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|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1610s 1620s 1630s – 1640s – 1650s 1660s 1670s|
|Years:||1640 1641 1642 1643 1644 1645 1646 1647 1648 1649|
|Categories:||Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 1640s, ordered by year.
- February 9 – Ibrahim I (1640–1648) succeeds Murat IV (1623–1640) as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- March 8–13 – Siege of Galle: Dutch troops take the strategic fortress at Galle on Sri Lanka from the Portuguese.
- April 13 – King Charles I of England summons the Short Parliament in an attempt to fund the second of the Bishops' Wars.
- May 5 – The Short Parliament is dispersed.
- May 22 – Catalan Revolt (Guerra dels Segadors) breaks out in Catalonia.
- August 9 – Forty-one Spanish delegates to Japan at Nagasaki are beheaded.
- August 20 – Second Bishops' War: A Scottish Covenanter army invades Northumberland in England.
- August 28 – Second Bishops' War: Battle of Newburn – The Scottish Covenanter army led by Alexander Leslie defeats the English army near Newburn in England.
- October 26 – The Treaty of Ripon is signed, restoring peace between the Scottish Covenanters and Charles I of England.
- November 3 – The English Long Parliament is summoned.
- December 1
- End of the Iberian Union: A revolution organized by the nobility and bourgeoisie causes John IV of Portugal to be acclaimed as king, thus ending 60 years of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain, and the rule of the House of Habsburg (also called the Philippine Dynasty). The Spanish Habsburgs do not recognize Portugal's new dynasty, the House of Braganza, until the end of the Portuguese Restoration War in 1668.
- Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg starts to rule.
- The first university in Finland, the Academy of Åbo, is founded in Turku.
- The first book (the Bay Psalm Book) to be printed in North America is published.
- The first known European coffee house opens in Venice.
- January 4 – Major eruption of the stratovolcano Mount Parker (Philippines).
- January 18 – Pau Claris proclaims the Catalan Republic.
- February 16 – King Charles I of England gives his assent to the Triennial Act, reluctantly committing himself to parliamentary sessions of at least fifty days every three years.
- July 5
- July 12 – Portugal and the Dutch Republic sign a Treaty of Offensive and Defensive Alliance. The treaty is not respected by both parties and as a consequence it has no effect in the Portuguese colonies (Brazil and Angola) that are under Dutch rule.
- August 10 – Charles I of England flees London for the north.
- October – Irish Rebellion of 1641: The Gaelic Irish in Ulster revolt against Scottish settlers.
- November 4 – A Dutch fleet, with Michiel de Ruyter as third in command, beats back a Spanish-Dunkirker fleet in an action at Cape St Vincent.
- November 22 – The Long Parliament passes the Grand Remonstrance, part of a series of legislation designed to contain Charles I's absolutist tendencies.
- The Dutch found a trading colony on Dejima, near Nagasaki, Japan.
- Portugal is ousted from Malacca by the Dutch.
- Moses Amyraut's De l'elevation de la foy et de l'abaissement de la raison en la creance des mysteres de la religion is published.
- René Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy is originally published.
- The Swedish town of Falun is given city rights by Queen Kristina.
- English law makes witchcraft a capital crime.
- A massive epidemic breaks out in northern and central China, just 3 years before the fall of the Ming dynasty. It races south down along the Grand Canal of China and the densely populated settlements there, from the northern terminus at Beijing, to the fertile Jiangnan region. In some local areas and towns it wipes out 90% of the local populace.
- January 4 – First English Civil War: Charles I attempts to arrest 6 leading members of the Long Parliament, but they escape.
- March 1 – Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine) becomes the first incorporated city in America.
- March 19 – The citizens of Galway seize an English naval ship, close the town gates and declare support for Confederate Ireland.
- May 17 or May 18 – Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve founds the Ville Marie de Montreal (nowadays known as Montreal, Canada).
- May 30 – All honours granted by Charles I from this date onward are retrospectively annulled by Parliament.
- July – First English Civil War: Charles I besieges Hull in an attempt to gain control of its arsenal.
- August 4 – Lord Forbes relieves Forthill and besieges Galway.
- August 21 – First Battle of Lostwithiel.
- August 22 – King Charles I raises the royal battle standard over Nottingham Castle, so declaring war on his own Parliament.
