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This article is about the year 1638.
|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1600s 1610s 1620s – 1630s – 1640s 1650s 1660s|
|Years:||1635 1636 1637 – 1638 – 1639 1640 1641|
|1638 by topic:|
|Arts and Science|
|Architecture - Art - Literature - Music - Science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial governors - State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births - Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments - Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2391|
|Bahá'í calendar||−206 – −205|
|English Regnal year||13 Cha. 1 – 14 Cha. 1|
|Chinese calendar||丁丑年 (Fire Ox)
4334 or 4274
— to —
戊寅年 (Earth Tiger)
4335 or 4275
|- Vikram Samvat||1694–1695|
|- Shaka Samvat||1560–1561|
|- Kali Yuga||4739–4740|
|Japanese calendar||Kan'ei 15
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||274 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2181|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1638.|
- February 28 – The Scottish National Covenant is signed in Edinburgh.
- March 3 – A mercenary army under Bernard de Saxe-Weimar fighting for France defeats imperial forces at the Battle of Rheinfelden.
- March 5 – Thirty Years' War – The Treaty of Hamburg is signed by France and Sweden.
- March 29 – Settlers from Sweden arrive on the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip to establish the settlement of New Sweden in Delaware, beginning the Swedish colonization of the Americas.
- March – Anne Hutchinson is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heresy and goes to Rhode Island.
- April 3 – John Wheelwright is banished from Boston and founds Exeter, New Hampshire.
- April 15 – Shogunate forces defeat the last remnants of the Shimabara Rebellion in the fortress of Hara.
- May 13 – Construction begins on the Red Fort in Delhi (India) for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who is transferring his capital there from Agra.
- May 23 – Signing of the Kandyan Treaty between the Singhala King Rajasimha II and the Dutch to rid Ceylon of the Portuguese.
- June 20 – Spanish troops under Ferdinand of Austria defeat a much larger Dutch force near Antwerp at the Battle of Kallo during the Eighty Years War.
- June 27 – Patriarch Cyril of Constantinople is deposed for high treason and strangled and thrown into the sea by Janissaries on Ottoman Sultan Murad IV's command.
- September 21 – The Treaty of Hartford is signed, ending the Pequot War between British American colonists and the Pequot.
- September – John Spofford arrives in Boston Harbor on the ship John of London and is one of the first people to establish Rowely, Essex County, Massachusetts.
- October 21 – The Great Thunderstorm breaks out in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, England.
- November – The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is summoned to Glasgow by King Charles I of England.
- December 18 – Mazarin becomes first adviser to French potentate Richelieu on the death of Leclerc du Tremblay.
- December 21 – The full moon is in total eclipse from 1:12 to 2:47 UT and the solstice occurs later in the day at 16:05 UT.
- Scottish Covenanters meet at Muchalls Castle to compose responses to the Bishops of Aberdeen.
- Pedro Teixeira makes the first ascent of the Amazon River, from its mouth to Quito, Ecuador. The same trip had been made in the opposite direction in 1541.
- Dutch merchant Willem Kieft is appointed Director of New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company.
- The Netherlands colonizes Mauritius.
- The Dutch settle in Ceylon.
- The Finnish postal service, Suomen Posti, is founded.
- New Haven, the first planned city in America, is founded.
- Sultan Murad IV captures Baghdad.
- Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his sons capture the city of Kandahar from the Safavids.
- Shipwrecked English buccaneer Peter Wallace called "Ballis" by the Spanish, settles near and perhaps gives his name to the Belize River, the first known European settlement in Belize.
- The Beijing Gazette makes an official switch in its production process of newspapers, from woodblock printing to movable type printing; private newspapers in Ming Dynasty China were first mentioned in 1582.
