January 8, 1796: The French Directory orders that theatre owners and directors are required to have their orchestras play patriotic revolutionary songs before the curtain goes up each day.
January 12, 1796: Three Piano Sonatas with flute, violin or cello accompaniment op.40 by Leopold Kozeluch (48) are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
January 26, 1796: Courland is fully incorporated into Russia.
January 26, 1796: La Lodoiska, a dramma per musica by Johann Simon Mayr (32) to words of Gonella, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice.
January 28, 1796: Pilten is fully incorporated into Russia.
January 31, 1796: Étienne François Louis Honoré Letourneur replaces Jean-François Reubell as President of the Executive Directory of France.
February 1, 1796: The capital of Upper Canada is transferred to York (Toronto).
February 7, 1796: Franz Joseph Haydn (63) signs a document granting all rights to his Symphonies nos.99-104 to Johann Peter Salomon.
February 9, 1796: Emperor Hung Li of China abdicates his throne and is succeeded by his son, Yung Yen.
February 11, 1796: The programmatic piano work Die Schlacht bei Würzburg by Johann Baptist Wanhal (56) is published by Eder and Sauer in Vienna.
February 12, 1796: War of the First Coalition: British forces land at Negombo, Ceylon. The Dutch garrison surrenders.
February 15, 1796: War of the First Coalition: The Dutch city of Colombo, Ceylon, surrenders to the invading British.
February 27, 1796: Believing it to be a center of reactionary opposition, the Directory orders the closing of the Théâtre Feydeau.
February 29, 1796: The Jay Treaty of November 1794 between the US and Great Britain goes into effect.
March 1, 1796: The National Assembly of the Batavian Republic meets for the first time, at The Hague.
March 2, 1796: Napoléon Bonaparte is named commander of the French forces in the south.
March 9, 1796: General Napoléon Bonaparte marries Josephine Tascher de Beauharnais, widow of a general, before leaving Paris to take up his command in Italy.
March 9, 1796: Publication of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (25) three piano sonatas op.2 is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
March 12, 1796: Matthew Lewis’ gothic novel The Monk is published in Britain.
March 17, 1796: 38-year-old Gaetana Pallante Cimarosa, wife of Domenico (46), dies of unknown causes at their home in Naples. He is left to raise two children.
March 19, 1796: The French Directorate declares freedom of the press.
March 24, 1796: An Insurrection Act for Ireland is given Royal Assent. It is an attempt to give local authorities more powers to deal with unrest.
March 26, 1796: A new version of Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, an oratorio by Joseph Haydn (63) to words possibly by Friebert and van Swieten, is performed for the first time, in the Vienna palace of Prince Joseph Schwarzenberg.
March 27, 1796: Count Johann Ludwig of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein dies and is succeeded by his son, Friedrich Karl.
March 30, 1796: At the University of Göttingen, 18-year-old Carl Friedrich Gauss proves that a regular heptagon can not be constructed by ruler and compass. He discovers how to create a 17-sided regular polygon with just a ruler and compass.
April 1, 1796: After being closed for a month, the Théâtre Feydeau reopens with the approval of the Directory.
April 2, 1796: War of the First Coalition: The French Army of Italy departs Nice for Piedmont, led by Major General Napoléon Bonaparte.
April 7, 1796: Under attack for his radical views and fearing for his safety, Joseph Priestley leaves England for the United States.
April 9, 1796: Prince Friedrich Albrecht of Anhalt-Bernburg dies in Ballenstedt, Anhalt and is succeeded by his son Alexius.
April 10, 1796: Joseph Haydn (64) writes to Prince Nicholas Esterházy from England, offering his services again.
April 10, 1796: War of the First Coalition: As General Bonaparte is preparing his offensive into Italy, the Austrians unexpectedly attack at Votri.
April 12, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces rout the Austrians and Sardinians at Montenotte in the Piedmont.
April 13, 1796: War of the First Coalition: 1,500 Austrians halt the French offensive at the castle of Cosseria, inflicting heavy losses.
April 14, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Out of ammunition, the Austrian and Sardinian defenders of Cosseria are forced to surrender to the French, 70 km west of Genoa.
