On This Day

1769 in History

Events in History

  • Apr 22 Madame du Barry becomes King Louis XV's "official" mistress

InventionHistoric Invention

Apr 29 Scottish engineer James Watt's patent for a steam engine with a separate condenser enrolled (Patent 913)

Inventor, Engineer and Chemist James Watt
Inventor, Engineer and Chemist
James Watt
  • Jun 4 A transit of Venus is followed five hours later by a total solar eclipse, the shortest such interval in history

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 7 American frontiersman Daniel Boone ascends Pilot Knob, setting sight on the fertile hunting grounds of what is now known as the Bluegrass Region of the State of Kentucky [exact date disputed]

Frontiersman and Explorer Daniel Boone
Frontiersman and Explorer
Daniel Boone
  • Jul 14 The de Portolá Expedition establishes a base in California, and sets out to find the Port of Monterey (now Monterey, California)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 16 Father Junipero Serra founds Mission San Diego the 1st mission in California

Missionary Junípero Serra
Junípero Serra
  • Aug 18 A lightning strike on the Bastion of San Nazaro in Brescia, Italy, ignites 90 tonnes of gunpowder, killing 3,000 people

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

Oct 8 Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand (Poverty Bay)

Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • Dec 12 Pope Clement XIV proclaims a universal jubilee
  • Dec 13 Dartmouth College in New Hampshire receives its charter
  • Dec 25 First Christian service in New Zealand; Mass is celebrated in Doubtless Bay by Father Paul-Antoine Léonard de Villefeix of the de Surville expedition

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 5 Jean Baptiste Say, French economist (Political Economics), born in Lyon, France (d. 1832)
  • Jan 10 Michel Ney, French marshal (Waterloo), born in Saarlouis, Germany (d. 1815)
  • Feb 4 Samuel I Wiselius, Dutch lawyer/businessman/writer
  • Feb 9 Susette Gontard, the beloved of the poet Friedrich Hölderlin (d. 1802)
  • Feb 13 Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist (d. 1844)
  • Mar 2 DeWitt Clinton, (Gov/Sen-NY)
  • Mar 10 Joseph Williamson, English philanthropist and tunnel builder (d. 1840)
  • Mar 23 William Smith, British geologist who is credited with creating the first nationwide geological map (Strata Identified by Organized Fossils), born in Churchill, Oxfordshire (d. 1839)
  • Mar 23 Augustin Daniel Belliard, French general (d. 1832)
  • Mar 29 Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, French marshal, 10th Prime Minister of France, born in Saint-Amans-la-Bastide, France (d. 1851)
  • Apr 3 Christian Günther von Bernstorff, Danish-Prussian statesman and diplomat, born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1835)
  • Apr 13 Thomas Lawrence, English portrait painter, born in Bristol, England (d. 1830)
  • Apr 25 Marc Isambard Brunel, French-born English engineer (Thames Tunnel), born in Hacqueville, France (d. 1849)

Person of interestArthur Wellesley

May 1 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and British Prime Minister (Tory: 1828-30), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1852)

1st Duke of Wellington & British Prime Minister Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington & British Prime Minister
Arthur Wellesley
  • May 6 Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1790-1801), born in Florence (d. 1824)
  • May 10 Jean Lannes, duc de Montebello, Marshal of France
  • May 20 Andreas Vokos Miaoulis, Greek admiral and politician (d. 1835)

Person of interestNapoléon Bonaparte

Aug 15 Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader and Emperor of the French (1804-14, 1815), born in Ajaccio, Corsica, France (d. 1821)

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

Person of interestGeorges Cuvier

Aug 23 Georges Cuvier [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier], French naturalist and zoologist, born in Montbéliard, France (d. 1832)

Naturalist and Zoologist Georges Cuvier
Naturalist and Zoologist
Georges Cuvier
  • Sep 9 Cornelis Felix van Maanen, Dutch minister of Justice (1807-42), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1846)

Person of interestAlexander von Humboldt

Sep 14 Alexander von Humboldt, German naturalist and explorer (Kosmos), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1859)

Naturalist and Explorer Alexander von Humboldt
Naturalist and Explorer
Alexander von Humboldt
  • Sep 19 Joseph Comb, missionary to Moluccas (d. 1833)

Person of interestIsaac Brock

Oct 6 Isaac Brock, British Army officer (successfully defended Upper Canada in War of 1812), born in St Peter Port, Guernsey (d. 1812)

British Army Officer and Administrator Isaac Brock
British Army Officer and Administrator
Isaac Brock
  • Oct 7 Solomon Sibley, American politician (d. 1846)
  • Oct 13 Horace H. Hayden, 1st American licensed dentist and cofounds 1st dental college, born in Windsor, Connecticut (d. 1844)

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Mar 23 Augustus FitzRoy, English Duke of Grafton divorces the Duchess of Grafton, (formerly Hon. Anne Liddell) by an Act of Parliament

British Prime Minister Augustus FitzRoy
British Prime Minister
Augustus FitzRoy

Deaths in History

  • Jan 18 Hakuin Ekaku, Zen teacher (reformer of Rinzai school), dies in Japan
  • Jan 24 François de Chevert, French general (b. 1695)
  • Feb 2 Clement XIII [Carlo Rezzonico], Pope (1758-69), dies at 75
  • Apr 3 Gerhard Tersteegen, German evangelist and poet (wrote in blood), dies at 71
  • Apr 20 Pontiac, Ottawa Indian leader, murdered by a Peoria warrior at 48 or 49
  • Jun 1 Edward Holyoke, American academic and 9th President of Harvard University, dies at 79
  • Aug 2 Daniel Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea, English politician, dies at 80
  • Aug 29 Edmond Hoyle, games expert, dies (birth date unknown)
  • Nov 23 Constantine Mavrocordatos, Prince of Wallachia and Prince of Moldavia (b. 1711)
  • Dec 13 Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet and novelist (Fables & Tales), dies at 54
  • Dec 30 Nicholas Taaffe, 6th Viscount Taaffe, Austrian soldier (b. 1685)