- September 2 – Parliament orders the theatres of London closed, effectively ending the era of English Renaissance theatre.
- September 7 – Lord Forbes raises his unsuccessful siege of Galway.
- September 8 – Thomas Granger is executed by hanging at Plymouth, Massachusetts for confessing to numerous acts of bestiality.
- October 23 – First English Civil War – Battle of Edgehill: Royalists and Parliamentarians battle to a draw.
- November 13 – First English Civil War – Battle of Turnham Green: The Royalist forces withdraw in face of the Parliamentarian army and fail to take London.
- November 24 – Abel Tasman becomes the first European to discover the island Van Diemen's Land (later renamed Tasmania).
- The Dutch drive Spain from Taiwan.
- The village of Bro (Broo) in Sweden is granted the city rights for the second time and takes the name Kristinehamn (literally "Christina's port") after the present Swedish monarch, Queen Christina.
- Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn finishes his painting "The Night Watch".
- The Manchu under their leader Huang Taiji raid the Ming Chinese province of Shandong from their base in Manchuria. Two years later Beijing falls to rebels, the Chongzhen Emperor commits suicide, and the Shunzhi Emperor becomes the first Qing Emperor to rule over China proper.
- Kaifeng flood of 1642: Some 300,000 people die when the Ming dynasty army in China intentionally breaks the dams and dykes of the Yellow River to break the siege by the large rebel force of Li Zicheng.
- Isaac Aboab da Fonseca is appointed rabbi in Pernambuco, Brazil, thus becoming the first rabbi of the Americas.
- c. January – Claudio Monteverdi's opera L'incoronazione di Poppea is first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice.
- January 21 – Abel Tasman discovers the island of Tonga.
- February 6 – Abel Tasman discovers the Fiji islands.
- March 13 – First English Civil War – First Battle of Middlewich: The Roundheads rout the Cavaliers at Middlewich in Cheshire, England.
- April 1 – Åmål, Sweden is granted its city charter.
- April 28 – Francisco de Lucena, former Portuguese Secretary of State, is beheaded after being charged with treason.
- May 14 – Louis XIV succeeds Louis XIII as King of France at age five. His rule will last until his death at age 77 in 1715, a total of 72 years, which will be the longest reign of any European monarch in recorded history.
- May 19
- June 30 – First English Civil War – Battle of Adwalton Moor: Cavaliers (supporters of Charles I) gain control of Yorkshire.
- July 1 – First meeting of the Westminster Assembly of Divines
- July 5 – First English Civil War – Battle of Lansdowne: Royalists and Parliamentarians battle to a draw.
- July 13 – First English Civil War – Battle of Roundway Down: In England, Lord Henry Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, wins a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Sir William Waller.
- September 20 – First English Civil War – First Battle of Newbury: Royalists withdraw to end further bloodshed.
- September 21 – Hong Taiji, Qing Dynasty Emperor of China dies.
- October 8 – The Shunzhi Emperor of China is crowned age 5, having been chosen to succeed his father by the Deliberative Council of Princes and Ministers.
- October 28 – The Dutch corsairs end their occupation of Valdivia in what will become Chile.
- November 14 – Empress Meishō abdicates and Emperor Go-Kōmyō accedes to the throne of Japan.
- November 24 – Battle of Tuttlingen: France is defeated by forces of the Holy Roman Empire.
- December 25 – Christmas Island is first sighted, by Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company on the Royal Mary.
- An Calbhach mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, The Ó Conchubhair Donn, Chief of the Name of the Clan Ó Conchubhair, is popularly inaugurated as last King of Connacht in Ireland.
- Baden-Baden is pillaged by the French.
- Evangelista Torricelli invents the mercury barometer.
- Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, places the first Mount Royal Cross atop Mount Royal above Montreal.
- Jean Bolland publishes the first two volumes of the Acta Sanctorum (in Antwerp). This is the beginning of the Bollandists' work.
- Miyamoto Musashi begins to dictate The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) to his student, completing it in 1654 just before his death.
- Roger Williams, a co-founder of Rhode Island, publishes A Key into the Language of America.
- January 22 – The Royalist Oxford Parliament is first assembled by King Charles I of England.
- January 26 – First English Civil War – Battle of Nantwich: The Parliamentarians defeat the Royalists, allowing them to end the 6-week Siege of Nantwich in Cheshire, England.
