February 20 – The North Carolina General Assembly incorporates the town of Newton as Wilmington, North Carolina, named for Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington and patron of Royal Governor Gabriel Johnston.
April 8 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Royal Navy captures the Spanish ship of the line Princesa off Cape Finisterre and takes her into British service.
May 31 – Frederick II comes to power in Prussia upon the death of his father, Frederick William I.
June 26 – War of Jenkins' Ear – Siege of Fort Mose: A Spanish column of 300 regular troops, free black militia and Indian auxiliaries storms Britain's strategically crucial position of Fort Mose, Florida.
July 11 – Pogrom: Jews are expelled from Little Russia.
August 1 – The song Rule, Britannia! is first performed at Cliveden, the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in England.
August 17 – Pope Benedict XIV succeeds Pope Clement XII as the 247th pope.
October 9–22 – Batavia massacre: Troops of the Dutch East India Company massacre 5,000–10,000 Chinese Indonesians in Batavia.
October 20 – Maria Theresa inherits the hereditary dominions of the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and modern-day Belgium) under the terms of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. However, her succession to the Holy Roman Empire is contested widely because she is a woman.
November – Hertford College, Oxford, is founded for the first time.
November 6 – Samuel Richardson's popular and influential epistolary novel Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded is published in London.
December 16 – Frederick II of Prussia invades the Habsburg possession of Silesia, starting the War of the Austrian Succession.
By an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, alien immigrants (including Huguenots and Jews) in the colonies receive British nationality.
Enfield, North Carolina, is founded.
Adam Smith enters Balliol College, Oxford.
George Whitefield founds the Bethesda Orphanage near Savannah, Georgia.
Spain begins construction on Fort Matanzas in the Matanzas Inlet, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of St. Augustine, Florida.
Annual British iron production reaches 17,000 tons.
The University of Pennsylvania is officially established.
April – The New York Slave Insurrection, a plot to set fire to New York City, is discovered.
April 10 – An Austrian army is defeated by Prussian troops of Frederick the Great at Mollwitz.
May – Vitus Bering sets out from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to map the coasts of Siberia and Alaska.
May – Spanish victory in Battle of Cartagena de Indias over Great Britain.
June 25 – Maria Theresa of Austria is crowned Queen Regnant of Hungary in Bratislava.
July 8 – Jonathan Edwards repeats his "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon at Enfield, Connecticut.
July 15 – Alexei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska and sends some men aboard his ship ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
August 4–5 – War of Jenkins' Ear: Invasion of Cuba – British Admiral Edward Vernon captures Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, which he renames Cumberland Bay but which his forces are forced to abandon on December 9.
August 10 – Battle of Colachel: The Raja of Travancore defeats a Dutch East India Company naval expedition.
November 25–26 – Franco-Bavarian troops commanded by Maurice of Saxony storm Prague.
December 6 – Elizabeth of Russia becomes czarina after a palace coup.
December 19 – Vitus Bering dies in his expedition east of Siberia.
December 25 – Anders Celsius develops his own thermometer scale, Centigrade, the predecessor of the Celsius scale.
Stemmatographia by Hristofor Zhefarovich, regarded as the first Serbian and Bulgarian secular printed book, is printed in Vienna.
The population of China reaches c. 143 million.
Royal Order of Scotland is founded.
January – The House of Commons of Great Britain votes on the alleged rigging of the Chippenham by-election. It becomes a motion of no confidence which leads to the resignation of Robert Walpole.
January 9 – Robert Walpole made Earl of Orford and resigns as First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, effectively ending his period as Prime Minister of Great Britain. On his formally relinquishing office five days later, he will have served 20 years and 314 days as Prime Minister, the longest single term ever, and also longer than the accumulated terms of any other British Prime Minister.
January 24 – Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor.
February 12 – John Carteret, 2nd Lord Carteret becomes Secretary of State for the Northern Department in Great Britain.
February 16 – Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.
April 13 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio The Messiah is first performed in Dublin, Ireland.
