Died in 1779

Jan 3 Claude Bourgelat a French veterinary surgeon.
Jan 20 David Garrick an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III audiences and managers began to take notice
Jan 22 Claudius Smith a notorious Loyalist guerrilla leader during the American Revolution. He led a band of irregulars who were known locally as the 'cowboys'
Jan 26 Thomas Hudson (painter) an English portrait painter.
Feb 3 Louis de Jaucourt a French scholar and the most prolific contributor to the Encyclopédie. He wrote about 18,000 articles on subjects including physiology, chemistry, botany, pathology, and political history, or about 25% of the entire encyclopedia, all done voluntarily. In the generations after the Encyclopédie's, mainly due to his aristocratic background, his legacy was largely overshadowed by the more bohemian Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, but by the mid-20th century more scholarly attention was being paid to him
Feb 4 John Hamilton Mortimer a British figure and landscape painter and printmaker, known for romantic paintings set in Italy, works depicting conversations, and works drawn in the 1770s portraying war scenes, similar to those of Salvator Rosa.
Feb 7 William Boyce (composer) widely regarded as one of the most important English-born composers of the 18th century.
Feb 14 James Cook a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand
Feb 24 Paul Daniel Longolius the main editor of volumes 3 through 18 of Johann Heinrich Zedler's Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon from 1733 to 1739, replacing Jacob August Franckenstein, who had edited the first two volumes. His successor was Carl Günther Ludovici
Feb 27 Johann Georg Sulzer a Swiss professor of Mathematics, who later on moved on to the field of electricity. He was a Wolffian philosopher and director of the philosophical section of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and translator of David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals into German in 1755
Feb 28 Adriaan van Royen a Dutch botanist. He was a professor at Leiden University and is associated with Carl Linnaeus
Mar 4 Heinrich Leopold Wagner a German dramatist.
Mar 30 Grigory Teplov a Russian academic administrator of lowly birth who managed the Petersburg Academy of Sciences and wielded influence over Little Russia in his capacity as the secretary and advisor to Kirill Razumovsky. He was also an amateur musician and printed in 1751 the collection of his songs entitled Idle Hours Away from Work
Apr 6 Tommaso Traetta an Italian composer.
Apr 11 Joseph de Jussieu a French botanist and explorer, member of the Jussieu family. He introduced the common garden heliotrope to European gardeners
Apr 24 Eleazar Wheelock an American Congregational minister, orator, and educator in Lebanon, Connecticut, for 35 years before founding Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He had tutored Samson Occom, a Mohegan who became a Presbyterian minister and the first Native American to publish writings in English. Before founding Dartmouth, Wheelock had founded and run the Moor's Charity School in Connecticut to educate Native Americans. The college was primarily for the sons of English colonists
May 3 John Winthrop (educator) the 2nd Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Harvard College. He was a distinguished mathematician, physicist and astronomer, born in Boston, Mass. His great-great-grandfather, also named John Winthrop, was founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He graduated in 1732 from Harvard, where, from 1738 until his death he served as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. Professor Winthrop was one of the foremost men of science in America during the 18th century, and his impact on its early advance in New England was particularly significant. Both Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Thompson probably owed much of their early interest in scientific research to his influence. He also had a decisive influence in the early philosophical education of John Adams, during the latter's time at Harvard. He corresponded regularly with the Royal Society in London—as such, one of the first American intellectuals of his time to be taken seriously in Europe. He was noted for attempting to explain the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 as a scientific—rather than religious—phenomenon, and his application of mathematical computations to earthquake activity following the great quake has formed the basis of the claim made on his behalf as the founder of the science of seismology. Additionally, he observed the transits of Mercury in 1740 and 1761 and journeyed to Newfoundland to observe a transit of Venus. He traveled in a ship provided by the Province of Massachusetts - probably the first scientific expedition ever sent out by any incipient American state
May 11 John Hart (New Jersey politician) public official and politician in colonial New Jersey who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and also signed Declaration of Independence.
