|Centuries:||17th century – 18th century – 19th century|
|Decades:||1710s 1720s 1730s – 1740s – 1750s 1760s 1770s|
|Years:||1737 1738 1739 – 1740 – 1741 1742 1743|
|1740 by topic:|
|Arts and Sciences|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature (Poetry) – Music – Science|
|Canada –Denmark – France – Great Britain – Ireland – Norway – Scotland –Sweden –|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1740.|
1740 (MDCCXL) was a leap year starting on Friday (dominical letter CB) of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Tuesday (dominical letter FE) of the Julian calendar, the 1740th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 740th year of the 2nd millennium, the 40th year of the 18th century, and the 1st year of the 1740s decade. Note that the Julian day for 1740 is 11 calendar days difference, which continued to be used from 1582 until the complete conversion of the Gregorian calendar was entirely done in 1929.
- 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.
- February 4 – Carl Michael Bellman, Swedish poet and composer (d. 1795)
- February 15 – Juan Andrés, Spanish Jesuit (d. 1817)
- February 16 – Giambattista Bodoni, Italian publisher and engraver (d. 1813)
- March – Johann van Beethoven, German musician and father of Ludwig van Beethoven (d. 1792)
- March 16 – Johann Jacob Schweppe, German-born inventor and founder of the Schweppes Company (d. 1821)
- May 7 – Nikolai Arkharov, Russian police chief (d. 1814)
- June 2 – Marquis de Sade, French author (d. 1814)
- August 23 – Emperor Ivan VI of Russia (d. 1764)
- August 26 – Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, French inventor (d. 1810)
- September 12 – Johann Heinrich Jung, German writer (d. 1817)
- September 23 – Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan (d. 1813)
- October 29 – James Boswell, Scottish author (d. 1795)
- October 31 – Philip James de Loutherbourg, English artist (d. 1812)
- December – Elisabeth Olin, Swedish opera singer (d. 1828)
- Ali Pasha, Albanian ruler (d. 1822)
- Margaret Bingham, Countess of Lucan, born Margaret Smith, English portrait miniature painter and writer (d. 1814)
- January 5 – Antonio Lotti, Italian composer (b. 1667)
- January 27 – Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, Prime Minister of France (b. 1692)
- February 6 – Pope Clement XII (b. 1652)
- March 23 – Olof Rudbeck the Younger, Swedish scientist and explorer (b. 1660)
- April 23 – Thomas Tickell, English writer (b. 1685)
- May 31 – Frederick William I, King in Prussia (b. 1688)
- June 1 – Samuel Werenfels, Swiss theologian (b. 1657)
- June 6 – Alexander Spotswood, British governor of Virginia Colony (b. 1676)
- June 17
- October 5 – Johann Philipp Baratier, German scholar (b. 1721)
- October 20 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1685)
- October 28 – Anna, Empress of Russia (b. 1693)
- December 20 – Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, British military officer and statesman (b. 1675)
- December 30 – John Senex, English geographer (b. ca. 1678)
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 308. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- image: Bird's eye view of Batavia showing the massacre of the Chinese
- Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). The Encyclopædia of Oxford. London: Macmillan. p. 182. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1886). "Bingham, Margaret". Dictionary of National Biography. 5. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- "The Historical Theater in the Year 400 AD, in Which Both Romans and Barbarians Resided Side by Side in the Eastern Part of the Roman Empire". World Digital Library. 1725. Retrieved 2013-07-27.