1739 1740 1741 - 1742 - 1743 1744 1745
| Decades: |
1710s 1720s 1730s - 1740s - 1750s 1760s 1770s
| Centuries: |
17th century - 18th century - 19th century
- January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor.
- February 16 - Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.
- February 18 - British attack La Guayra.
- April 8 - The first performance of George Frideric Handel's oratorio The Messiah, in Dublin.
- May 17 – Frederick the Great's army defeats Austrians in Chotusitz; later Austria cedes Silesia to Prussia
- May 25 - A battle is fought at Sahay.
- December 2 - The Pennsylvania Journal first appears in print.
- Daniel le Pelley succeeds Nicolas le Pelley as Seigneur of Sark.
- Kingdom of Prussia captures Jihlava.
- Christian Goldbach formulates Goldbach's conjecture.
- Colin Maclaurin publishes his Treatise on Fluxions.
- Anders Celsius proposes the Celsius temperature scale.
- James Bradley succeeds Edmond Halley as Astronomer Royal.
- Henry Fielding publishes Joseph Andrews.
- John Carteret, 2nd Lord Carteret becomes Secretary of State for the Northern Department.
- Rigging of Chippenham by-election causes a political scandal.
- William Pulteney created as 1st Earl of Bath.
- Robert Walpole was elevated to the peerage and thus moved from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, effectively ending his reign as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (see February 16, above).
- University of Erlangen is founded.
- Molde in Norway becomes a city.
- Construction starts on the Foundling Hospital in London.
- Eisenach builds its Stadtschloss (city castle).
- In Peru, Juan Santon takes the name Atahualpa II and begins an ill-fated rebellion against the Spanish rule
- Afghan tribes unite as a monarchy
- January 8 - Philip Astley, the father of modern circus
- March 10 - Sampson Salter Blowers, North American lawyer and jurist
- March 31 - P. D. Q. Bach, fictitious composer
- April 28 - Henry Dundas, British statesman
- May 6 - Jean Senebier, Swiss pastor and botanist
- June 25 - Johann Schweighauser, German classical scholar
- June 26 - Arthur Middleton, American politician
- June 28 - William Hooper, American statesman (+ 1790)
- July 21 - John Cleves Symmes, American statesman (+ 1814)
- July 27 - Nathanael Greene, American general
- September 14 - James Wilson, American politician
- October 6 - Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian poet
- December 9 - Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish chemist
- December 16 - [[Gebhard Leberecht von Bl�cher]], Prussian general (+ 1819)
- George Chalmers, Scottish antiquarian (+ 1825)
- Joseph Brant, Mohawk leader (+ 1807)
- Francis Nash, American military officer (+ 1777)
- Johan Herman Wessel, Scandinavian writer (+ 1785)
- January 14 - Edmond Halley, astronomer
- February 22 - James Wilson, British publisher
- March 23 - Jean-Baptiste Dubos, French author
- April 17 - Arvid Horn, Swedish statesman
- June 27 - Nathan Bailey, English philologist and lexicographer
- July 9 - John Oldmixon, English historian
- July 14 - Richard Bentley, English scholar and critic
- July 19 - William Somervile, English poet
- September 18 - Jean Baptiste Massillon, French bishop
- November 24 - Andrew Bradford, American publisher
- John Aislabie, British politician and gardeneraf:1742
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