9 of 11 portraits of George Steevens
by George Cooke, after a monument by John Flaxman
line engraving, published 1812
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Events of 1812back to top
Current affairsPrime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons by a bankrupt named John Bellingham. A new administration is formed under Lord Liverpool.
The Toleration Act is passed giving greater freedom of worship to dissenters in order to ensure their political loyalty.
Art and scienceActress Sarah Siddons retires from the London stage. Her final appearance is as Lady Macbeth, the role that made her famous, but the performance has to end after the sleepwalking scene because of the fervour of the audience.
Building of Regent's Canal begins under John Rennie.
InternationalUnited States declares war on Britain over grievances arising from British naval conduct in the French wars. American plan for attack on Canada fails and British troops under Sir Edward Pakenham force surrender of Detroit.
Wellington defeats French at Salamanca and enters Madrid.
Napoleon leads France in disastrous Russian campaign.
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