- February–August – Explorer Abel Tasman's second expedition for the Dutch East India Company maps the north coast of Australia.
- January 30 – Battle of Ochmatów: Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski secure a substantial victory over the horde of Crimean Tatars under Tugay Bey.
- March 24 – In England, Roger Williams is granted an official charter for his Rhode Island Colony, allowing the establishment of a general assembly.
- April 25 – A popular Chinese rebellion led by Li Zicheng sacks Beijing, prompting Chongzhen, the last emperor of the Ming dynasty, to commit suicide.
- May 25 – Ming general Wu Sangui forms an alliance with the invading Manchus and opens the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan pass, letting the Manchus through towards the capital Beijing.
- May 26 – Battle of Montijo: The Kingdom of Portugal is victorious over Habsburg Spain in the first major action between the two nations during the Portuguese Restoration War.
- May 27 – Battle of Shanhai Pass: The Manchu Qing dynasty and Wu Sangui gain a decisive victory over Li Zicheng's Shun dynasty.
- June 3 – Li Zicheng claims himself as the emperor of China.
- June 6 – The invading Manchu army, with the help of Ming general Wu Sangui, captures Beijing, China. This marks the beginning of the Qing dynasty (also known as the Manchu Dynasty), the last imperial dynasty of China.
- July 2 – English Civil War – Battle of Marston Moor: The Parliamentarians crush the Royalists, ending Charles I's hold on the north of England.
- September 1 – English Civil War – Battle of Tippermuir: Montrose defeats Elcho's Covenanters, reviving the Royalist cause in Scotland.
- September 2 – English Civil War – Second Battle of Lostwithiel: Charles I and the Royalists gain their last major victory.
- September 15 – Pope Innocent X succeeds Pope Urban VIII as the 236th pope.
- October 1 – the Jews of Mogilev, Russia, were attacked during Tashlikh.
- November – The Castle of Elvas in Portugal resists a 9-day siege by the Spanish during the Portuguese Restoration War.
- November 8 – The Shunzhi Emperor, the third emperor of the Qing dynasty, is enthroned in Beijing after the collapse of the Ming dynasty as the first Qing emperor to rule over China.
- November 23
- December 9 – As Christina comes of age, she is made ruling queen of Sweden.
- December – Plague breaks out in Edinburgh.
- The opera Ormindo is first performed in Venice: music by Francesco Cavalli and libretto by Giovanni Faustini.
- Sigismund's Column is erected in Warsaw to commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who moved the capital of Poland from Kraków to Warsaw in 1596.
- Philosopher René Descartes publishes Principia Philosophiae (Principles of Philosophy).
- During the English Civil War, Prince Rupert and his men take Liverpool Castle, which is later reclaimed by Sir John Moore.
- Opechancanough leads the Powhatan Indians in an unsuccessful uprising against the English at Jamestown. This is the last such Indian rebellion of the region.
- A Spanish officer is murdered in St. Dominic's Church, Macau during mass by colonists loyal to Portugal during the Portuguese Restoration War.
- January 3 – The Long Parliament adopts the Directory of Public Worship in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, replacing the Book of Common Prayer (1559). Holy Days (other than Sundays) are not to be observed.
- January 10 – Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud is executed for treason on Tower Hill, London.
- January 14 – English Civil War: Fairfax is appointed Commander-in-Chief.
- January 29 – English Civil War: Armistice talks open at Uxbridge.
- February 2 – Battle of Inverlochy: The Covenanters are defeated by Montrose.
- February 15 – English Civil War: The New Model Army is officially founded.
- February 28 – English Civil War: Uxbridge armistice talks fail.
- March 4 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert leaves Oxford for Bristol.
- March 31 – Fearing the spread of the Black Death (plague), Edinburgh Town Council prohibits all gatherings except weddings and funerals.
- April 3 – The House of Lords passes the Self-denying Ordinance, requiring members of the Parliament of England to resign commissions in the armed services.
- April 10 – Because of the plague, the Edinburgh town council orders that the college graduation ceremony should be brought forward so that students can leave the city (on November 19, teaching resumes in Linlithgow).
- April 23 (Saint George's Day) – English Civil War: One hundred and fifty Irish soldiers bound for service with King Charles I of England are captured at sea by Parliamentarians and killed at Pembroke in Wales.