- January 1 – Emperor Go-Sai (d. 1685)
- January 1 – Nicolas Steno, Pioneer in anatomy and geology, bishop (d. 1686)
- January 1 – Antoinette du Ligier de la Garde Deshoulières, French poet born in Paris (d. 1694)
- January 8 – Elisabetta Sirani, Italian painter (d. 1665)
- January 12 – Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, Austrian field marshal (d. 1701)
- January 20 – Sir William Glynne, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1690)
- January 21 – David Elias Heidenreich, Poet, dramatist, librettist and translator (d. 1688)
- January 24 – Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, English poet and courtier (d. 1706)
- February 12 – Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Grabow, German nobleman (d. 1688)
- February 18 – Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo who ruled the Okayama Domain (d. 1714)
- February 25 – Jørgen Iversen Dyppel, Governor of the Danish West Indies (d. 1683)
- February 28 – John Carmichael, 1st Earl of Hyndford (d. 1710)
- March 6 – Henry Capell, 1st Baron Capell of Tewkesbury, English politician (d. 1696)
- March 14 – Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic (d. 1710)
- March 15 – Shunzhi Emperor of China (d. c. 1661)
- March 16 – François Crépieul, Jesuit missionary in Canada (d. 1702)
- March 28 – Frederik Ruysch, Dutch physician and anatomist (d. 1731)
- April 2 – Sir Henry Beaumont, 2nd Baronet, English politician (d. 1689)
- April 2 – John Covel, clergyman and scientist who became Master of Christ's College (d. 1722)
- May 6 – Henry Capell, 1st Baron Capell, First Lord of the British Admiralty (d. 1696)
- May 9 – Gregorio Vasquez de Arce y Ceballos, Colombian painter (d. 1711)
- May 11 – Guy-Crescent Fagon, physician and botanist (d. 1718)
- May 12 – Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra, Spanish artist (d. 1688)
- May 13 – Richard Simon, French Biblical critic (d. 1712)
- May 29 – John Manners, 1st Duke of Rutland, British nobleman and politician (d. 1711)
- June 2 – Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon (d. 1709)
- June 3 – Thomas Smith (scholar), English scholar (d. 1710)
- June 8 – Pierre Magnol (d. 1715)
- June 21 – Sir William Roberts, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1688)
- June 28 – Louise Marie de La Grange d'Arquien (d. 1728)
- June 29 – Heinrich Meibom (doctor), German physicist and scholar (d. 1700)
- July 10 – David Teniers III, Flemish painter (d. 1685)
- July 11 – Olympia Mancini (d. 1708)
- July 15 – Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani, Italian composer (d. 1693)
- July 20 – Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, General in Norway during the Scanian War (d. 1704)
- August 3 – William Louis, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen (d. 1665)
- August 6 – Nicolas Malebranche, French philosopher (d. 1715)
- August 7 – John Tufton, 4th Earl of Thanet, English politician (d. 1680)
- August 13 – Durgadas Rathore (d. 1718)
- August 15 – Pieter de Graeff, Dutch politician and noble (d. 1707)
- August 22 – Georg Christoph Eimmart, engraver (d. 1705)
- September 5 – King Louis XIV of France (d. 1715)
- September 10 – Maria Theresa of Spain, wife of Louis XIV of France (d. 1683)
- September 19 – Isaac Milles, English cleric (d. 1720)
- September 20 – Antonio Gherardi, Italian painter (d. 1702)
- September 21 – Philippe de Courcillon, French officer and author (d. 1720)
- September 30 – Maximilian Philipp Hieronymus, Duke of Bavaria-Leuchtenberg, German nobleman (d. 1705)
- October 14 – Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Jena (d. 1678)
- October 17 – John Charles, Count Palatine of Gelnhausen (d. 1704)
- October 21 – Lucia Wijbrants, Dutch artist (d. 1719)
- October 31 – Meindert Hobbema, Dutch painter (d. 1709)
- November 8 – Anton van Dale, Dutch minister (d. 1708)
- November 22 – Christoph Cellarius, German classical scholar (d. 1707)
- November 25 – Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II of England (d. 1705)
- November 30 – Joachim Feller, German professor at the University of Leipzig (d. 1691)
- December 17 – Anna Sophia II, Abbess of Quedlinburg, German noblewoman (d. 1683)
- December 24 – Tomás de la Cerda, 3rd Marquis of la Laguna (d. 1692)
- December 25 – Michel Bégon (1638–1710), French ancien regime official (d. 1710)
- January 21 – Ignazio Donati, Italian composer (b. c. 1570)
- January 27 – Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses, Spanish novelist (b. c. 1585)
- February 26 – Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac, French mathematician (b. 1581)
- April 7 – Shimazu Tadatsune, Japanese ruler of Satsuma (b. 1576)
- April 13 – Henri, duc de Rohan, French Huguenot leader (b. 1579)
- May 6 – Cornelius Jansen, French bishop and religious reformer (b. 1585)
- June 25 – Juan Pérez de Montalbán, Spanish writer (b. 1602)
- September - Christoph Besold, German jurist (b. 1577)
- September 14 – John Harvard, American clergyman (b. 1607)
- November 9 – Johann Heinrich Alsted, German theologian (b. 1588)
- November 11 – Cornelis Corneliszoon van Haarlem, Dutch painter (b. 1562)
- December 8 – Ivan Gundulić, Croatian poet (b. 1589)
- date unknown – Pietro Paolo Floriani, architect (b. 1585)