1789 in Great Britain
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Events from the year 1789 in the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- 3 February – Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces a Regency Bill to Parliament so that the Prince of Wales may act as regent for his father George III during a period of mental illness, but the King recovers before the Bill becomes law.
- March – First version of a graphic description of a slave ship (the Brookes) issued on behalf of the English Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
- 18 March – Catherine Murphy, a counterfeiter, becomes the last woman in Britain to suffer a sentence of death by burning (although she is in practice strangled before being burnt).
- April – Privy Council report on the slave trade published.
- 20 April – First boat passes through the Thames and Severn Canal's Sapperton Tunnel near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. At 3,817 yards (3,490 m) it is the longest tunnel of any kind in England at this date.
- 28 April – Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny on HMS Bounty against Captain William Bligh in Polynesia.
- 12 May – William Wilberforce makes his first major speech in the House of Commons on the abolition of the slave trade.
- 14 June – Mutiny on the Bounty survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 4,000-mile journey in an open boat.
- 28 August – William Herschel discovers Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons.
- 17 September – William Herschel discovers Mimas, another of Saturn's moons.
- 4 November – Richard Price preaches a sermon in London, A Discourse on the Love of our Country, igniting the Revolution Controversy.
- 19 November – Thames and Severn Canal opened throughout, giving through navigation between the Thames and Severn.
- Charles Dibdin introduces the nautical song Tom Bowling in his London entertainment The Oddities.
- The song The Lass of Richmond Hill, with music by James Hook to words by Leonard McNally, is first performed publicly by Charles Incledon at Vauxhall Gardens in London.
- Andrew Pears introduces Pears soap in London.
- William Blake's book of poetry Songs of Innocence and of Experience and his first published prophetic book The Book of Thel.
- Erasmus Darwin's poem The Loves of the Plants, a popular rendering of Linnaeus' works.
- Former slave Olaudah Equiano's autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, one of the earliest published works by a black writer.
- 1 January – Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, politician (born 1716)
- 8 January – Jack Broughton, English boxer (born 1703)
- 23 January – Frances Brooke, writer (born 1724)
- 23 January – John Cleland, novelist (born 1709)
- 26 February – Eclipse, racehorse (born 1764)
- 20 July – David Nelson, botanist on the HMS Bounty (birth date unknown)
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 340–341. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- "219 years ago – Description of a Slave Ship". Rare Book Collections @ Princeton. Princeton University Library. 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "The Brookes – visualising the transatlantic slave trade". 1807 Commemorated. University of York Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past. 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Baring-Gould, S. Bladys of the Stewponey.
- "Cotswold Canals Trust". Cotswold Canals Trust. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Hochschild, Adam (2005). Bury the Chains: The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-330-48581-4. OCLC 60458010.
- Herschel, William (12 November 1789). "Account of the Discovery of a Sixth and Seventh Satellite of the Planet Saturn; with Remarks on the Construction of its Ring, its Atmosphere, its Rotation on an Axis, and its spheroidical Figure". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London) 80: 1–20. doi:10.1098/rstl.1790.0001.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 230–231. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "BBC History British History Timeline". Archived from the original on 9 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.