May 17 – Frederick the Great's army defeats Austrians in Chotusitz; later Austria cedes Silesia to Prussia.
May 24 – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Sahay
July 7 – War of Jenkins' Ear: British troops repel those of Spain (under Montiano) in the Battle of Bloody Marsh in the Province of Georgia.
July 14 – William Pulteney is created 1st Earl of Bath in Great Britain.
September – Construction starts on the Foundling Hospital in London.
November 13 – The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is founded.
December 2 – The Pennsylvania Journal first appears in print in the United States.
Daniel le Pelley succeeds Nicolas le Pelley as Seigneur of Sark.
The Kingdom of Prussia captures Jihlava.
Christian Goldbach formulates Goldbach's conjecture.
Colin Maclaurin publishes his Treatise on Fluxions.
Anders Celsius proposes the Celsius temperature scale (see 1741).
James Bradley succeeds Edmond Halley as Astronomer Royal.
The University of Erlangen is founded.
The Lopukhina Conspiracy arises at the Russian court.
Molde, Norway, becomes a city.
Eisenach, Germany builds its Stadtschloss (city castle).
In Peru, Juan Santos takes the name Atahualpa II and begins an ill-fated rebellion against the Spanish rule.
The Afghan tribes unite as a monarchy.
Henry Fielding publishes Joseph Andrews.
Charles Jervas's English translation of Don Quixote is published posthumously. Through a printer's error, the translator's name is printed as Charles Jarvis, leading the book to forever be known as the Jarvis translation. It is acclaimed as the most faithful English rendering of the novel made up to that time.
Spain completes the construction of Fort Matanzas in the Matanzas Inlet, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of St. Augustine, Florida.
Rome decrees that Roman ceremonial practice in Latin (not in Chinese) is to be the law for Chinese missions.
February 14 – Henry Pelham becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.
February 21 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio, Samson premieres in London.
March 2 – Battle of La Guaira: a British expeditionary fleet under Sir Charles Knowles is defeated by the Spanish.
May 10 – In New France, Governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville ends his final term (multiple times over 43 years) as Governor of colonial French Louisiana, which he helped colonize; he is succeeded by the Marquis de Vaudreuil (for the next 10 years) and returns to France.
May 30 – The Dalecarlian rebellion (1743) in Sweden.
June 27 (June 16 O.S.) – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen in Bavaria – British forces, in alliance with those of Hanover and Hesse, defeat a French army under the duc de Noailles; King George II of Great Britain (and Elector of Brunswick) leads his own troops, the last British king to do so.
August 7 – Russia and Sweden sign the Treaty of Åbo.
September 11 – Natalia Lopukhina is flogged in front of the Twelve Collegia building in Saint Petersburg.
September 13 – The Treaty of Worms is signed between Great Britain, Austria, and Sardinia.
November 5 – Coordinated scientific observations of the transit of Mercury are organized by Joseph-Nicolas Delisle.
The last wolf in Scotland is thought to have been shot in 1743, in the town of Killiecrankie.
January 24 – The Dagohoy Rebellion in the Philippines begins with the killing of Father Giuseppe Lamberti.
February – Violent storms frustrated planned French Invasion of Britain.
February 22–23 – The British fleet is defeated by a joint Franco-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Toulon.
March 1 (approximately) – The Great Comet of 1744, one of the brightest ever seen, reaches perihelion
March 15 – France declares war on Great Britain.
April – The Female Spectator (a monthly) is founded by Eliza Haywood in England, the first periodical written for women by a woman.
April 2– First Rules of Golf drawn up at Leith for first golf competition.
April 20 – Battle of Villafranca (1744): A joint French and Spanish force defeats Britain and Sardinia.
June 28 – Catherine the Great is received into the Russian Orthodox Church.
July 19 – Battle of Casteldelfino: France defeats the Kingdom of Sardinia.
July 29 – Nader Shah lays siege to the Ottoman citadel of Kars.
