Centuries: 16th century - 17th century - 18th century
- January 4 - Palace of Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire.
- September 5 - In an effort to move his people away from Asiatic customs, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards; All men except priests and peasants, are required to pay a tax of one hundred rubles a year and the commoners had to pay one kopek each.
- Tani Jinzan, astronomer and calendar scholar, observes a fire destroy Tosa (now Kochi) in Japan at the same time as a Leonid Meteor storm, taking it as evidence to reinforce belief in the "Theory of Areas".
- Thomas Savery patents an early steam engine.
- A congress begins in Sremski Karlovci to discuss a treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League.
- Humphrey Hody is appointed regius professor of Greek at Oxford.
- Bucharest becomes capital of Romania.
- Mombasa and Zanzibar are captured by Oman.
- George I of Great Britain becomes Elector of Hanover.
- February - Colin Maclaurin, Scottish mathematician
- Henry Baker, English naturalist
- William Warburton, English critic
- William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire
- Johann Jakob Bodmer, Swiss author
- Metastasio, Italian poet
- Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, French mathematician
- Vaclav Prokop Divis, Czech theologian