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1772 ( MDCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1772nd year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 772nd year of the Anno Domini 2nd millennium, the 72nd year of the 18th century, and the 3rd year of the 1770s decade. As of the start of 1772, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
April 8 – Massachusetts legislator Samuel Adams persuades his colleagues to approve his plan for creating a Committee of Correspondence to begin a dialogue with the other American colonies concerning mutual problems with the United Kingdom.  
April 13 – Warren Hastings begins his service for the British East India Company as Governor of Bengal, arriving at the company's headquarters at Fort William, outside of Calcutta, and including what are now parts of northeast India and Bangladesh. Hastings serves for two years, then later becomes Governor-General of India. 
May 8 – The Watauga Association Compact is signed in what is now East Tennessee by a group of white settlers led by William Bean, creating the first non-colonial government body in British North America. 
June 9 – : In an act of defiance against the British Gaspee Affair Navigation Acts, American patriots, led by Abraham Whipple, attack and burn the British customs schooner HMS Gaspee off of Rhode Island.
June 10 – The Credit crisis of 1772 is triggered when, following the flight of their partner Alexander Fordyce to France, the London banking house of Neal, James, Fordyce and Down (which has been speculating in East India Company stock) suspends payment. The resultant panic causes other banks, particularly in Scotland, to fail, extends to Amsterdam and the Thirteen Colonies of British North America, and threatens the East India Company with bankruptcy. June 22 – Somersett's Case: Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, delivers the decision that leads to the end of slavery in England. 
January 20 – Angélique Brûlon, French soldier, first female Knight of the French Legion of Honour (d. 1859)
January 30 – Godfrey Higgins, British archaeologist (d. 1833)
February 24 – William H. Crawford, American politician, judge (d. 1834)
March 10 – Friedrich von Schlegel, German poet (d. 1829)
March 15 – József Ficzkó, Burgenland Croatian writer (d. 1843)
April 4 – Nachman of Breslov, Hasidic rabbi and founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement (d. 1810)
April 5 – Domenico Puccini, Italian composer (d. 1815)
April 7 – Charles Fourier, French philosopher (d. 1837)
April 18 – David Ricardo, British economist (d. 1823)
April 30 – Karl Gustav Himly, German surgeon, ophthalmologist (d. 1837)
May 2 – Novalis, German poet (d. 1801)
May 20 – William Congreve, British rocket pioneer (d. 1828)
May 22 – Ram Mohan Roy, Hindu religious and social reformer (d. 1833)
June 7 – Aurora Liljenroth, Swedish scholar (d. 1836)
July 11 – John Rodgers, American naval officer (d. 1838)
August 2 – Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien (d. 1804) August 15 – Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, German inventor (d. 1838)
October 21 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet and philosopher (d. 1834)
October 25 – Géraud Duroc, French general (d. 1813)
November 8 – William Wirt, 9th United States Attorney General (d. 1834)
November 18 – Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, German prince (d. 1806)
date unknown – Tuanku Imam Bonjol, Indonesian religious and military leader (d. 1864) approximate date
Charlotte Dacre, English Gothic novelist (d. 1825) Lalon, Bengali philosopher, Baul saint, mystic, songwriter, social reformer and thinker (d. 1890)
March 29 – Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish philosopher and mathematician (b. 1688)
April 28 – Johann Friedrich Struensee, Danish royal physician (b. 1737)
May 1 – Gottfried Achenwall, German statistician (b. 1719)
May 22 – Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (b. 1687)
June 15 – Louis-Claude Daquin, French composer (b. 1694)
June 22 – François-Vincent Toussaint, French writer most famous for Les Moeurs (The Manners) (b. 1715)
August 31 – William Borlase, English naturalist (b. 1695)
September 30 – James Brindley, British canal builder (b. 1716) October 7 – John Woolman, American Quaker preacher, abolitionist (b. 1720)
October 8 – Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, French violinist, composer (b. 1711)
October 14 – Benjamin Green, Canadian merchant and judge (b. 1713)
October 16 – Ahmad Shah Durrani, Afghan founder of the Durrani Empire (cancer) (b. 1724)
October 19 – Andrea Belli, Maltese architect, businessman (b. 1703)
November 10 – Pedro Antonio Joaquim Correa da Serra Garção, Portuguese poet (b. 1724)
November 18 – Madhavrao I, ruler of India (b. 1745)
November 19 – William Nelson, American colonial governor of Virginia (b. 1711)
December 7 – Martín Sarmiento, Spanish writer, scholar (b. 1695)  Date unknown – Panna Cinka, Hungarian violinist (b. 1711)
Sharma, Yuthika (2012). "From Miniatures to Monuments: Picturing Shah Alam's Delhi (1771-1806)". In Patel, Alka; Leonard, Karen (eds.). Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition. Leiden: Brill. p. 111.
Hening, William Walter. "Hening's Statutes at Large" . Retrieved 2011.
Chambers, George Frederick (1877). . Clarendon Press. p. A Handbook of Descriptive Astronomy 299.
Mathes, W. Michael (1985). "The Camino Real: California's Mission Trail". Pioneer Trails West. Caxton Press. p. 82.
^ "The Revenue Administration of Bengal, 1765-86", by R. B. Ramsbotham, in
The Cambridge History of the British Empire, H. H. Dodwell, ed. (Cambridge University Press Archive, 1929) p413
^ Samuel Fallows,
Samuel Adams: A Character Sketch, with Anecdotes, Characteristics and Chronology (The University Association, 1898) p110
^ Jaswant Lal Mehta,
Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813 (Sterling Publishers, 2005) p510
^ Lewis L. Laska
The Tennessee State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990) p1
Williams, Hywel (2005). . Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. Cassell's Chronology of World History 327. ISBN . 0-304-35730-8
Price, A. Grenfell, ed. (1971). The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific, as Told by Selections of His Own Journals, 1768-1779. Courier Corporation. p. 107.
"Papandayan". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution . Retrieved 2010.
Mellén Blanco, Francisco (1992). "Un diario inédito sobre la presencia española en Tahití (1774-1775)". Revista Española del Pacífico (in Spanish) (2): 109-182 . Retrieved 2019 – via Cervantes Virtual.
^ John T. Alexander,
Catherine the Great: Life and Legend (Oxford University Press, 1989) p159
^ "Anders Sparrman, 1748--1820", in
Oceanographic History: The Pacific and Beyond, ed. by Keith R. Benson and Philip F. Rehbock (University of Washington Press, 2002) p230
Roza, Greg (2009). . The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. pp. The Nitrogen Elements: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Arsenic, Antimony, Bismuth 7-8. ISBN . 978-1-4358-5335-5
Pardo de Guevara y Valdés, Eduardo (October 23, 2002). "Fr. Martín Sarmiento (1695-1772)" (PDF). (in Spanish). DSpace Home Universidade da Coruña: 99 . Retrieved 2019.