Jun 7 William Warburton an English writer, literary critic and churchman, Bishop of Gloucester from 1759 until his death. He edited editions of the works of his friend Alexander Pope, and of William Shakespeare
Jun 16 Sir Francis Bernard 1st Baronet a British colonial administrator who served as governor of the provinces of New Jersey and Massachusetts Bay. His uncompromising policies and harsh tactics in Massachusetts angered the colonists and were instrumental in the building of broad-based opposition within the province to the rule of Parliament in the events leading to the American Revolution
Jun 21 Michael Adelbulner a German mathematician, physicist, physician, and astronomer. He was born at Nürnberg and died in Altdorf bei Nürnberg
Jun 23 Mikael Sehul a Ras or governor of Tigray 1748–71 and again from 1772 until his death. He was a major political figure during the reign of Emperor Iyasu II and his successors until almost the time of his death
Jun 29 Anton Raphael Mengs a German Bohemian painter, active in Rome, Madrid and Saxony, who became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting.
Aug 22 Charles Clerke an officer in the Royal Navy who sailed on four voyages of exploration, 3 with Captain James Cook. When Cook was killed during his 3rd expedition to the Pacific, Clerke took command but died later in the voyage from tuberculosis
Aug 24 Cosmas of Aetolia a monk in the Greek Orthodox Church and an important figure in the Greek Enlightenment.
Sep 12 Richard Grenville-Temple 2nd Earl Temple a British politician. He is best known for his association with his brother-in-law William Pitt who he served with in government during Britain's participation in the Seven Years War between 1756 and 1761. He resigned along with Pitt in protest at the cabinet's failure to declare war on Spain
Oct 1 Jeremiah Dixon best known for his work with Charles Mason, from 1763 to 1767, in determining what was later called the Mason-Dixon line.
Oct 11 Casimir Pulaski a Polish noblemanb, soldier and military commander who has been called "the father of the American cavalry".
Oct 18 Patrick d'Arcy born in the west of Ireland. His family, who were Catholics, suffered under the penal laws. In 1739 d'Arcy was sent abroad by his parents to an uncle in Paris. He was tutored in mathematics by Jean-Baptiste Clairaut, and became a friend of Jean-Baptiste's son, Alexis-Claude Clairaut, , who was a brilliant young mathematician. d'Arcy made original contributions to dynamics. He is best known for his part in the discovery of the principle of angular momentum, in a form which was known as "the principle of areas," which he announced in 1746. See the article on areal velocity. d'Arcy also had an illustrious military career in the French army. He obtained the title of "Count" in the French nobility. He was a generous patron of Irish refugees in France. In addition to his contributions to dynamics, he performed research on artillery and on electricity. An experiment of his, reported in 1765, on visual perception is often referred to: it involved a rotating disk on which a burning coal was placed; when the disk was spun at an angular velocity exceeding seven revolutions per second, a full circle of light was perceived. d'Arcy was elected to the Academie Royale des Sciences in 1749. He died from cholera in Paris in October 1779
Nov 16 Pehr Kalm a Swedish-Finnish explorer, botanist, naturalist, and agricultural economist. He was one of the most important apostles of Carl Linnaeus
Nov 25 Dom Bédos de Celles a Benedictine monk best known for being a master pipe organ builder.
Nov 28 Wilhelm Sebastian von Belling a Prussian Hussar general under Frederick the Great.
Dec 5 Hermann Anton Gelinek a German monk and musician.
Dec 6 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities. Carefully balanced composition, soft diffusion of light, and granular impasto characterize his work
Dec 8 Nathan Alcock an English physician.
Dec 11 Alessandro Albani a leading collector of antiquities in Rome and a commissioner of works of art. He supported the art historian, Johann Joachim Winckelmann and commissioned paintings from Anton Raphael Mengs. As a Roman Catholic cardinal he furthered the interests of the governments of Austria, Savoy and Britain against those of France and Spain
Dec 16 Emperor Go-Momozono the 118th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
Dec 23 Augustus Hervey 3rd Earl of Bristol a British admiral and politician.
Dec 28 Gennaro Manna an Italian composer based in Naples. His compositional output includes 13 operas and more than 150 sacred works, including several oratorios. See Italian Wikipedia
Dec 31 Johann Friedrich Cotta (theologian) a German theologian.