by John Jones, after George Romney
mezzotint, published 1786
20 in. x 13 7/8 in. (507 mm x 353 mm) plate size; 21 3/8 in. x 15 1/4 in. (543 mm x 387 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Events of 1786back to top
Current affairsPhilosopher and politician Edmund Burke instigates impeachment proceedings against Warren Hastings, former Governor-General of Bengal after concerns about the moral standards of the British in India are raised.
Prime Minister William Pitt appoints commissioners for the reduction of the national debt and establishes a sinking fund of £1 million a year.
Government approves the establishment of a penal colony at Botany Bay.
Art and scienceRobert Burns publishes Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect bringing him immediate success across the country.
Engraver and publisher John Boydell initiates plans for his Shakespeare Gallery in an effort to establish a school of British history painting.
Merchant David Dale establishes New Lanark in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, as a model cotton milling community.
InternationalGeneral Charles Cornwallis succeeds Warren Hastings as Governor-General in India.
Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Marriage of Figaro premieres in Vienna.
Francisco Goya is appointed court painter to the Spanish king Charles III.