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was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Tuesday 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. As of the start of 1740, the Gregorian calendar was
11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- 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.
- February 4 – Carl Michael Bellman, Swedish poet, composer (d. 1795)
- February 15 – Juan Andrés, Spanish Jesuit (d. 1817)
- February 16 – Giambattista Bodoni, Italian publisher and engraver (d. 1813)
- February 17 – John Sullivan, American General in the American Revolutionary War, delegate in the Continental Congress (d. 1795)
- March – Johann van Beethoven, German musician, father of Ludwig van Beethoven (d. 1792)
- March 16 – Johann Jacob Schweppe, German-born inventor, founder of the Schweppes Company (d. 1821)
- April 7 – Haym Salomon, Polish-Jewish American financier of the American Revolution (d. 1785)
- May 7 – Nikolai Arkharov, Russian police chief (d. 1814)
- January – Louise Élisabeth de Joybert, politically active Canadian governors' wife (b. 1673)
- January 5 – Antonio Lotti, Italian composer (b. 1667)
- January 17 – Matthias Buchinger, German artist (b. 1674)
- January 20 – Niccolò Comneno Papadopoli, Italian jurist of religious law and historian (b. 1655)
- January 21 – Nicholas Trott, colonial magistrate, South Carolina Chief Justice (b. 1663)
- January 27 – Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, Prime Minister of France (b. 1692)
- January 29 – Richard Lumley, 2nd Earl of Scarbrough (b. 1686)
- February 6 – Pope Clement XII (b. 1652)
- February 23 – Massimiliano Soldani Benzi, Italian artist (b. 1656)
- February 29 – Pietro Ottoboni, Italian cardinal (b. 1667)
- March 23 – Olof Rudbeck the Younger, Swedish scientist and explorer (b. 1660)
- April 23 – Thomas Tickell, English writer (b. 1685)
- May 17 – Jean Cavalier, French Protestant rebel leader (b. 1681)
- 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
- June 18 – Piers Butler, 3rd Viscount Galmoye, Anglo-Irish nobleman (b. 1652)
- July 2 – Thomas Baker, English antiquarian (b. 1656)
- October 5 – Johann Philipp Baratier, German scholar (b. 1721)
- October 11 – Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst, Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (b. 1679)
- October 20 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1685)
- October 28 – Anna, Empress of Russia (b. 1693)
- December 1 – John Abernethy, Irish Protestant minister (b. 1680)
- 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". Archived from the original on September 21, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2006.
- ^ 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 July 27, 2013.