April 16, 1796: The French legislature passes the Law of 27 Germinal. Any criticism of the Constitution of 1795 is punishable by death.
April 18, 1796: The Archers, or Mountaineers of Switzerland with music by Benjamin Carr and words by William Dunlap is produced at John Street Theatre, New York. It is, perhaps, the first American opera.
April 21, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces defeat the Sardinians at Mondovi, 80 km west of Genoa, taking possession of the town and its arsenal.
April 21, 1796: Three Grand Sonatas for piano with violin and cello accompaniment B.455-457 by Ignaz Pleyel (38) are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
April 23, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian forces ask for a truce with the French but General Bonaparte refuses and presses on into Italy.
April 23, 1796: War of the First Coalition: British forces take the Dutch settlements of Demerara and Essequibo (Guyana).
April 25, 1796: Incidental music to Goethe’s play Egmont by Johann Friedrich Reichardt (43) is performed for the first time, in the Hoftheater, Weimar.
April 25, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces capture Cherasco and Alba, 80 km northwest of Genoa.
April 27, 1796: Five men attack and rob the mail between Paris and Lyon, hacking the courier and post boy to death. They make off with 5,000,000 francs.
April 28, 1796: War of the First Coalition: France and Sardinia reach a peace at Cherasco. Sardinia cedes Savoy and Nice to France.
April 29, 1796: Ludwig van Beethoven (25) plays before Elector Friedrich August III of Saxony at Dresden.
April 30, 1796: Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot replaces Étienne François Louis Honoré Letourneur as President of the Executive Directory of France.
May 2, 1796: War of the First Coalition: British forces take the Dutch possession of Berbice (Guyana).
May 10, 1796: Russian forces capture Derbent (now in Dagestan) from the Persians.
May 10, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops force their way across the River Adda at Lodi, 30 km southeast of Milan, as the Austrians retreat before them.
May 11, 1796: Joseph Bologne de Saint-Georges (50) arrives in St. Domingue (Haiti) with commissioners sent by the French government.
May 14, 1796: In Berkeley, England, Edward Jenner inoculates eight-year-old James Phipps with matter from cowpox lesions taken from milkmaid Sarah Nelmes.
May 15, 1796: War of the First Coalition: General Bonaparte enters Milan with his troops, who promptly sack the city.
May 15, 1796: War of the First Coalition: The Treaty of Paris confirms the Peace of Cherasco. King Vittorio Amadeo III of Sardinia cedes Nice and Savoy to France.
May 16, 1796: The Lombardic Republic is established around Milan.
May 20, 1796: Salomon III Tekle Haymanot replaces Tekle Giyorgis I Yohannes as Emperor of Ethiopia.
May 26, 1796: War of the First Coalition: After a month-long resistance, the French surrender St. Lucia to the British.
May 28, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops force their way across the Mincio at Borghetto, compelling the Austrians to flee back across the Adige into Venetian territory.
May 29, 1796: Hymne à la victoire for chorus by Luigi Cherubini (35) to words of Carbon de Flins is performed for the first time, in Paris.
May 31, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French attempts to storm Mantua fail and they settle in for a siege.
June 1, 1796: Tennessee becomes the 16th state of the United States.
June 1, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops occupy Verona.
June 4, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces defeat the Austrians at Altenkirchen in the Rhineland.
June 5, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Neapolitan envoy the Prince of Belmonte concludes an armistice with General Bonaparte at Brescia. Neapolitan forces are detached from the Austrian army.
June 8, 1796: An advertisement in The Morning Post and Fashionable World informs the London public that Corri, Dussek (36), and Co. have opened a new warehouse in Haymarket for “Musical Publications, Piano Fortes, and other Instruments.” (Illiano, 90)
June 11, 1796: War of the First Coalition: British forces retake St. Vincent from the French.
June 11, 1796: Ugolino, a serious singspiel by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (56) to the words of the composer and Duke Friedrich August von Braunschweig-Oels after Dante, is performed for the first time, in the Herzogliches Hoftheater, Oels (Olesnica).
June 12, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops invade the Papal States.
