1768 (MDCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1768th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 768th year of the 2nd millennium, the 68th year of the 18th century, and the 9th year of the 1760s decade. As of the start of 1768, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
|Ab urbe condita||2521|
|Balinese saka calendar||1689–1690|
|British Regnal year||8 Geo. 3 – 9 Geo. 3|
|Chinese calendar||丁亥年 (Fire Pig)|
4464 or 4404
— to —
戊子年 (Earth Rat)
4465 or 4405
|- Vikram Samvat||1824–1825|
|- Shaka Samvat||1689–1690|
|- Kali Yuga||4868–4869|
|Japanese calendar||Meiwa 5|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 11 days|
|Minguo calendar||144 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||2310–2311|
1894 or 1513 or 741
— to —
1895 or 1514 or 742
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1768.|
- January 9 – Philip Astley stages the first modern circus, with acrobats on galloping horses, in London.
- February 11 – Samuel Adams's circular letter is issued by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and sent to the other Thirteen Colonies. Refusal to revoke the letter will result in dissolution of the Massachusetts Assembly, and (from October) incur the institution of martial law to prevent civil unrest.
- February 24 – With Russian troops occupying the nation, opposition legislators of the national legislature having been deported, the government of Poland signs a treaty virtually turning the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth into a protectorate of the Russian Empire.
- February 27 – The first Secretary of State for the Colonies is appointed in Britain, the Earl of Hillsborough.
- February 29 – Five days after the signing of the treaty, a group of the szlachta, Polish nobles, establishes the Bar Confederation, to defend the internal and external independence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian influence, and against King Stanisław II Augustus.
- March 1 – King Louis XV of France decrees that all cities and towns in the kingdom will be required to post house numbering on all residential buildings, primarily to facilitate the forced quartering of troops in citizens' homes.
- March 17
- Britain's Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Sir William Johnson, concludes a peace agreement with the leaders of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribal nations) of the northern American lands, and with Chiefs Oconostota and Attakullakulla of the Cherokee nation in the southern American lands.
- Prithvi Singh begins a reign of 10 years as the new Raja of Jaipur (part of the modern-day Indian state of Rajasthan), 12 days after the death of Madho Singh.
- March 27 – Catherine the Great of Russia dispatches troops under General Pyotr Krechetnikov to intervene in a civil war in Poland, at the request of Poland's King Stanisław II Augustus, a move that will ultimately lead to the Partitions of Poland.
- April 4 – The Cotopaxi volcano erupts in what is now Ecuador, at the time part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, covering the towns of Hambato and Tacunga with ash, but not causing fatalities.
- April 5 – The New York Chamber of Commerce, first of its kind in the American colonies, is founded by 20 New York merchants at Bolton and Sigel's Tavern at 54 Pearl Street in New York City. Former New York City mayor John Cruger Jr. is elected the Chamber's first president.
- May 10 – Massacre of St George's Fields: John Wilkes is imprisoned for writing an article for The North Briton, severely criticizing King George III of Great Britain. This action provokes protesters to riot; in the Southwark district of London, troops fire on the mob, killing seven.
- May 15 – After the Treaty of Versailles, the island of Corsica is ceded by Genoa to France.
- June 14 – The largest mass meeting ever held in New England, up to this time, takes place at the Old South Church to support a petition demanding that the British remove a ship which has been hindering navigation in Boston Harbor.
- June 20 – Russo-Turkish War (1768–74): Russia captures the fortress of Bar.
- July 1–3 – Louis Antoine de Bougainville, on his circumnavigation westabout, sails through the Bougainville Strait and along the north shore of Bougainville Island in the Solomons.
- July 14 – The massacre of Polish people at the village of Balta, now a part of Ukraine but at the time an Ottoman Empire town on the frontier with Poland, leads to the Russo-Turkish War.
- July 18 – "The Liberty Song", the first American patriotic song, is published in the Boston Gazette and includes the refrain "In freedom we're born". <Carruth/>
- July 25 – The Imperial Court of China's Emperor Qianlong and his three senior grand councilors, Fuheng, Yenjisan and Liu T'ung-hsun, issues a directive to officials in the Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces warning them about the need to respond to rumors of sorcery.
- August 7 – The palace of the Ottoman Grand Vizier is destroyed by a fire in Constantinople 
- August 26 – James Cook departs from Plymouth aboard HMS Endeavour on his first voyage of discovery.
- August 27 – Almost all merchants and traders in the British colony of New York sign a pact not to import British manufactured goods as long as the Townshend Acts are in effect, nor to do business with nonassociators to the pact.
- August 30 – A fire burns much of the Library of the Vatican.
- September 16 – Louis XV of France appoints René de Maupeou as Chancellor (an office he will hold until 1790), and orders him to crush the judicial opposition.
- September 22–29 – The Massachusetts Convention of Towns, assembling in Boston, resolves on a written objection to the impending arrival of British troops rather than more militant action but causes panic in London.