- May 9 – Battle of Auldearn: Scottish Covenanters are defeated by Montrose.
- June 1 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert's army sacks Leicester.
- June 10 – English Civil War: Oliver Cromwell is confirmed as the Lieutenant-General of the Cavalry.
- June 14 – English Civil War – Battle of Naseby: 12,000 Royalist forces are beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.
- June 28 – English Civil War: The Royalists lose Carlisle.
- July 2 – Fight at Alford, Aberdeenshire.
- July 10 – English Civil War – Battle of Langport: Cromwell wins in Somerset.
- July 21 – Qing dynasty regent Dorgon issues an edict ordering all Han Chinese men to shave their forehead and braid the rest of their hair into a queue identical to those of the Manchus.
- July 23 – Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich of Russia comes to the throne.
- August 13 – The Treaty of Brömsebro is signed between Sweden and Denmark–Norway, ending the Torstenson War and ceding Jemtland, Herjedalen, Gotland and Ösel (Saaremaa) to Sweden, which also holds the province of Halland for a period of 30 years as a guarantee.
- September 10 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert surrenders Bristol.
- September 13 – Battle of Philiphaugh: Covenanters defeat Montrose at Selkirk.
- September 24 – English Civil War – Battle of Rowton Heath: Parliamentarians defeat the Royalist cavalry.
- October 8–October 14 – English Civil War: Third siege of Basing House by Cromwell results in its destruction.
- October 8 – Jeanne Mance founds the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, the first hospital in North America.
- October 11 – English Civil War: Re-fortification of Bourne Castle in Lincolnshire against a threatened Royalist attack begins.
- Bamana forces from Ségou invade the Mali heartland, destroying the Mali Empire after its 400 years as a unified state.
- The Stolberg-Wernigerode branch of the family of the counts of Stolberg and Wernigerode is founded in Germany.
- The Solar cycle enters the 70-year Maunder Minimum during which sunspots will be rare.
- Wallpaper begins to replace tapestries as a wall decoration.
- February 16 – First English Civil War – The Battle of Great Torrington, Devon, the last major battle of the conflict, is fought.
- February 28 – Roger Scott is tried in Massachusetts for sleeping in church.
- March 6 – Joseph Jenkes, in Massachusetts, receives the first colonial machine patent.
- April 27 – King Charles I flees from Oxford.
- May 5 – King Charles I surrenders his forces to a Scottish army at Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
- May 6 – Poet Anne Bradstreet becomes a founding mother of Andover Parish (now North Andover) Massachusetts.
- May 30 – Spain and the Netherlands sign a temporary cease fire in the war.
- June 25 – The New Model Army of Thomas Fairfax occupies Oxford.
- July 12 – Lightning strikes the gunpowder tower of the castle of Bredevoort, causing an explosion that destroys parts of the castle and the town, killing Lord Haersolte of Bredevoort and his family, as well as others. Only one son, Anthonie, who is not home that day, survives.
- July 30 – The English Parliament sets the Newcastle Propositions for King Charles I.
- August 19 – English Civil War – Raglan Castle in Wales surrenders to General Fairfax after a 2-month siege; it is later destroyed.
- October 28 – The first Protestant church assembly for natives is held in Massachusetts (see Waban).
- November 4 – Massachusetts enacts the death penalty for having a rebellious child.
- December 7 – Princess Louise Henriette (19) marries Frederick William of Brandenburg.
- December 21 – Global temperatures begin to decline as part of the Little Ice Age
- The Westminster Confession of Faith is published.
- March 14 – Thirty Years' War: Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden sign the Truce of Ulm.
- April 3 – In England, a letter from the Agitators of the New Model Army, protesting delay of pay, is read in the House of Commons.
- May 13 – 1647 Santiago earthquake rattles Chile.
- May 29 – The Rhode Island General Assembly drafts a constitution that separates church and state, and permits public referendums and initiatives on legislation.
- August 8 – Battle of Dungan's Hill: Irish forces are defeated by English Parliamentary forces.
- November – Battle of Knocknanauss: An Irish confederate force is destroyed by the army of Parliament; Alasdair MacColla is killed.
- December 28 – King Charles of England promises a church reform. This agreement leads to the Second English Civil War.
