1761 The

Gold State Coach

 is built for George III.

The English architect Sir William Chambers

 builds the pagoda in Kew Gardens in 1762.

1766  John Spilsbury (1739-1769), a young geography teacher in London, pastes a map of the world on a board and cuts out the countries, producing (literally) the world’s first jigsaw puzzle. He goes on to make puzzles of Great Britain and the continents. One of his

maps of Europe can be seen at York Castle Museum.

1761 The Reverend Francis Fawkes (1721-1777) writes "The Brown Jug", the tale of a potter who finds the decayed body of a heavy drinker called Toby Fillpot and makes a beer jug out of his ashes! The following year an enterprising English potter from Staffordshire named Ralph Wood (1715-1772) cashes in on the idea and makes the first ….. Toby Jug.

From around 1763 pit ponies are used down the coal mines for the first time.

1764 The French architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel (1698-1782) completes Le Petit Trianon, a small palace in the grounds of Versailles for Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. He later designed La Place de la Concorde in Paris (1772).

1765  Potatoes becomes the most

                   popular food in Europe.

False teeth

come into use

around 1770.

In 1770 an opal nearly 3000 carats is found

in Hungary.

In 1775 work is completed on the Royal Crescent in Bath, England, designed by the English architect James Wood the Younger.

The first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is published in 1771.

1778 marks the opening of the La Scala opera house in Milan. It was built by Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria on the site of the church Santa Maria della Scala - hence its name. The della Scala family were once the rulers of Verona.

In 1779 Pope Pius VI finances a scheme to drain the Pontine Marshes south-east of Rome. Like a number of Roman emperors and popes before him, he fails. The work is eventually accomplished by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his Fascist government in the 1930s.


A newspaper publisher Robert Raikes (1736-1811) opens the first Sunday School in Gloucester, England, to provide basic religious education for children. The idea took off. By his death half a million children in the British Isles were attending these schools. Later the movement spread to the continent and North America.  Among the supporters of the movement were Adam Smith and John Wesley.


The screwdriver is invented around 1780.

The last execution takes place at Tyburn in 1783. Known as

the “King’s Gallows” or “ Tyburn Tree”, Tyburn was situated

near to present-day Marble Arch in London. The first hanging

took place in 1196, and most were for sedition or treason.

Incidentally, Tyburn gave rise to two popular sayings. On the way to the gallows a stop was made at an ale house to let the condemned man have his last drink – “one for the road”. One of the guards had to stay outside and look after the wagon. He didn’t have a drink because he was “on the wagon”!


Le Petit Trianon: date and photographer unknown. Licensed under Creative Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org. Royal Crescent: 18th century, artist unknown – http://www.unique hotels.com/the-royal-crescent.