- Sir Hans Sloane dies, aged 92, and leaves his library of 50,000 books to the nation. The British government buys his collection of curiosities, which create the foundation of both the British Museum and the British Library
- James Lind writes 'A Treatise of the Scurvy'
- Tobias Smollett writes 'Ferdinand Count Fathom'
- Robert Wallace writes 'On the Numbers of Man'
- 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)
- Prussia - Frederick II King of Prussia (reigned from 1740 to 1786)
- Russia - Elizabeth Empress of Russia (reigned from 1741 to January 5, 1762)
- Saxony - Frederick Augustus II Elector of Saxony (from 1733 to 1763) (also King of Poland)
- Sweden - Adolf Frederick of Sweden King of Sweden (reigned from 1751 to 1771)