All links are to Wikipedia entries.
Government, Politics, and War:
- January: British forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby arrive at Jamaica and take the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, Demerara, St. Vincent, and Grenada.
- February 16: England is granted control of Ceylon by the Dutch.
- April 12: Napoleon leads the French victory over Austria at the Battle of Montenotte.
- May 15: Napoleon enters Milan and establishes the Lombard Republic.
- September 8: French forces defeat Austrian troops at the Battle of Bassano
- October: Spain, now aligned with France, declares war on Britain.
- November 6: Catherine the Great of Russia dies. She is succeeded by her son, Paul I.
- November 17: French forces defeat the Austrians in Italy at the Battle of Arcole.
Society and Social History:
- January 7: Princess Charlotte is born to the Prince and Princess of Wales.
- February 1: Protests over the price of bread culminate in Queen Charlotte being hit by a stone as she and King George return from a trip to the theatre.
- March 9: Napoleon marries Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- Fanny Burney publishes Camilla.
- Jane Austen writes her first draft of Pride and Prejudice, under the title First Impressions. The book will not be published until 1813.
- July 21: Scottish poet Robert Burns dies at age 37.
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- J. M. W. Turner exhibits at the Royal Academy for the first time with the oil painting Fisherman at Sea. He is only 21.
- Ludwig van Beethoven completes Three Piano Sonatas, Op. 2 in F minor, A and C.
- Joseph Haydn completes Missa in tempore belli (“Mass in Time of War”).
Science and Industry:
- Printing by lithography is invented by Alois Senefelder in Bohemia.
- May 14: Vaccination against small pox is introduced by Edward Jenner.
- August 9: Opening to traffic of the Wearmouth Bridge in England, designed by Thomas Paine in cast iron. Its span of 72 m (237 feet) makes it the world’s longest single-span vehicular bridge extant at this date.
Natural History and Exploration:
- July 21: Scottish physician-explorer Mungo Park reaches the Niger, becoming the first European to reach the West African interior.