August 12 – Battle of Velletri in the Kingdom of Naples: Spanish-Neapolitan forces defeat those of the Archduchy of Austria.
September 16 – Prague surrenders to the Prussians commanded by Frederick the Great.
September 30 – Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo: France and Spain defeat the Kingdom of Sardinia.
The third French and Indian War, known as King George's War, breaks out at Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
The First Saudi State is founded by Mohammed Ibn Saud.
Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, sequel to Tommy Thumb's Song Book, containing the oldest version of many well-known and popular rhymes, is published in London.
May 11 – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy – French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army including the Black Watch.
June 4 – Frederick the Great destroys the Austrian army at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.
June 16 – King George's War: British capture Cape Breton Island in North America from the French.
July 9 – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Melle – The French are victorious in an engagement against the Pragmatic Allies.
July 26 – The first recorded women's cricket match takes place in Surrey, England.
August 19 – The Jacobite rising of 1745 begins at Glenfinnan in Scotland where Charles Edward Stuart raises his standard.
August 21 – Catherine the Great marries Peter III of Russia in Saint Petersburg.
September 11 – Jacobite rising: Jacobites enter Edinburgh; six days later, Charles Edward Stuart proclaims his father James Francis Edward Stuart as James VIII of Scotland.
September 12 – Francis I is elected Holy Roman Emperor with the support of his wife, Maria Theresa. He is the successor of Charles VII Albert of Bavaria, an enemy of the House of Habsburg, who died on January 20 of this year.
September 14 – Madame de Pompadour is officially presented in the court of Louis XV of France.
September 16 – Jacobite rising: "Canter of Coltbrigg" – British 13th and 14th Dragoons flee Jacobites near Edinburgh.
September 21 – Battle of Prestonpans: British Government forces are defeated by the Jacobites in Scotland.
December 4 – Jacobite rising: The Scottish Jacobite army reaches as far south as Derby in England causing panic in London; two days later it begins retreat.
December 18 Jacobite rising: A Jacobite victory at the Clifton Moor Skirmish, the last action between two military forces on English soil.
December 23 – Jacobite rising: A Jacobite victory at the Battle of Inverurie.
December 25 – The Treaty of Dresden gives Prussia full possession of Silesia.
December 28 – For 5 days, fire destroys buildings in Istanbul.
January 8 – The Young Pretender Charles Edward Stuart occupies Stirling.
January 17 – Battle of Falkirk Muir: British Government forces are defeated by Jacobite forces.
April 16 – The Battle of Culloden in Scotland, the final pitched battle fought on British soil, brings an end to the Jacobite rising of 1745.
June 16 – Battle of Piacenza: Austrian forces defeat French and Spanish troops.
June 18 – Samuel Johnson is contracted to write his A Dictionary of the English Language.
June 29 – Catherine of Ricci (b. 1522) is canonized.
August 1 – The wearing of the kilt is banned in Scotland by the Dress Act (Note: the actual effective date of the Dress Act was August 1, 1747, not 1746).
August 18 – Two of the four rebellious Scottish lords, Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmerinoch, are beheaded in the Tower of London (Lord Lovat is executed in 1747).
September 20 – Bonnie Prince Charlie flees to the Isle of Skye from Arisaig, after the unsuccessful Jacobite rising of 1745, marked by the Prince's Cairn on the banks of Loch nan Uamh.
October 22 – The College of New Jersey is founded (it becomes Princeton University in 1896).
October 28 – An earthquake demolishes Lima and Callao, in Peru.
Eva Ekeblad reports discovery of how to make flour and alcohol from potatoes to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The town of Vilkovo (Odes'ka oblast', Ukraine) is founded.
Royal Colony of North Carolina Governor Gabriel Johnston moves to the province's largest and most prosperous city of New Bern. As a result, New Bern replaces Edenton as the capital of North Carolina (a title it holds until Raleigh is established in 1792).