June 14, 1796: War of the First Coalition: The French surrender Grenada to the British.
June 15, 1796: Trio for piano, flute or violin and cello B.461 by Ignaz Pleyel (38) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
June 16, 1796: Muzio Clementi’s (44) three piano trios op.35 are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
June 19, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops capture Bologna.
June 23, 1796: War of the First Coalition: An armistice is concluded between France and Pope Pius VI at Bologna.
June 24, 1796: Prince Joseph Maria Benedict of Fürstenberg dies in Donaueschingen and is succeeded by his brother Karl Joachim.
June 25, 1796: Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf’s (56) singspiel Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor to words of Römer and the composer after Shakespeare is performed for the first time, in the Herzogliches Hoftheater, Oels (Olesnica).
June 28, 1796: Frances Burney dates the dedication of her book Camilla; or, a Picture of Youth.
June 29, 1796: Publication of Jan Ladislav Dussek’s (36) two rondos C.139-140 is announced in The Times of London.
June 29, 1796: A month of voting concludes in the British general election. Prime Minister William Pitt’s coalition is broadly supported.
July 1, 1796: Jan Ladislav Dussek’s (36) three keyboard sonatas C.141-3 are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
July 1, 1796: Eight-year-old James Phipps, who was inoculated by Edward Jenner on 14 May with matter from cowpox lesions, is variolated with live smallpox and shows no response, indicating that he is immune to the disease.
July 2, 1796: Three Piano Sonatas B.462-464 with violin and bass accompaniment by Ignaz Pleyel (39) are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
July 9, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces defeat the Austrians at Ettlingen, near Karlsruhe.
July 9, 1796: War of the First Coalition: British forces occupy the island of Elba.
July 10, 1796: 19-year-old Carl Friedrich Gauss writes in his diary in Göttingen that every positive integer is the sum of no more than three triangular numbers.
July 11, 1796: Under the terms of the treaty of 19 November 1794 (Jay Treaty), Great Britain turns over Detroit to the United States.
July 17, 1796: War of the First Coalition: A second attempt by the French to storm Mantua fails.
July 21, 1796: Traveling overland from Gambia, British explorer Mungo Park reaches the Niger River at Ségou (presently in Mali), the capital of the Bamana Empire, the first European to do so.
July 21, 1796: Robert Burns dies in Dumfries at the age of 37.
July 22, 1796: Some surveyors from the Connecticut Land Company reach the southern shore of Lake Erie. They name the area after the leader of the surveying party, Moses Cleaveland.
July 29, 1796: Louis Marie de La Revellière, dit La Revellière-Lépeaux replaces Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot as President of the Executive Directory of France.
July 29, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian advance units sent to relieve the siege of Mantua engage French troops and force them back across the Mincio.
July 30, 1796: At Silla (presently in Mali), the furthest east he will attain on the current expedition, British explorer Mungo Park is forced to turn back.
August 1, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops check the Austrian advance at Brescia.
August 2, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian forces raise the French siege of Mantua.
August 5, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces attack the Austrians at Castiglione delle Stiviere, 30 km northwest of Mantua. The Austrians are forced to retreat but the French are too exhausted to pursue.
A treaty is signed between Prussia and France. Prussia gives up all territory on the left bank of the Rhine in return for ecclesiastical lands.
August 7, 1796: Il moro, a commedia per musica by Antonio Salieri (45) to words of De Gamerra, is performed for the first time, in the Burgtheater, Vienna. It is among his least successful operas.
August 7, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces reconquer Verona.
August 9, 1796: Prince William, the Duke of Gloucester officially opens the Wearmouth Bridge at Sunderland. Designed by Thomas Paine, it is made of iron and is the longest single span bridge yet built (72 meters).
August 10, 1796: Joseph Haydn (64) signs a publishing contract in Vienna with Frederick Augustus Hyde. Hyde has already signed the contract in London.
August 11, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces defeat the Austrians at Neresheim, 115 km northwest of Munich.
August 17, 1796: War of the First Coalition: A Dutch squadron of nine ships surrenders to a superior British force at Saldanha Bay, South Africa.
