1 of 2 portraits of William Gadsby
by William Barnard, published by L.I. Higham, after F. Turner
mezzotint, early 19th century
14 7/8 in. x 11 in. (377 mm x 278 mm) plate size; 19 3/8 in. x 13 5/8 in. (492 mm x 345 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1955
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Events of 1803back to top
Current affairsThe Vice Society is formally established by John Reeves and his associates to campaign against blasphemy and immorality, particularly that perpetrated by Thomas Paine and the Edinburgh Review.
Art and scienceErasmus Darwin's Temple of Nature published posthumously. A scientific treaty in the form of an elaborate couplet poem, its content anticipated some of the evolutionary ideas developed by his grandson, Charles Darwin, fifty years later.
Construction of the Caledonian Canal begins.
InternationalWar with France resumes, sparking new fears of a cross-channel invasion.
United Irishman, Robert Emmett's attempted uprising in Dublin. Planned to coincide with Napoleon's expected invasion, it aimed to overthrow the English administration but ended in failure. Emmett is hanged along with several other conspirators.
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