- England's Puritan rulers ban Christmas.
- Johann von Werth tries to take his troops over the Austrian border, but they refuse.
- Aberystwyth Castle is razed to the ground by Parliamentarian troops.
- January – The beginning of the Khmelnytsky Uprising in Ukraine, at this time in the Republic of Both Nations (Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth), which continues until 1654, and results, among other things, in the massacre of an estimated 20,000 Jews.
- January 17 – England's Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.
- January 30 – The Dutch and the Spanish sign the Peace of Münster, ending the Eighty Years' War. The Spanish Empire recognizes the Dutch Republic of United Netherlands as a sovereign state, (governed by the House of Orange-Nassau and the States General) which was previously a province of the Spanish Empire. (Ratified May 15.)
- March 31 – A major earthquake strikes Van in Ottoman Armenia.
- April 19 – First Battle of Guararapes: the Portuguese army defeats the Dutch army in the north of Brazil.
- June–September – Semyon Dezhnyov makes the first recorded voyage through the Bering Strait between Asia and North America.
- 16 July – 19 July The Battle of Prague takes place in the Thirty Years' War. The west bank of Prague (including Prague Castle) is occupied and looted by Swedish armies.
- August 12 – Mehmed IV (1648–1687) succeeds Ibrahim I (1640–1648) as Ottoman Emperor.
- September 12 – Battle of Stirling takes place in Scotland: "Engagers" achieve victory over the Kirk Party.
- October 24 – Signing of the Treaties of Münster and Osnabrück conclude the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years' War. Rulers of the Imperial States have powers to decide their state religion, Protestant, Catholic or Calvinist, with the minorities of each of those faiths granted toleration of worship, and there is general recognition of exclusive sovereignty, including that of the Dutch Republic and Switzerland. France and Sweden gain territory, and the latter is granted an indemnity. However, France remains at war with Spain until 1659.
- October 31 – A treaty is signed between the Arabs and the Portuguese. The terms include a provision that the Portuguese should build fortresses at Kuriyat, Dibba Al-Hisn (Sharjah) and Muttrah (Oman).
- November 11 – France and the Netherlands agree to divide the Caribbean island of Saint Martin between them.
- December 11 – "Pride's Purge" in England, with elements of the New Model Army, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell invading London and expelling a majority of the Long Parliament, resulting in the creation of the Rump Parliament.
- In India, building of the Red Fort in Shahjahanabad is completed.
- Sabbatai Zevi declares himself the Messiah at Smyrna.
- George Fox founds the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in England.
- January 27 – King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland is found guilty of high treason in a public session. He is beheaded three days later, outside the Banqueting Hall in the Palace of Whitehall, London.
- January 30
- Following the execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England, a republican form of government, replaces the monarchy as the form of government of England and later of Scotland and Ireland. Members of the Long Parliament serve as government.
- Charles, Prince of Wales declares himself King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. At the time, none of the three kingdoms recognize him as ruler.
- February 5 – In Edinburgh, Scotland claimant King Charles II of England is declared King in his absence. Scotland is the first of the three Kingdoms to recognize his claim to the throne.
- March 11 – The rebel Frondeurs and the French government sign the Peace of Rueil.
- March 19 – The House of Commons of England passes an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring that it is "useless and dangerous to the people of England".
- March – Robert Blake is promoted to become a "General at Sea" of the English fleet.
- May 17 – The Banbury mutiny in England ends – leaders of the Leveller mutineers in the New Model Army are hanged.
- May 19 – An act declaring England to be a Commonwealth is passed by the Rump Parliament.
- May 22–October – Robert Blake blockades Prince Rupert's fleet in Kinsale, Ireland.
- August – The Diggers abandon their last major colony at St. George's Hill, Weybridge, England.
- August 8 – Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh completes Book VIII of Leabhar na nGenealach, in Galway, within days of an outbreak of the plague.
- August 15 – Oliver Cromwell lands in Dublin to begin the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
- September 2 – The Italian city of Castro is completely destroyed by the forces of Pope Innocent X, ending the Wars of Castro.
- September 3–11 – Siege of Drogheda in Ireland: New Model Army massacre the Irish Catholic Confederation garrison.
- October 2–11 – Sack of Wexford in Ireland: New Model Army massacre the Irish Catholic Confederation garrison.
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