Major influences and persons in Captain William Baillie’s life.
John Boydell (19 January 1720 (New Style) – 12 December 1804) was a British publisher noted for his reproductions of engravings. He helped alter the trade imbalance between Britain and France in engravings and initiated a British tradition in the art form. A former engraver himself, Boydell promoted the interests of artists as well as patrons and as a result his business prospered.
The son of a land surveyor, Boydell apprenticed himself to William Henry Toms, an artist he admired, and learned engraving. He established his own business in 1746 and published his first book of engravings around the same time. Boydell did not think much of his own artistic efforts and eventually started buying the works of others, becoming a print dealer as well as an artist. He became a successful importer of French prints during the 1750s but was frustrated by their refusal to trade prints in kind. To spark reciprocal trade, he commissioned William Wollett's spectacular engraving of Richard Wilson's The Destruction of the Children of Niobe, which revolutionised the print trade. Ten years later, largely as a result of Boydell's initiative, the trade imbalance had shifted, and he was named a fellow of the Royal Society for his efforts.
In the 1790s, Boydell began a large Shakespeare venture that included the establishment of a Shakespeare Gallery, the publication of an illustrated edition of Shakespeare's plays, and the release of a folio of prints depicting scenes from Shakespeare's works. Some of the most illustrious painters of the day contributed, such as Benjamin West and Henry Fuseli.
Throughout his life, Boydell dedicated time to civic projects: he donated art to government institutions and ran for public office. In 1790 he became Lord Mayor of London. The French Revolutionary Wars led to a cessation in Continental trade at the end of the 1790s. Without this business, Boydell's firm declined and he was almost bankrupt at his death in 1804.
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, KG, PC, FSA Scot (/bjuːt/; 25 May 1713 – 10 March 1792), styled as Lord Bute between 1713 and 1723, was a British nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763 under George III. He was arguably the last important favourite in British politics. He was the first prime minister from Scotland following the Acts of Union in 1707 and the first Tory to have held the post. He was also elected as the first president of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland when it was founded in 1780.
James Gillray (13 August 1756 - 1 June 1815) was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810. Many of his works are held at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Gillray has been called "the father of the political cartoon", with his works satirizing George III, Napoleon, prime ministers and generals. Regarded as being one of the two most influential cartoonists, the other being William Hogarth, Gillray's wit and humour, knowledge of life, fertility of resource, keen sense of the ludicrous, and beauty of execution, at once gave him the first place among caricaturists.
William Hogarth FRSA (10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranges from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", and he is perhaps best known for his series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".
Hogarth was born in London to a lower-middle-class family. In his youth he took up an apprenticeship with an engraver, but did not complete the apprenticeship. His father underwent periods of mixed fortune, and was at one time imprisoned in lieu of outstanding debts, an event that is thought to have informed William's paintings and prints with a hard edge.
Influenced by French and Italian painting and engraving, Hogarth's works are mostly satirical caricatures, sometimes bawdily sexual, mostly of the first rank of realistic portraiture. They became widely popular and mass-produced via prints in his lifetime, and he was by far the most significant English artist of his generation. Charles Lamb deemed Hogarth's images to be books, filled with "the teeming, fruitful, suggestive meaning of words. Other pictures we look at; his pictures we read."
Nathaniel Hone the Elder
Nathaniel Hone RA (24 April 1718 – 14 August 1784) was an Irish-born portrait and miniature painter, and one of the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768.
The son of a Dublin-based Dutch merchant, Hone moved to England as a young man and, after marrying Molly Earle - daughter of the Duke of Argyll - in 1742, eventually settled in London, by which time he had acquired a reputation as a portrait-painter. While his paintings were popular, his reputation was particularly enhanced by his skill at producing miniatures and enamels. He interrupted his time in London by spending two years (1750–1752) studying in Italy.
General James Wolfe
James Wolfe (2 January 1727 – 13 September 1759) was a British Army officer known for his training reforms and remembered chiefly for his victory in 1759 over the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec as a major general. The son of a distinguished general, Edward Wolfe, he received his first commission at a young age and saw extensive service in Europe during the War of the Austrian Succession. His service in Flanders and in Scotland, where he took part in the suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion, brought him to the attention of his superiors. The advancement of his career was halted by the Peace Treaty of 1748 and he spent much of the next eight years on garrison duty in the Scottish Highlands. Already a brigade major at the age of 18, he was a lieutenant-colonel by 23.
The outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756 offered Wolfe fresh opportunities for advancement. His part in the aborted raid on Rochefort in 1757 led William Pitt to appoint him second-in-command of an expedition to capture the Fortress of Louisbourg. Following the success of the siege of Louisbourg he was made commander of a force which sailed up the Saint Lawrence River to capture Quebec City. After a long siege, Wolfe defeated a French force under the Marquis de Montcalm, allowing British forces to capture the city. Wolfe was killed at the height of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham due to injuries from three musket ★★★★★.
Wolfe's part in the taking of Quebec in 1759 earned him lasting fame, and he became an icon of Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War and subsequent territorial expansion. He was depicted in the painting The Death of General Wolfe, which became famous around the world. Wolfe was posthumously dubbed "The Hero of Quebec", "The Conqueror of Quebec", and also "The Conqueror of Canada", since the capture of Quebec led directly to the capture of Montreal, ending French control of the colony.
Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive KB, FRS (29 September 1725 – 22 November 1774), also known as Clive of India, was the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency. He is credited along with Warren Hastings for laying the foundation of British rule in India. He began as a writer (the term used then in India for an office clerk) for the East India Company (EIC) who established the military and political supremacy of the EIC on the Indian subcontinent by winning the Battle of Plassey. In return for supporting the Nawab of Bengal Mir Jafar on the throne, Clive was granted a jaghire of £30,000 (equivalent to £4,100,000 in 2019) per year which was the rent the EIC would otherwise pay to the Nawab for their tax farming concession, when he left India he had a fortune of £180,000 (equivalent to £24,300,000 in 2019) which he remitted through the Dutch East India Company.
Blocking impending French mastery of India, and eventual British expulsion from the continent, Clive improvised a military expedition that ultimately enabled the EIC to adopt the French strategy of indirect rule via puppet government. Hired by the EIC to return a second time to India, Clive conspired to secure the company's trade interests by overthrowing the ruler of Bengal, the richest state in India. Back in England, he used his treasure from India to secure an Irish barony from the then Whig PM, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and a seat for himself in Parliament, via Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis, representing the Whigs in Shrewsbury, Shropshire (1761–1774), as he had previously in Mitchell, Cornwall (1754–1755).
Clive's actions on behalf of the EIC have made him one of Britain's most controversial colonial figures. His achievements included checking French Imperial ambitions on the Coromandel Coast and establishing EIC control over Bengal, thereby taking the first step towards establishing the British Raj, though he worked only as an agent of the East India Company, not the British government. He was vilified by his political rivals in Britain, and put on trial before Parliament where he was absolved from every charge. Historians have criticised Clive's management of Bengal during his tenure with the EIC and his responsibility in contributing to the Great Bengal Famine of 1770 which historians estimate resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million people.
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict, "a struggle for global primacy between Britain and France", which also had a major effect on the Spanish Empire. In Europe, the conflict arose from issues left unresolved by the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748), with Prussia seeking greater dominance. Long-standing colonial rivalries pitting Britain against France and Spain in North America and the Caribbean islands were fought on a grand scale with consequential results. In Europe, the war broke out over territorial disputes between Prussia and Austria, which wanted to regain Silesia after it was captured by Prussia in the previous war. Britain, France and Spain fought both in Europe and overseas with land-based armies and naval forces, while Prussia sought territorial expansion in Europe and consolidation of its power.
In a realignment of traditional alliances, known as the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, Prussia became part of a coalition led by Britain, which also included long-time Prussian competitor Hanover. At the same time, Austria ended centuries of conflict by allying with France, along with Saxony, Sweden and Russia. Spain aligned formally with France in 1762. Spain unsuccessfully attempted to invade Britain's ally Portugal, attacking with their forces facing British troops in Iberia. Smaller German states either joined the Seven Years' War or supplied mercenaries to the parties involved in the conflict.
Anglo-French conflict over their colonies in North America had begun in 1754 in what became known in the United States as the French and Indian War, a nine-year war that ended France's presence as a land power. It was "the most important event to occur in eighteenth-century North America". Spain entered the war in 1761, joining France in the Third Family Compact between the two Bourbon monarchies. The alliance with France was a disaster for Spain, with the loss to Britain of two major ports, Havana in the Caribbean and Manila in the Philippines, returned in the 1763 Treaty of Paris between France, Spain and Great Britain. In Europe the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia from Prussia. The Treaty of Hubertusburg ended the war between Saxony, Austria and Prussia, in 1763. Britain began its rise as the world's predominant colonial and naval power. For a time France's supremacy in Europe was halted until after the French Revolution and the emergence of Napoleon Bonaparte. Prussia confirmed its status as a great power, challenging Austria for dominance within the German states, thus altering the European balance of power.