18 of 18 portraits of William Congreve
by Peltro William Tomkins, published by John Sharpe, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
stipple engraving, published 19 February 1803
7 1/2 in. x 4 3/4 in. (192 mm x 121 mm) plate size; 8 in. x 5 1/4 in. (204 mm x 132 mm) paper size
Bequeathed by (Frederick) Leverton Harris, 1927
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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.