Famine in Bengal kills 10 million people, a third of the population, in the worst natural disaster in human history (in terms of lives lost).
The Maharajah of Mysore forces the British to agree a treaty of mutual assistance in view of the famine, but the British East India Company increases its demands on the Bengali people to keep profits up.
The city of Brescia, Italy is devastated when the Church of San Nazaro, near Venice, is struck by lightning. The resulting fire ignites 200,000 lb (90,000 kg) of gunpowder being stored there, causing a massive explosion which destroys one sixth of the city and kills 3,000 people. The disaster prompts the Roman Catholic Church to abandon their religious objection to using lightning rods to protect their property.