1790 in Great Britain
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- Monarch – George III
- Prime Minister – William Pitt the Younger (Tory)
- Parliament – 16th (until 11 June), 17th (starting 10 August)
- 1 January – the 91-mile Oxford Canal is opened throughout, providing an important link between the River Thames at Oxford and Coventry in the English Midlands.
- 30 January – Henry Greathead's Original rescue life-boat is tested on the River Tyne.
- 14 March – William Bligh arrives back in Britain with the first report of the Mutiny on the Bounty.
- April–May – Josiah Wedgwood shows off his first reproductions of the Portland Vase.
- 16 June – 28 July: a general election is held, giving Pitt an increased majority.
- 23 June – alleged London Monster arrested in London: he later receives two years for three assaults.
- 28 June – Forth and Clyde Canal opened.
- 4 July – Third Anglo-Mysore War: in India, Britain allies with the Nizam of Hyderabad against the Mysore.
- 27 July – the Treaty of Reichenbach is signed between Britain, Prussia, Russia and the Dutch Republic allowing Austria to retake the Austrian Netherlands.
- 4 August – Lord North becomes Earl of Guildford upon the death of his father and moves from the House of Commons to the House of Lords.
- 1 November – Edmund Burke's work Reflections on the Revolution in France.
- William Blake's work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
- 2 February – William Elford Leach, zoologist and marine biologist (d. 1836)
- 6 September – John Green Crosse, surgeon (d. 1850)
- 21 November – Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons, admiral (d. 1858)
- 19 December – William Edward Parry, Arctic explorer (d. 1855)
- 15 January – John Landen, mathematician (born 1719)
- 20 January – John Howard, prison reformer (born 1726)
- 5 February – William Cullen, physician and chemist (born 1710)
- 4 March – Flora MacDonald, Jacobite (born 1722)
- 16 May – Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, politician (born 1720)
- 21 May – Thomas Warton, poet (born 1728)
- 17 July – Adam Smith, economist and philosopher (born 1723)
- 4 August – Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, peer and politician (born 1704)
- 24 November – Robert Henry, historian (born 1718)
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 230–231. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 341–342. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Adolphus, John (1841). The History of England: From the Accession to the Decease of King George the Third. John Lee. p. 572. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
- The History of Stirlingshire by William Nimmo, revised by W. M. Stirling and R. Gillespie, 1880.