by Thomas Rowlandson, published by William Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 29 April 1784
9 7/8 in. x 13 3/4 in. (250 mm x 351 mm) plate size; 11 1/4 in. x 15 7/8 in. (285 mm x 402 mm) paper size
Bequeathed by (Frederick) Leverton Harris, 1927
Sittersback to top
- Henrietta Frances ('Harriet') Ponsonby (née Spencer), Countess of Bessborough (1761-1821), Noblewoman. Sitter in 9 portraits.
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797), Statesman; orator; author. Sitter associated with 105 portraits.
- Georgiana Cavendish (née Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), Beauty and leader of Whig society; first wife of 5th Duke of Devonshire. Sitter in 29 portraits.
- Charles James Fox (1749-1806), Whig statesman. Sitter associated with 306 portraits.
- King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 262 portraits.
Artistsback to top
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1784back to top
Current affairsTheatre proprietor and postal reformer John Palmer runs the first mail coach in England, between Bristol and London. A three day journey is now completed in 16 hours.
Commutation Act reduces punitive duties on tea to combat smuggling.
Art and scienceAeronaut James Sadler makes the first hot air balloon flight in Britain, from Oxford to Woodeaton.
Chemist Henry Cavendish's paper Experiments on Air reveals the composition of water.
Writer Samuel Johnson dies.
Joshua Reynolds succeeds Allan Ramsay as Painter to the King.
InternationalThomas Jefferson's Land Ordinance passed by the United States' Continental Congress, coming into effect the following year. It allows for the sale of land in the largely unmapped west of the country.
Britain receives its first bales of cotton from the United States since before the War of American Independence.
William Pitt's India Act creates a Board of Control to oversee the affairs of the British East India Company and centralise power.
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- Everyday Icons: Collecting Popular Portraits
Until 1 March 2020