Died in 1791

Jan 1 Yakov Knyazhnin Russia's foremost tragic author during the reign of Catherine the Great. Knyazhnin's contemporaries hailed him as the true successor to his father-in-law Alexander Sumarokov, but posterity, in the words of Vladimir Nabokov, tended to view his tragedies and comedies as "awkwardly imitated from more or less worthless French models"
Jan 4 Étienne Maurice Falconet counted among the first rank of French Rococo sculptors, whose patron was Mme de Pompadour.
Jan 11 William Williams Pantycelyn generally acknowledged as Wales' most famous hymn writer. As a writer of both poetry and prose, he is today considered one of the greatest literary figures of Wales. He was, however, equally distinguished in the world of religion, as one of the key leaders of the 18th century Welsh Methodist revival, along with Howell Harris and Daniel Rowland
Jan 28 Georg Christian Oeder a German-Danish botanist, medical doctor, economist and social reformer. His name is particularly associated with the initiation of the plate work Flora Danica
Jan 30 Claude-Carloman de Rulhière a French poet and historian.
Mar 2 John Wesley credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism. His work and writings also played a leading role in the development of the Holiness movement and Pentecostalism
Mar 14 Johann Salomo Semler a German church historian, biblical commentator, and critic of ecclesiastical documents and of the history of dogmas. Sometimes known as "the father of German rationalism"
Apr 2 Honoré Gabriel Riqueti comte de Mirabeau a leader of the early stages of the French revolution. A noble, before 1789 he was involved in numerous scandals that left his reputation in ruins. However during the early years of the French Revolution he rose to the top and became the voice of the people. A successful orator, he was the leader of the moderate position, favoring a constitutional monarchy built on the model of Great Britain. When he died he was a great national hero, even though support for his moderate position was slipping away. The later discovery that starting in 1790 he was in the pay of the king and the Austrian enemies of France caused his disgrace. Historians are deeply split on whether he was a great leader who almost saved the nation from the Terror, or a venal demagogue lacking political or moral values, or a traitor in the pay of the enemy
Apr 3 John Berkenhout an English physician, naturalist and miscellaneous writer.
Apr 15 Alexander Garden (naturalist) a Scottish physician, botanist and zoologist. The gardenia flower is named after him. He lived for many years in Charleston, South Carolina, using his spare time to study plants and living creatures, and sending specimens to Carolus Linnaeus
Apr 19 Richard Price a Welsh moral philosopher and nonconformist preacher. He was also a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution. He was well-connected and fostered communication between a large number of people, including Founding Fathers of the United States
May 9 Francis Hopkinson one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania. He played a key role in the design of the first American flag
May 14 Francesca Lebrun a noted 18th-century German singer and composer.
May 22 Johan Andreas Murray a Swedish physician of German descent and botanist who published a major work on plant-derived medicines.
Jun 5 Frederick Haldimand a military officer best known for his service in the British Army in North America during the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War. From 1778 to 1786 he served as Governor of the Province of Quebec, during which time he oversaw military operations against the northern frontiers in the war, and engaged in ultimately fruitless negotiations to establish the independent Vermont Republic as a new British province. His administration of Quebec was at times harsh, with the detention of numerous political dissidents and agitators
Jun 10 Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte a French admiral.
Jun 12 Francis Grose an English antiquary, draughtsman, and lexicographer. He was born at his father's house in Broad Street, St-Peter-le-Poer, London, son of a Swiss immigrant and jeweller, Francis Jacob Grose , and his wife, Anne , daughter of Thomas Bennett of Greenford in Middlesex. Grose was baptized on 11 June 1731 in the parish of St Peter-le-Poer
Jun 17 Selina Hastings Countess of Huntingdon an English religious leader who played a prominent part in the religious revival of the 18th century and the Methodist movement in England and Wales, and has left a Christian denomination in England and in Sierra Leone in Africa.
Jul 2 Søren Abildgaard a Danish naturalist, writer and illustrator. He was born in Flekkefjord in Norway and died in Copenhagen in Denmark
Jul 9 Jacques-Nicolas Tardieu a French engraver.
