January 1731 in history

Born in January 1731

Jan 4 Karl Abraham Zedlitz a Prussian minister of education who was instrumental in establishing mandatory education in Prussia, which served as a model for the public education system in the United States.
Jan 12 William Hamilton (diplomat) a Scottish diplomat, antiquarian, archaeologist and vulcanologist. After a short period as a Member of Parliament, he served as British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples from 1764 to 1800. He studied the volcanoes Vesuvius and Etna, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society and recipient of the Copley Medal
Jan 13 Carl von Gontard a German architect; he worked primarily in Berlin, Potsdam, and Bayreuth.
Jan 27 Pierre Joseph Buchoz a French physician, lawyer and naturalist.

Died in January 1731

Jan 6 Étienne François Geoffroy a French physician and chemist, best known for his 1718 affinity tables. He first contemplated a career as an apothecary, but then decided to practice medicine. He is sometimes known as Geoffroy the Elder
Jan 20 Antonio Farnese Duke of Parma the eighth and final Farnese Duke of Parma and Piacenza. He married, in 1727, Enrichetta d'Este of Modena with the intention of begetting an heir; the marriage, however, was childless, leading to the succession of Charles of Spain–whose mother, Elisabeth Farnese, was Antonio's niece–to the ducal throne
Jan 21 Thomas Hollis (1659–1731) a wealthy English merchant and benefactor of Harvard University. In 1721, he established the Hollis Chair of Divinity at Harvard, with a salary of £80 per year. In 1726, he also endowed the Hollis Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy with the same amount. The town of Holliston, Massachusetts is named for him
Jan 27 Bartolomeo Cristofori an Italian maker of musical instruments, generally regarded as the inventor of the piano.