- October 1 – The British Army's 29th Infantry Regiment of foot soldiers, which will carry out the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, arrives in Boston Harbor along with three other regiments. The 700 foot soldiers march through the Massachusetts colony's capital as a show of force and begin their occupation. Within a year, there will be "nearly 4,000 armed redcoats in the crowded seaport of 15,000 inhabitants." 
- October 4 – The Sultan Mustafa III of the Ottoman Empire begins the Russo-Turkish War after the Russians refuse to withdraw troops from Poland.
- October 14 – William Pitt resigns from his position as Prime Minister of Great Britain.
- October 15 – A powerful hurricane sweeps across Cuba during the Festival of Santa Teresa, killing hundreds of people. Spain's King Carlos III begins a precedent of ordering the colonial government to fund disaster relief, a task previously left to the Catholic Church.
- October 17 – Representatives of the Cherokee nation sign the Treaty of Hard Labour with British representative John Stuart and relinquish all claims to the land between the Ohio River and the Allegheny Mountains, now the United States state of West Virginia.
- October 29 – French colonists in Louisiana refuse to accept the colony's acquisition by Spain and begin an uprising that forces Spanish Governor Antonio de Ulloa to flee.
- November 5 – The Treaty of Fort Stanwix is signed between the five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca) relinquishing their claims to territory south of the Ohio River to the British.
- December 1 – The slave ship Fredensborg sinks off Tromøya, Norway.
- December 10
- December 15 – The king's refusal to sign state documents results in the December Crisis (1768) in Sweden.
- December 21 – King Prithvi Narayan Shah unifies several small kingdoms to establish modern-day Nepal; this kingdom will collapse in 2008.
- December 28 – Taksin is crowned as ruler of the Thonburi Kingdom in Thailand (through conquest), and establishes Thonburi as its capital.
- The Petit Trianon, originally designed for Madame de Pompadour, is completed in the park of the Palace of Versailles, and inaugurated by Louis XV of France.
- New Smyrna, Florida, the largest attempt at colonization by the British in the New World, is founded by Dr. Andrew Turnbull.
- The Steller's sea cow, discovered on Bering Island in 1741, is driven to extinction.
- The Complete Farmer: Or, a General Dictionary of Husbandry, written by "A Society of Gentlemen", a group of members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts in Britain, concludes publication in weekly numbers and is first published in book form.
- January 1 – Maria Edgeworth, Irish novelist (d. 1849)
- January 7 – Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples and Spain (d. 1844)
- January 17 – Smith Thompson, American politician, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (d. 1843)
- January 28 – King Frederick VI of Denmark (d. 1839)
- February 12 – Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1835)
- February 13 – Édouard Mortier, Duke of Trévise, French marshal (d. 1835)
- March – Tecumseh, Native American (Shawnee) chief (d. 1813)
- March 21 – Joseph Fourier, French mathematician, physicist (d. 1830)
- March 22 – Melesina Trench, Irish born writer and socialite (d. 1827)
- May 3 – Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist, industrialist (d. 1838)
- May 17
- May 20 – Dolley Madison, First Lady of the United States (d. 1849)
- June 9 – Samuel Slater, American industrialist (d. 1835)
- June 20 – William Findlay, American politician (d. 1846)
- June 24 – Lazare Hoche, French general (d. 1797)
- June 29 – Vincenzo Dimech, Maltese sculptor (d. 1831)
- June 30 – Elizabeth Monroe, First Lady of the United States (d. 1830)
- July 4 – Adam Karl August von Eschenmayer, German philosopher (d. 1852)
- July 20 – Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova, Russian serf, actress and opera soprano (d. 1803)
- July 27 – Charlotte Corday, French murderer of Jean-Paul Marat (d. 1793)
- August 6 – Jean-Baptiste Bessières, French marshal (d. 1813)
- September 4 – François-René de Chateaubriand, French writer, diplomat (d. 1848)
- September 23 – William Wallace, Scottish Mathematician (d. 1843)
- September 28 – Pauline Léon, French feminist, radical (d. 1838)
- October 2 – William Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician (d. 1854)
- October 6 – Josef Madersperger, Austrian tailor, inventor and sewing machine pioneer (d. 1850)
- October 31 – María Isidra de Guzmán y de la Cerda, Spanish scholar (b. 1803)
- November 3 – Karađorđe Petrović, leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire, founder of the Serbian Karađorđević dynasty (d. 1817)
- November 18
- November 21 – Friedrich Schleiermacher, German theologian (d. 1834)
- date unknown – Marie-Jeanne de Lalande, French astronomer, mathematician (d. 1832)
- January 20 – Sir Walter Bagot, 5th Baronet (b. 1702)
- February 1 – Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet, British cavalry officer (b. 1685)
- February 2 – Robert Smith, English mathematician (b. 1689)
- February 8 – George Dance the Elder, British architect (b. 1695)
- February 17 – Arthur Onslow, English politician (b. 1691)
