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1773 (MDCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1773rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 773rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 73rd year of the 18th century, and the 4th year of the 1770s decade. As of the start of 1773, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- January 1 - The hymn that became known as "Amazing Grace", then titled "1 Chronicles 17:16–17" is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.
- January 12 – The first museum in the American colonies is established in Charleston, South Carolina; in 1915, it is formally incorporated as the Charleston Museum.
- January 17 – Second voyage of James Cook: Captain Cook in HMS Resolution (1771) becomes the first European explorer to cross the Antarctic Circle.
- January 18 – The first opera performance in the Swedish language, Thetis and Phelée, performed by Carl Stenborg and Elisabeth Olin in Bollhuset in Stockholm, Sweden, marks the establishment of the Royal Swedish Opera.
- February 8— The Grand Council of Poland meets in Warsaw on a circular letter from King Stanisław August Poniatowski to respond to the Kingdom's threatened partition between three foreign powers.
- February 27— The construction of Christ Church of Alexandria, Virginia, known for being the house of worship for George Washington and the visiting site for subsequent U.S. presidents, is completed.
- March 9 to March 19 – Second voyage of James Cook: Tobias Furneaux in HMS Adventure (1771) explores the coast of Van Diemen's Land.
- March 15 – The popular (and enduring)comedy She Stoops to Conquer, by Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith, is performed for the first time, premiering at London's Covent Garden.
- October 10
- October 12 – America's first insane asylum opens, for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- October 13 – French astronomer Charles Messier discovers the Whirlpool Galaxy, an interacting, grand design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years, in the constellation Canes Venatici.
- October 14 – The Komisja Edukacji Narodowej (Polish for Commission for the Education of the People), formed in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, is considered to be the world's first ministry of education.
- November 10 – Four ships— the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, the Beaver and the William— depart Britain for America, carrying the first Indian tea to be subject to the newly enacted taxes. The William is lost in a storm; the Dartmouth is the first ship to reach Boston, docking on November 28.
- December 16 – Boston Tea Party: A group of American colonists, dressed as Mohawk Indians, steal aboard ships of the East India Company and dump their cargo of tea into Boston Harbor, in protest against British tax policies.
- Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774: Russian forces fail to take Silistria.
- Emelian Pugachev starts Pugachev's Rebellion in Russia, attacking and occupying Samara.
- John Harrison's wins the Longitude prize, for his invention of the marine chronometer.
- Hilaire Rouelle discovers urea.
- Istanbul Technical University is established (under the name of Royal School of Naval Engineering) as the world's first comprehensive institution of higher learning dedicated to engineering education.
- In China, written work begins on the Siku Quanshu, the largest literary compilation of books in China's history (surpassing the Yongle Encyclopedia of the 15th Century). Upon completion in 1782, the books are bound in 36,381 volumes (册) with more than 79,000 chapters (卷), comprising about 2.3 million pages, and approximately 800 million Chinese characters.
- Scottish judge James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, begins publication of Of the Origin and Progress of Language, a contribution to evolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment.
- Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock publishes the last five cantos of his epic poem Der Messias in Hamburg.
- February 9 – William Henry Harrison, American military leader and 9th President of the United States (d. 1841)
- March 14 – John Holmes, American politician (d. 1843)
- March 16 – Juan Ramón Balcarce, Argentine military leader and politician (d. 1836)
- March 26 – Nathaniel Bowditch, American mathematician (d. 1838)
- April 4 – Étienne Maurice Gérard, Prime Minister and Marshal of France (d. 1852)
- April 9
- April 14 – Jean-Baptiste de Villèle, Prime Minister of France (d. 1854)
- April 24 – Edmund Cartwright, English inventor, Fellow of the Royal Society (d. 1823)
- May 2 – Henrik Steffens, Norwegian philosopher (d. 1845)
- May 3 – Giuseppe Acerbi, Italian explorer (d. 1846)
- May 15 – Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Austrian statesman (d. 1859)
- May 19 – Arthur Aikin, English chemist and mineralogist (d. 1854)
- May 31 – Ludwig Tieck, German writer (d. 1853)
- June 13 – Thomas Young, English scientist (d. 1829)
- July 23 – Thomas Brisbane, Scottish astronomer, Governor of New South Wales (d. 1860)
- August 12 – Karl Faber, German historian (d. 1853)
- August 22 – Aimé Bonpland, French explorer, botanist (d. 1858)
- September 17 – Jonathan Alder, American settler (d. 1849)
- October 6 – Louis Philippe I, King of the French (d. 1850)
- November 6 – Henry Hunt, British politician (d. 1835)
- December 9 – Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, French general, diplomat (d. 1827)
- December 17 – Sylvain Charles Valée, Marshal of France (d. 1846)
- December 21 – Robert Brown, Scottish botanist (d. 1858)
- December 27 – Sir George Cayley, English aviation pioneer (d. 1857)
- Unknown – Johann Gottfried Arnold, German cellist (d. 1806)
- Unknown – Kyra Frosini, Greek heroine (d. 1800)
- Unknown – Isabel Zendal, Spanish nurse
- March 24 – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, English statesman and man of letters (b. 1694)
- May 8 – Ali Bey Al-Kabir, Mamluk Sultan of Egypt (b. 1728)
- May 15 – Alban Butler, English Catholic priest, writer (b. 1710)
- June 27 – Mentewab, dowager Empress of Ethiopia (b. c. 1706)
- July 5 – Francisco José Freire, Portuguese historian, philologist (b. 1719)
- July 12 – Johann Joachim Quantz, German flutist, composer (b. 1697)
- July 23 – George Edwards, English naturalist (b. 1693)
- July 25 – Axel Löwen, Swedish duke (b. 1686)
- August 3 – Stanisław Konarski, Polish writer (b. 1700)
- August 20 – Enrique Florez, Spanish historian (b. 1701)
- September 23 – Johan Ernst Gunnerus, Norwegian bishop and botanist (b. 1718)
- October 14 – Septimanie d'Egmont, French salonist (b. 1740)
- October 30 – Philippe de La Guêpière, French architect (b. 1725)
- November 2 – John Glas, Scottish minister (b. 1695)
- ^ a b c Gordon Carruth, ed., The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates 3rd Edition (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1962) pp79-81
- ^ Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- ^ The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics and Literature for the Year 1773, ed. by Edmund Burke (J. Dodsley Publishing, 1774)p25
- ^ James Cook, The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook round the World, Vol. III: "Being the First of the Second Voyage" (Longman, Hurst and Rees, 1821) pp122-128
- ^ Brian Corman, The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy (Broadview Press, 2013) p359
- ^ a b c Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 327–328. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- ^ Rose, William I.; et al., eds. (June 2004). Natural Hazards in El Salvador. Geological Society of America. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-8137-2375-4.
- ^ Keith R. Dawson, Caroline Princess of Wales & Other Forgotten People of History (Strategic Book Publishing, 2010) p67
- ^ "Icons, a portrait of England 1750-1800". Archived from the original on August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-25.