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.
January 13 – Friedrich Müller, painter, narrator, lyricist and dramatist (d. 1825)
January 16 – Vittorio Alfieri, Italian dramatist (d. 1803)
January 24 – Charles James Fox, English politician (d. 1806)
January 29 – King Christian VII of Denmark (d. 1808)
March 9 – Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, French politician (d. 1791)
March 10 – Lorenzo Da Ponte, Italian librettist (d. 1838)
March 23 – Pierre-Simon Laplace, French mathematician and astronomer (d. 1827)
24 March – Ulla von Höpken, Swedish courtier and influential socialite (d. 1810)
May 17 – Edward Jenner, English physician (d. 1823)
April 11 – Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, French portrait painter (d. 1803)
June 15 – Georg Joseph Vogler, German composer (d. 1814)
June 19 – Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois, French revolutionary (d. 1796)
July 16 – Cyrus Griffin, last President of the Continental Congress (d. 1810)
August 28 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician (d. 1832)
September 25 – Abraham Gottlob Werner, German geologist (d. 1817)
September 30 – Comte Siméon Joseph Jérôme, French jurist and politician (d. 1842)
October 25 – Erik Magnus Staël von Holstein, Swedish ambassador (d. 1802)
November 3 – Daniel Rutherford, Scottish physician, chemist and botanist (d. 1819)
November 17 – Nicolas Appert French inventor (d. 1841)
November 23 – Edward Rutledge, American statesman (d. 1800)
December 2 – Elisabeth Berenberg, German banker (d. 1809)
December 17 – Domenico Cimarosa, Italian composer (d. 1801)
December 25 – Samuel Jackson Pratt, known as 'Courtney Melmoth' British writer, poet and actor (d. 1814)
Date unknown – Charlotte Melmoth, British & American Actress (d. 1823)
February 8 – Jan van Huysum, Dutch painter (b. 1682)
May 11 – Catharine Trotter Cockburn, English novelist, dramatist, and philosopher (b. 1674)
June 18 – Ambrose Philips, English poet (b. 1675)
July 3 – William Jones, Welsh mathematician (b. 1675)
July 12 – Charles de la Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois, Governor of New France (b. c.1671)
July 23 – Ingeborg i Mjärhult, Swedish soothsayer (b. 1665)
August 13 – Johann Elias Schlegel, German critic and poet (b. 1719)
September 10 – Émilie du Châtelet, French mathematician and physicist (b. 1706)
September 14 – Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, English soldier and politician (b. 1675)
October 4 – Baron Franz von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (b. 1711)
November 19 – Carl Heinrich Biber, German violinist and composer (b. 1681)
December 4 – Claudine Guérin de Tencin, French salon holder (b. 1682)
December 5 – Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, French-Canadian explorer and trader (b. 1685)
December 19 – Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Italian priest and composer (b. 1672)
date unknown – Maria Oriana Galli-Bibiena, Italian painter (b. 1656)
1749 (MDCCXLIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (dominical letter E) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday (dominical letter A) of the Julian calendar, the 1749th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 749th year of the 2nd millennium, the 49th year of the 18th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1740s decade. As of the start of 1749, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.