August 19, 1796: War of the First Coalition: France and Spain sign an alliance at San Ildefonso.
August 24, 1796: William Crotch (21) contributes the first of 104 entries into the manuscript collection of the Harmonic Society of Oxford. The group is formed this month by several eminent English musical figures. The society will never actually meet nor give official concerts, but the manuscripts will be circulated among the members for their use.
August 24, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrians force the French into retreat at Amberg, between Regensburg and Bayreuth.
French forces defeat the Austrians at Friedburg, 230 km west of Vienna.
August 26, 1796: Reggio declares independence from Modena and creates the Republic of Reggio.
September 2, 1796: The National Assembly of the Batavian Republic votes full citizenship rights to Jews.
September 3, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian forces defeat the French at Würzburg.
September 4, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces rout the Austrians at Rovereto, 20 km south of Trento.
September 5, 1796: French commissioner Antoine Christophe Saliceti decrees full citizenship rights for the Jews of Bologna.
September 5, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops occupy Trento.
September 5, 1796: Publication of Three Duets for violin and viola B.529-531 by Ignaz Pleyel (39) is announced in the Frankfurter Ristretto.
September 6, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops reach Cismona having covered 100 km in two days.
September 8, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces rout the Austrians at Bassano, 55 km northwest of Venice, capturing the town.
September 9, 1796: Incidental music to Cowmeadow’s play (after Bicknell) Alfred, König der Angelsachsen, oder Der patriotische König by Joseph Haydn (64) is performed for the first time, in Eisenstadt, under the name Haldane, König der Danen.
September 11, 1796: Missa Sancti Bernardi d’Offida by Franz Joseph Haydn (64) is performed for the first time, in the Bergkirche, Eisenstadt, to celebrate the name day of Princess Marie Hermenegild Esterházy.
September 12, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian forces again fight through the French to relieve Mantua but are unable to raise the siege.
September 16, 1796: Government agents raid the offices of the Northern Star in Belfast, the journal of the United Irishmen. Several pro-French Irish are arrested.
September 19, 1796: President George Washington delivers his farewell address, warning his countrymen against “foreign entanglements.”
September 22, 1796: The 32-gun HMS Amphion blows up in Plymouth Harbor. It is scheduled to go to sea tomorrow so it is full of visitors and family of the crew. Of the 312 aboard, only ten survive.
October 3, 1796: Bélisaire, an opéra-comique by François-André Danican Philidor (†1) to words of Bertin d’Antilly after Marmontel, is performed for the first time, in Théâtre Favart, Paris. The work was left incomplete at the composer’s death and was finished by his student, Henri Berton.
October 5, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Because of the British invasion of Hispaniola and the perceived threat to Spanish colonies in America, Spain declares war on Great Britain.
October 6, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops occupy Modena and Reggio, setting up a republic in Modena.
October 7, 1796: Thomas Johann Nepomuk Graf von Thun, Prince-Bishop of Passau, dies in Passau.
October 8, 1796: Johann Simon Mayr’s (33) dramma giocosa Un pazzo ne fa cento to words of Foppa after Somigli, is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Samuele, Venice.
October 10, 1796: Napoléon concludes a treaty with Naples, thus denying Neapolitan aid to the Pope. A secret clause requires Naples to pay 8,000,000 francs to France within one year.
October 16, 1796: The Cispadane Confederation is established by Napoléon from Bologna, Ferrara, Modena and Reggio.
October 16, 1796: King Vittorio Amadeo III of Sardinia dies at Moncalieri near Turin and is succeeded by his son Carlo Emanuele IV.
October 19, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French forces capture Bastia from the British, causing the British to abandon Corsica.
October 29, 1796: Die schöne Herbsttag, a dialogue by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (56) to words after Metastasio, is performed for the first time, in the Herzogliches Hoftheater, Oels (Olesnica).
October 30, 1796: Joseph Lesurques is executed for robbing the Lyon mail and killing a courier last April. He was convicted on the eyewitness testimony of several women. It will be proven that Lesurques is innocent and the deed was carried out by one Duboscq, who bears a striking resemblance to Lesurques. One of the real gang is also executed today, claiming consistently for the last six months that Lesurques was not part of the crime.
