All links are to Wikipedia entries.

Government, Politics, and War:

Society & Social History:

  • January 18: Botany Bay penal colony is established in Australia.
  • January 31: The Young Pretender Charles Edward “Bonnie Prince Charlie” Stuart dies in Rome at age 67.
  • May 20: The Marylebone Cricket Club codifies the rules of cricket in its Code of Laws, which are universally adopted by the game. (MCC remains the custodian and arbiter of Laws relating to cricket around the world.)

Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:

  • Robert Burns writes his version of the Scots poem Auld Lang Syne.
  • January 1: The first edition of The Times of London is published.
  • May: The last volumes of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire are published.
Sir John Soane painted by Thomas Lawrence.

Sir John Soane by Thomas Lawrence. (Click on image to see a larger version.)

Art, Architecture, and Design:

  • Sir John Soane begins his re-design of the Bank of England building, the first Greek revival building in England.
  • August 2: Painter Thomas Gainsborough dies at age 61.

Theatre & Dramatic Arts:


  • June 26: Mozart completes his Symphony No. 39 in E-flat.
  • July 28: Mozart completes his Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.
  • August 10: Mozart completes his last symphony, the “Jupiter Symphony” (Symphony No. 41).

Science and Industry:

  • October 14: William Symington demonstrates a paddle steamer on Dalswinton Loch near Dumfries.