs Popham

Sir Home Riggs Popham, by Unknown artist, circa 1783 - NPG 811 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Home Riggs Popham

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1783
74 1/2 in. x 47 1/2 in. (1892 mm x 1207 mm)
Given by G.F. Popham Blyth, 1888
Primary Collection
NPG 811

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Popham served with Baird at the Cape of Good Hope (1806), with Beresford at Buenos Aires (1806) and with Gambier at Copenhagen (1807). This portrait shows him in lieutenant's full-dress uniform. Popham was promoted to lieutenant in June 1783 and is shown in the uniform of that date, the picture being painted probably shortly before his departure for South Africa to survey the Kaffraria coast. Naval uniform was altered by an Admiralty order of 17 November 1787, a significant innovation being the celebrated foul-anchor to the buttons.

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Events of 1783back to top

Current affairs

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.

International

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.

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