Historical Events in 1772

  • Jan 1 First traveler's cheques go on sale in London, can be used in 90 European cities
  • Feb 12 Yves de Kerguelen of France discovers Kerguelen Archipelago, India
  • Feb 17 1st Partition of Poland signed in Vienna by Austria, Prussia and Russia
  • Mar 13 Gotthold Lessing's "Emilia Galotti" premieres in Brunswick

Beard Tax Ends

Apr 6 Catherine the Great Empress of Russia, ends tax on men with beards, enacted by Tsar Peter the Great in 1698

Event of Interest

Apr 9 Philosopher and mathematician Jean-Baptiste Le Rond d'Alembert becomes permanent secretary of the French Academy of Sciences

  • Apr 30 John Clais patents 1st scale
  • May 11 Amsterdam Theater destroyed by fire, 18 killed, in Amsterdam, Northern Netherlands
  • Jun 6 Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste-Pointe Dusable settles in Chicago
  • Jun 9 1st naval attack of Revolutionary War takes place in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Jun 9 1st Protestant church west of Pennsylvania (in Ohio) holds communion
  • Jun 10 Burning of British revenue cutter Gaspée by Rhode Islanders
  • Jun 12 Marion du Fresne is killed at Tacoury's Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, by local Māori
  • Jun 22 Somerset v Stewart court case finds slavery unsupported by English common law, encouraging the abolitionist movement

Voyage of Discovery

Jul 13 Captain James Cook begins his second voyage to the South Seas aboard the Resolution to search for Terra Australis (Southern continent)

Event of Interest

Aug 4 English poet and artist William Blake aged 14 is first apprenticed to engraver James Basire in London

  • Aug 5 1st Partition of Poland between Austria, Prussia and Russia is made public
  • Aug 11 Explosive eruption blows 4,000' off Papandayan Java, kills 3,000

Event of Interest

Aug 19 King Gustav III seizes effective control of Swedish government and restores full power of monarchy, which had been subordinate to parliament since 1720

  • Aug 21 King Gustav III of Sweden completes a coup d'etat by adopting a new Constitution and installing himself as an enlightened despot, ending 50 years of parliamentary rule
  • Aug 31 Hurricane destroy ships off Dominica
  • Sep 1 Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa forms in California
  • Sep 22 1st Partition of Poland is ratified by Austria, Prussia and Russia
  • Sep 26 New Jersey passes bill requiring a license to practise medicine
  • Oct 30 Captain James Cook arrives with ship Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Nov 2 Boston: anti-English Committee of Correspondence forms
  • Dec 22 Moravian missionary constructs 1st schoolhouse west of Allegheny