Publication of Charles Batteux's Les beaux-arts réduits à un même principe in Paris, putting forward for the first time the idea of "les beaux arts": "the fine arts".
January 31 – The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.
February 11 – King George's War: A combined French and Indian force, commanded by Captain Nicolas Antoine II Coulon de Villiers, attacks and defeats British troops at Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia.
April 9 – The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat is beheaded by axe on Tower Hill, London, for high treason (the last man to be executed in this way in Britain).
May 14 – War of the Austrian Succession – First battle of Cape Finisterre: The British Navy defeats a French fleet.
June 9 – Emperor Momozono ascends to the throne of Japan, succeeding Emperor Sakuramachi.
June 24–October 14 – The English ships Dobbs galley and California, under Captains William Moore and Francis Smith, explore Hudson Bay, discovering there is no Northwest Passage by this route.
July 2 – War of the Austrian Succession – Battle of Lauffeld: France defeats the combined armies of Hanover, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
Thomas Herring is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
Following the capture of Kandahar, Ahmad Shah Durrani is chosen by a Loya jirga as first leader of the Durrani Empire, predecessor of Afghanistan.
October 25 – War of the Austrian Succession – Second battle of Cape Finisterre: The British Navy again defeats a French fleet.
November 9 – Rioters in Amsterdam demand governmental reform.
November 22 – Prince William IV of Orange becomes stadtholder of all the provinces of the United Provinces.
James Lind's experiment begins to prove that citrus fruits prevent scurvy.
War of the Austrian Succession: Spanish troops invade and occupy the coastal towns of Beaufort and Brunswick in the Royal Colony of North Carolina during what becomes known as the Spanish Alarm. They are later driven out by the local militia.
Samuel Johnson begins work on A Dictionary of the English Language in London.
January 12 – Ahmad Shah Durrani captures Lahore.
March 11 – In battle near Manupur (15 km northwest of Sirhind), Mughal forces under Prince Ahmad Shah Bahadur are victorious against Ahmad Shah Durrani.
March 28 – A fire in the City of London causes over a million pounds worth of damage.
April – Maastricht is conquered by Maurice de Saxe.
April 24 – War of the Austrian Succession: A congress assembles at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) with the intent to conclude the war.
August – The Camberwell Beauty butterfly is named after specimens found at Camberwell in London.
September 24 – Shah Rukh becomes ruler of Greater Khorasan.
October 18 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is signed to end the war. Great Britain obtains Madras, in India, from France, in exchange for the fortress of Louisbourg in Canada.
Leonhard Euler publishes Introductio in analysin infinitorum, an introduction to pure analytical mathematics, in Berlin.
Montesquieu publishes De l'esprit des lois.
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock publishes the first three cantos of his epic poem Der Messias in hexameters (anonymously) in Bremer Beiträge (Leipzig).
Adam Smith begins to deliver public lectures in Edinburgh.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences makes Eva Ekeblad its first female member.
Construction of the Sveaborg fortification begins near Helsinki.
The ruins of Pompeii are rediscovered.
Louis XV of France breaks his promise to eliminate the income tax after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the war. The Parlement of Paris protests so he reduces the tax to 5%.
Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont.
The first issue of Berlingske, Denmark's oldest continually operating newspaper, is published.
February – The second part of John Cleland's erotic novel Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) is published in London. The author is released from debtors' prison in March.
February 28 – Henry Fielding's comic novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling is published in London. Also this year, Fielding becomes magistrate at Bow Street, and first enlists the help of the Bow Street Runners, an early police force (8 men at first).
April 27 – The first official performance of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks in London finishes early due to the outbreak of fire. The piece has been composed by Handel to commemorate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle which ended the War of the Austrian Succession in 1748.
May 19 – King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
June 6 – The Conspiracy of the Slaves, which was to have taken place on June 29, is revealed in Malta.
July 9 – The naval settlement of Halifax, Nova Scotia is founded as the British answer to Louisbourg.
Census held in Finland.
The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy is set in the late 1740s.