October 30, 1796: Der Dorfbarbier, a singspiel by Johann Baptist Schenk (42) to words of Weidmann, is performed for the first time, in the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
November 1, 1796: Jean Nicolas Paul François Barras replaces Louis Marie de La Revellière, dit La Revellière-Lépeaux as President of the Executive Directory of France.
November 4, 1796: Representatives of the Bey of Tripoli and the United States sign a treaty of peace and friendship at Tripoli.
November 4, 1796: War of the First Coalition: Austrian forces rout the French, capturing Trento and Rovereto. French troops flee as far as Rivoli.
November 8, 1796: Domenico Cimarosa (46) is promoted to the post of First Organist at the Royal Chapel, Naples. He has served as Second Organist for the last eleven years.
November 13, 1796: Leopold Leonhard Raimund II von Thun replaces Thomas Johann Nepomuk Graf von Thun as Prince-Bishop of Passau.
November 15, 1796: In an attempt to win the presidency for Thomas Jefferson, French minister to the US Pierre Adet announces the suspension of relations with the US. He says that if Jefferson wins, relations could resume.
November 15, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops halt the Austrian advance on Verona at Arcola.
November 15, 1796: The French create the Transpadane Republic by joining Lombardy, Mantua, Modena, Valtellia, and part of Venetia.
November 16, 1796: War of the First Coalition: A day of French counterattacks fails to dislodge the Austrians from Arcola.
November 17, 1796: Empress Yekaterina II of Russia suffers a stroke in her closet at Tsarskoye Selo. It takes six men to drag her into her bedroom. She dies in the evening without regaining consciousness and is succeeded by her son Pavel.
November 17, 1796: War of the First Coalition: French troops attack and gain the upper hand at Arcola. During the night, the Austrians retreat to Vicenza.
November 21, 1796: Ah! Perfido for soprano and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven (25) to words of Metastasio is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
November 22, 1796: Five days after taking the throne, Tsar Pavel of Russia delivers an imperial ukaz appointing Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky (45) to the post of Director of Music and Adminstrator of the Imperial Court Kapella. He also promotes Bortnyansky to the rank of Collegiate Councillor.
November 24, 1796: Johann Simon Mayr (33) marries Angiola Venturali, a former student and the daughter of a wealthy merchant, in the church of San Cassiano, Venice.
November 30, 1796: Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe is born am Kirchhof 2 in Löbejün, near Halle, Kingdom of Prussia, the youngest of twelve children born to a Adam Loewe, a cantor and schoolmaster. (The current Carl-Loewe-Museum stands on the spot)
December 12, 1796: Jan Ladislav Dussek’s (36) Overture for piano-four hands C.144 is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
December 15, 1796: War of the First Coalition: 43 French ships carrying a force of 15,000 men depart Brest for an invasion of Ireland. To avoid the British blockade, they sail south at night. At the Pointe du Raz, one ship of the line, the Séduisant, founders on rocks with the loss of 1,150 of 1,210 aboard. All the ships are scattered. By morning, only 17 ships remain together.
December 16, 1796: After serving his complete six-year sentence, Rhynwick Williams, convicted as the London Monster, is transported from Newgate Prison to the Bow Street public office in London and released.
December 17, 1796: Publication of Three Grandes Sonates for piano with violin and cello accompaniment B.465-467 by Ignaz Pleyel (41) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
December 22, 1796: War of the First Coalition: 16 ships of the French invasion force enter Bantry Bay. 19 remain outside. At night, these ships are scattered by a driving gale.
December 25, 1796: War of the First Coalition: In the face of terrible weather, wind, snow and hail, the French invasion force begins to depart Bantry Bay.
December 26, 1796: Gli Orazi ed i curiazi, a tragedia per musica by Domenico Cimarosa (47) to words of Sografi, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice.
December 26, 1796: Missa in tempore belli by Joseph Haydn (64) is performed for the first time, in the Piaristenkirche, Josephstadt, a suburb of Vienna, directed by the composer.
December 27, 1796: The Cispadane Confederation, formed from Bologna, Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, becomes the Cispadane Republic.