- February 29 – John Mitchell, colonial American physician and botanist (b. 1711)
- March 1 – Hermann Samuel Reimarus, German philosopher, writer (b. 1694)
- March 3
- March 11 – Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, Italian architect (b. 1702)
- March 18 – Laurence Sterne, Irish writer (b. 1713)
- April 9 – Sarah Fielding, English writer (b. 1710)
- April 19 – Canaletto, Italian artist (b. 1697)
- April 29 – Georg Brandt, Swedish chemist, mineralogist (b. 1694)
- May 30 – Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, British earl and politician (b. 1715)
- June 8 – Johann Joachim Winckelmann, German classical scholar, archaeologist (b. 1717)
- June 15 – James Short, Scottish mathematician (b. 1710)
- June 19 – Benjamin Tasker, Provincial Governor of Maryland (b. 1690)
- June 28 – George Hadley, English lawyer and amateur meteorologist (b. 1685)
- July 6 – Conrad Beissel, German-born American religious leader (b. 1691)
- July 11 – José de Nebra, Spanish composer (b. 1702)
- July 24 – Nathaniel Lardner, English theologian (b. 1684)
- August 3 – Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1693)
- August 17 – Vasily Trediakovsky, Russian poet (b. 1703)
- September 2 – Antoine Deparcieux, French mathematician (b. 1703)
- September 11 – Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, French astronomer (b. 1688)
- October 1 – Robert Simson, Scottish mathematician (b. 1687)
- October 8 – Pierre Simon Fournier, French typographer (b. 1712)
- October 17 – Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (b. 1691)
- October 28 – Michel Blavet, French flutist (b. 1700)
- October 31 – Francesco Maria Veracini, Italian composer (b. 1690)
- November 14 – John Bristow, English merchant, politician (b. 1701)
- November 16 – Hans von Lehwaldt, German general (b. 1685)
- November 17 – Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1693)
- December 8 – Jean Denis Attiret, French Jesuit missionary, painter (b. 1702)
- December 14 – Ulla Tessin, Swedish countess (b. 1711)
- December 20 – Carlo Innocenzo Frugoni, Italian poet (b. 1692)
- date unknown – Elsie Marley, English alewife (b. 1713)
- Norwood Young, The Life of Frederick the Great (Henry Holt and Co., 1919) p386
- Brian Davies, Empire and Military Revolution in Eastern Europe: Russia's Turkish Wars in the Eighteenth Century (A&C Black, 2011)
- "Indexing the Great Ledger of the Community: Urban House Numbering, City Directories, and the Production of Spatial Legibility", by Reuben S. Rose-Redwood, in Critical Toponymies: The Contested Politics of Place Naming, ed. by Lawrence D. Berg and Jani Vuolteenaho (Ashgate Publishing, 2009) p199
- Jace Weaver, The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000-1927 (University of North Carolina Press Books, 2014) p164
- Sailendra Nath Sen, Anglo-Maratha Relations, 1785-96 (Popular Prakashan, 1995) p126
- Alexander von Humboldt, Pictureque Atlas of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continet reprinted by Cambridge University Press, 1814, reprinted 2011) p119
- Gordon Carruth, ed., The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates, 3rd Edition (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1962) pp76-79
- "St. George's Field Riot". Spartacus. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Dunmore, John, ed. (2002). The Pacific Journal of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, 1767-1768. London: Hakluyt Society. ISBN 0-904180-78-6.
- Walter K. Kelly, The History of Russia: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time (H. G. Bohn, 1855) p47
- Philip A. Kuhn, Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768 (Harvard University Press, 2009) p78
- "Fires, Great", in The Insurance Cyclopeadia: Being an Historical Treasury of Events and Circumstances Connected with the Origin and Progress of Insurance, Cornelius Walford, ed. (C. and E. Layton, 1876) p56
- "Cook's Journal: Daily Entries, 26 August 1768". Archived from the original on September 23, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Jerrilyn Greene Marston, King and Congress: The Transfer of Political Legitimacy, 1774-1776 (Princeton University Press, 2014) p106
- John K. Alexander, Samuel Adams: America's Revolutionary Politician (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) p65
- Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution: A History (Random House, 2002)
- Virginia H. Aksan, An Ottoman Statesman in War and Peace: Ahmed Resmi Efendi, 1700-1783 (E.J. Brill, 1995) p100
- "Pitt, William", by G. F. Russell Barker, in Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 45 (Smith, Elder, & Company, 1896) p232
- Sherry Johnson, Climate and Catastrophe in Cuba and the Atlantic World in the Age of Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) p83
- Charles Royce, The Cherokee Nation (Routledge, 2017)
- Charles E. Gayarré, History of Louisiana: The French Domination (F. F. Hansell, 1903, reprinted by Pelican Publishing, 1972) p308
- "Fort Stanwix, Treaty at", in Harper's Popular Cyclopedia of United States History, ed. by Benson J. Lossing (Harper & Brothers, 1893) p519
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Joseph Bonaparte | king of Spain and Naples". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 25, 2019.