1772 (MDCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1772nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 772nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 72nd year of the 18th century, and the 3rd year of the 1770s decade. As of the start of 1772, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- April 8 – Massachusetts legislator Samuel Adams persuades his colleagues to approve his plan for creating a Committee of Correspondence to begin a dialogue with the other American colonies concerning mutual problems with the United Kingdom.  
- April 13 – Warren Hastings begins his service for the British East India Company as Governor of Bengal, arriving at the company's headquarters at Fort William, outside of Calcutta, and including what are now parts of northeast India and Bangladesh.  Hastings serves for two years, then later becomes Governor-General of India.
- May 8 – The Watauga Association Compact is signed in what is now East Tennessee by a group of white settlers led by William Bean, creating the first non-colonial government body in British North America. 
- June 9 – Gaspee Affair: In an act of defiance against the British Navigation Acts, American patriots, led by Abraham Whipple, attack and burn the British customs schooner HMS Gaspee off of Rhode Island.
- June 10 – The Credit crisis of 1772 is triggered when, following the flight of their partner Alexander Fordyce to France, the London banking house of Neal, James, Fordyce and Down (which has been speculating in East India Company stock) suspends payment. The resultant panic causes other banks, particularly in Scotland, to fail, extends to Amsterdam and the Thirteen Colonies of British North America, and threatens the East India Company with bankruptcy.
- June 22 – Somersett's Case: Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, delivers the decision that leads to the end of slavery in England.
- January 20 – Angélique Brûlon, French soldier, first female Knight of the French Legion of Honour (d. 1859)
- January 30 – Godfrey Higgins, British archaeologist (d. 1833)
- February 24 – William H. Crawford, American politician, judge (d. 1834)
- March 10 – Friedrich von Schlegel, German poet (d. 1829)
- March 15 – József Ficzkó, Burgenland Croatian writer (d. 1843)
- April 4 – Nachman of Breslov, Hasidic rabbi and founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement (d. 1810)
- April 5 – Domenico Puccini, Italian composer (d. 1815)
- April 7 – Charles Fourier, French philosopher (d. 1837)
- April 18 – David Ricardo, British economist (d. 1823)
- April 30 – Karl Gustav Himly, German surgeon, ophthalmologist (d. 1837)
- May 2 – Novalis, German poet (d. 1801)
- May 20 – William Congreve, British rocket pioneer (d. 1828)
- May 22 – Ram Mohan Roy, Hindu religious and social reformer (d. 1833)
- June 7 – Aurora Liljenroth, Swedish scholar (d. 1836)
- July 11 – John Rodgers, American naval officer (d. 1838)
- August 2 – Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien (d. 1804)
- August 15 – Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, German inventor (d. 1838)
- October 8 – Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, French violinist, composer (b. 1711)
- October 16 – Ahmad Shah Durrani, Afghan founder of the Durrani Empire (cancer) (b. 1724)
- October 19 – Andrea Belli, Maltese architect, businessman (b. 1703)
- November 10 – Pedro Antonio Joaquim Correa da Serra Garção, Portuguese poet (b. 1724)
- November 18 – Madhavrao I, ruler of India (b. 1745)
- November 19 – William Nelson, American colonial governor of Virginia (b. 1711)
- December 7 – Martín Sarmiento, Spanish writer, scholar (b. 1695)
- Date unknown – Panna Cinka, Hungarian violinist (b. 1711)
- ^ "From Miniatures to Monuments: Picturing Shah Alam's Delhi (1771-1806), by Yuthika Sharma in Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition, ed. by Alka Patel and Karen Leonard (BRILL, 2012) p111
- ^ William Walter Hening. "Hening's Statutes at Large". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- ^ George Frederick Chambers, A Handbook of Descriptive Astronomy (Clarendon Press, 1877) p299
- ^ "The Camino Real: California's Mission Trail", by W. Michael Mathes, in Pioneer Trails West (Caxton Press, 1985) p82
- ^ "The Revenue Administration of Bengal, 1765-86", by R. B. Ramsbotham, in The Cambridge History of the British Empire, H. H. Dodwell, ed. (Cambridge University Press Archive, 1929) p413
- ^ Samuel Fallows, Samuel Adams: A Character Sketch, with Anecdotes, Characteristics and Chronology (The University Association, 1898) p110
- ^ Jaswant Lal Mehta, Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813 (Sterling Publishers, 2005) p510
- ^ Lewis L. LaskaThe Tennessee State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990) p1
- ^ Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 327. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- ^ A. Grenfell Price, ed., The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific, as Told by Selections of His Own Journals, 1768-1779 (Courier Corporation, 1971) p107
- ^ "Papandayan". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- ^ John T. Alexander, Catherine the Great: Life and Legend (Oxford University Press, 1989) p159
- ^ "Anders Sparrman, 1748—1820", in Oceanographic History: The Pacific and Beyond, ed. by Keith R. Benson and Philip F. Rehbock (University of Washington Press, 2002) p230
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