1796 in Great Britain
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Events from the year 1796 in Great Britain.
- 1 February - Protests over the price of bread culminate in Queen Charlotte being hit by a stone as she and King George return from a trip to the theatre.
- 16 February - Britain takes control of Ceylon from the Dutch.
- 14 May - Edward Jenner successfully administers the smallpox vaccine to James Phipps in Gloucestershire.
- 20 May - The last mock Garrat Elections are held in Surrey.
- 21 June - Explorer Mungo Park becomes the first European to reach the Niger River.
- 9 August - Opening to traffic of Wearmouth Bridge, designed by Thomas Paine in cast iron. Its span of 237 feet (72 m) makes it the world's longest single-span vehicular bridge extant at this date.
- 19 August - By the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain and France form an alliance against Great Britain.
- 22 September - Mary Lamb commits matricide.
- 5 October - Anglo-Spanish War: Spain declares war on Britain.
- December - The government begins work on a 40-acre (162,000 m²) site at Norman Cross for the world's first purpose-built prisoner-of-war camp.
- Fanny Burney's novel Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth.
- Mary Hays' epistolary novel Memoirs of Emma Courtney.
- Regina Maria Roche's popular Gothic novel The Children of the Abbey.
- Samuel Ireland publishes a collection of Shakespearean forgeries in his Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments Under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare (dated this year but actually issued on 24 December 1795). Edmond Malone exposes them in his An Inquiry into the Authenticity of Certain Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments on 31 March, and the forged 'Shakespearean' play, Vortigern and Rowena, is able to sustain just a single performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, on 2 April. Ireland's son, William Henry, confesses to the fraud in An Authentic Account of the Shakespearean Manuscripts.
- The volume of The Scots Musical Museum published this year includes Robert Burns' versions of Auld Lang Syne and Charlie Is My Darling.
- 25 January - William MacGillivray, naturalist and ornithologist (died 1852)
- 17 February - Frederick William Beechey, explorer (died 1856)
- 28 February - Pablo Fanque, black circus owner, popularized by The Beatles in song (died 1871)
- March - Durham Ox, shorthorn bull (killed 1807)
- 27 June - George Vincent, painter (died 1831)
- 25 August - Edwin Beard Budding, inventor (died 1846)
- August - William Marsden, surgeon (died 1867)
- 4 September (bapt.) - Henry Foster, scientist (died 1831)
- 13 September - James Finlay Weir Johnston, chemist (died 1855)
- 14 September - Woodbine Parish, diplomat (died 1882)
- 22 August - Baden Powell, mathematician (died 1860)
- 17 October - James Matheson, Member of Parliament (died 1878)
- December (approximate date) - William Banting, undertaker and dietician (died 1878)
- 12 February - John Hamilton, Member of Parliament (born 1715)
- 19 March
- 27 May - Lord Charles Townshend, Member of Parliament (born 1769)
- 16 July - George Howard, Army officer and politician (born 1718)
- 21 July - Robert Burns, national poet of Scotland (born 1759)
- 1 August - Robert Pigot, Army officer and Member of Parliament (born 1720)
- 6 August - David Allan, painter (born 1744)
- 1 September - David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield, politician (born 1727)
- October - Thomas Christie, writer (born 1761)
- 12 December - William Wilson, Member of Parliament (born 1720)
- Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. p. 235. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 346. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Troyano, Leonardo Fernández (2003). Bridge Engineering: a Global Perspective. London: Thomas Telford Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 0-7277-3215-3.
- "Sunderland Wearmouth Bridge". Wearside Online. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- Hitchcock, Susan Tyler (2005). Mad Mary Lamb. New York; London: W. W. Norton & Co. pp. 15–17. ISBN 0-393-05741-0.
- "Time Team help unearth world's first prisoner of war camp". Daily Mail. London. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Palmer, Roy, ed. (1986). The Oxford Book of Sea Songs. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-214159-7.
- Leavis, Q. D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (rev. ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.
- "Robert Burns". BBC. Retrieved 2012-01-26.