Jul 14 Joseph Gaertner a German botanist, best known for his work on seeds, De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum.
Jul 17 Martin Dobrizhoffer an Austrian Roman Catholic missionary and writer.
Jul 24 Ignaz von Born a mineralogist and metallurgist. He was a prominent Free Mason, head of Vienna's Illuminati lodge and an influential anti-clerical writer. He was the leading scientist in the Holy Roman Empire during the 1770s in the age of Enlightenment
Jul 25 Isaac Low an American merchant in New York City.
Aug 23 Jeanne of Valois-Saint-Rémy dubious. She herself was an impoverished descendant of the Valois royal family through an illegitimate son of King Henry She is known for her prominent role in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, one of many scandals that led to the French Revolution and destroyed the monarchy of France
Aug 25 Pietro Domenico Paradisi an Italian composer, harpsichordist and harpsichord teacher, most prominently known for a composition popularly entitled "Toccata in A".
Aug 26 José Iglesias de la Casa a Spanish priest and poet. He pursued his studies at the University of Salamanca, and in 1783 took Holy orders at Madrid. During his lifetime he published two minor poems, "La niñez Laureada" , and "La Teclogia". Before producing these he had composed his really important poems, which are chiefly satirical and epigrammatical in their nature. In fact, as a satirist he is to be ranked only lower than Francisco de Quevedo. Certain portions of his satirical lyrics provided offense to the authorities, and the 1798 edition of them was put on the Index by the Inquisition. The necessity of this action was denied by some of his warm friends. Among the better-known editions of his works are those of Barcelona , of Paris , and of Madrid. They are most readily accessible in the "Biblioteca de autores Españoles", vol. LXI, which contains about 38 letrillas—in the composition of which he excelled—besides a numbers of satires, epigrams, odes, anacreontics, ecologues, etc. Not long since, some of his unedited poems were published by Foulche-Delbosc, in the "Revue Hispanique", vol. II
Sep 17 Tomás de Iriarte y Oropesa a Spanish neoclassical poet.
Sep 23 Carl von Gontard a German architect; he worked primarily in Berlin, Potsdam, and Bayreuth.
Sep 25 William Bradford (American Revolutionary printer) a printer, soldier, and leader during the American Revolution from Philadelphia.
Oct 10 Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart a German poet, born at Obersontheim in Swabia.
Oct 11 Giovanni Salvemini an Italian mathematician and astronomer.
Oct 16 Grigory Potemkin a Russian military leader, statesman, nobleman and favorite of Catherine the Great. He died during negotiations over the Treaty of Jassy, which ended a war with the Ottoman Empire that he had overseen
Oct 22 Jacob Vernes a Swiss theologian and Protestant pastor in Geneva, famous for his correspondence with Voltaire and Rousseau.
Nov 30 James Bruce (1732–1791) a Russian general. He was a grandson of Lieutenant General Robert Bruce and great-nephew of Jacob Bruce. His father was Lieutenant Colonel Count Alexander Bruce, Ekaterina Alekseyevna Dolgorukova was his stepmother. James Bruce married Praskovia Rumiantseva, sister of General Pyotr Rumyantsev. Praskovia was a lady-in-waiting and friend of Catherine the Great. These connections greatly helped the career of James Bruce. In 1774, he became Commander of the Finland Division
Dec 5 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.
Dec 10 Jacob Frank an 18th-century Jewish religious leader who claimed to be the reincarnation of the self-proclaimed messiah Sabbatai Zevi and also of the biblical patriarch Jacob. The Jewish authorities in Poland excommunicated Frank and his followers due to his heretical doctrines that included deification of himself as a part of a trinity and other controversial concepts such as neo-Carpocratian "purification through transgression"
Dec 12 Etteilla the French occultist who was the first to popularise tarot divination to a wide audience , and therefore the first professional tarot occultist known to history who made his living by card divination. Etteilla published his ideas of the correspondences between the tarot, astrology, and the four classical elements and four humors, and was the first to issue a revised tarot deck specifically designed for occult purposes