- The excavation of Herculaneum, a Roman city buried by Vesuvius in AD 79, begins.
- John and Charles Wesley form the Methodist Society, on their return to England.
- November 13 - Ratification of the Treaty of Vienna
- Stanislas receives Lorraine in exchange for renouncing the Polish throne.
- Pierre de Maupertuis publishes Sur la figure de la terre, which 'confirms Newton's view that the earth is a spheroid slightly flattened at the poles'.
- Franz Ketterer invents the cuckoo clock.
- January 21 - Ethan Allen, American patriot leader
- May 27 - Nathaniel Gorham, American politican (+1796)
- June 4 - King George III of the United Kingdom.
- Arthur Phillip, first governer of New South Wales, Australia
- China - Qianlong Emperor of China, Qing Dynasty (reigned from October 18, 1735 to February 9, 1796)
- France - Louis XV King of France (reigned from 1715 to 1774)
- Great Britain - George II King of Great Britain (reigned from June 11, 1727 to October 25, 1760)
- Saxony - Frederick Augustus II Elector of Saxony (from 1733 to 1763) (also King of Poland)