1708 in Great Britain
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Events from the year 1708 in Great Britain.
- Monarch - Anne
- 13 February - Robert Harley is dismissed from his position as Secretary of State for the Northern Department and Robert Walpole becomes Secretary at War.
- 11 March - Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation.
- 23 March - James Francis Edward Stuart unsuccessfully tries to land at the Firth of Forth with a French fleet.
- 30 April–7 July - General election held to return members to serve in the House of Commons of the second Parliament of Great Britain, the first after the merger of the Parliaments of England and Scotland in 1707. The election results in a victory for the Whigs.
- 1 May - The Privy Councils of England and Scotland are merged into the Privy Council of Great Britain.
- 11 July - War of the Spanish Succession: allied victory under the commander John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough against the French at the Battle of Oudenarde.
- 14 July - Joseph Trapp becomes first Oxford Professor of Poetry.
- 18 August - War of the Spanish Succession: Capture of Minorca by British forces.
- 12 October - War of the Spanish Succession: British forces capture Lille after a two-month siege, although the citadel continues to hold out for another six weeks.
- 26 October - Completion of the construction of the new St Paul's Cathedral in London.
- Wilbury House in Wiltshire, designed by William Benson, is completed.
- The second Eddystone Lighthouse, erected by John Rudyerd, is first illuminated.
- Edward Lhuyd becomes a Fellow of the Royal Society.
- The orchestra thundersheet is invented by John Dennis.
- The Parliament of Great Britain passes an act prohibiting the British government from accepting plunder taken by privateers.
- Merger (with consent of Parliament) of the Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies and the more recently established English Company Trading to the East Indies to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, known as the Honourable East India Company.
Further information: 1708 in literature
- Joseph Addison, The Present State of the War (pro-Marlborough tract)
- Edmund Arwaker, Truth in Fiction (fables)
- Francis Atterbury, Fourteen Sermons Preach'd on Several Occasions
- Joseph Bingham, Origines Ecclesiasticae, or Antiquities of the Christian Church, vol. 1
- Richard Blackmore, The Kit-Cats
- Jeremy Collier, An Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain, Chiefly of England, vol. 1
- Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm (contra radical Protestantism)
- Edmund Curll, The Charitable Surgeon
- John Downes - Roscius Anglicanus (a historical review of the stage)
- John Fisher, Cardinal Bishop of Rochester (executed 1535) - Funeral Sermon for Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby (originally delivered 1509; published with an anonymous preface by Thomas Baker)
- Charles Gildon
- Libertas Triumphans (re Battle of Oudenarde)
- The New Metamorphosis (fiction)
- John Harris, Lexicon Technicum: Or, A Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, vol. 1 (second edition)
- Aaron Hill, The Celebrated Speeches of Ajax and Ulysses, for the Armour of Achilles (from Ovid)
- Benjamin Hoadly, The Unhappiness of the Present Establishment, and the Unhappiness of Absolute Monarchy
- John Locke (died 1704), Some Familiar Letters
- Simon Ockley, The Conquest of Syria, Persia, and Aegypt by the Saracens (vol. 1 of History of the Saracens)
- Jonathan Swift:
- Predictions for the Year 1708
- The Accomplishment of the First of Mr. Bickerstaff's Predictions (together, part of the "Bickerstaff Papers")
- An Argument against Abolishing Christianity
Poetry and songs
Further information: 1708 in poetry
- Edmund Arwaker, Truth in Fiction; or, Morality in Masquerade
- Sir Richard Blackmore, The Kit-Cats
- Elijah Fenton, Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems
- John Gay, Wine, published anonymously
- Charles Gildon, Libertas Triumphans, on the battle of Oudenarde, July 11
- Aaron Hill, The Celebrated Speeches of Ajax and Ulysses for the Armour of Achilles, published anonymously, translated from Ovid's Metamorphoses
- William King, The Art of Cookery
- Matthew Prior, Poems on Several Occasions, published this year, although the book states "1709"
- Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs
- 15 November - William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham ("the Elder"), Prime Minister (died 1778)
- Richard Dawes, classical scholar (died 1766)
- Francis Hayman, painter and illustrator (died 1776)
- 29 March - John Partridge, English astrologer and almanack-maker (born 1644)
- 6 September - John Morden, English merchant and philanthropist (born 1623)
- 1 October - John Blow, composer (born 1649)
- 10 October - David Gregory, Scottish astronomer (born 1659)
- 28 October - Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne (born 1653, Denmark)
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 292. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 205–206. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "Union with Scotland (Amendment ) Act 1707". Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "Stamps celebrate St Paul's with Wren epitaph". Evening Standard (London). 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- Majdalany, Fred (1959). The Red Rocks of Eddystone. London: Longmans. p. 86.
- Pringle, Patrick (2001). Jolly Roger: the Story of the Great Age of Piracy. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. pp. 98,177. ISBN 0-486-41823-5.
- Landow, George P. (2010). "The British East India Company — the Company that Owned a Nation (or Two)". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- Cox, Michael, editor, The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-19-860634-6