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|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1620s 1630s 1640s – 1650s – 1660s 1670s 1680s|
|Years:||1650 1651 1652 1653 1654 1655 1656 1657 1658 1659|
|Categories:||Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 1650s, ordered by year.
- April 27 – Battle of Carbisdale: A Royalist army invades mainland Scotland from the Orkney Islands but is defeated by a Covenanter army.
- May – The New Model Army is decimated at the Siege of Clonmel.
- June 9 – The Harvard Corporation, the more powerful of the two administrative boards of Harvard, is established (the first legal corporation in the Americas).
- June 23 – Claimant King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland arrives in Scotland, the only one of the three Kingdoms that has accepted him as ruler.
- August 23 – Colonel George Monck forms Monck's Regiment of Foot, forerunner of the Coldstream Guards.
- September 3 – Third English Civil War: Battle of Dunbar (1650).
- September 27 – The Kolumbo volcano on Santorini experiences a massive eruption (VEI 6).
- September 29 – Henry Robinson opens his Office of Addresses and Encounters (the first historically documented dating service) in Threadneedle Street, London.
- November 4 – William III of Orange becomes Prince of the House of Orange the moment of his birth, succeeding his father who had died a few days earlier. He doesn't become stadtholder, so the United Provinces become a true republic.
- December 25 – Thomas Cooper, former Usher of Gresham's School, England, is hanged as a Royalist rebel.
- The first modern Palio horserace is held in Siena.
- Puritans chop down the original Glastonbury Thorn.
- Captain James Hind makes an abortive attempt to seize power in England.
- Jews are allowed to return to France and England.
- Cafés begin to become popular in Europe.
- Three-wheeled wheelchairs are invented in Nuremberg by watchmaker Stephen Farfler.
- The Age of Discovery ends.
- Ann Greene, who had been hanged for infanticide in Oxford wakes up on an autopsy table; she is pardoned.
- Abyssinia deports Portuguese diplomats and missionaries.
- Einkommende Zeitungen becomes the first German newspaper (cancelled 1918).
- The town of Sharon, Massachusetts is founded.
- Estimation: Istanbul becomes the largest city of the world, taking the lead from Beijing.
- January 1 – Charles II is crowned King of Scotland at Scone (his first crowning).
- February 22 – St. Peter's Flood – First storm tide in the North Sea strikes the coast of Germany, drowning thousands. The island of Juist is split in half and the western half of Buise is probably washed away.
- March 4–5 – St. Peter's Flood – Another storm tide in the North Sea strikes the Netherlands, flooding Amsterdam.
- June 28–30 – Battle of Berestechko in the Ukraine: The army of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth defeats the Zaporozhian Cossacks in one of the biggest land battles of the century, with some 205,000 troops in the field.
- July 20 – Battle of Inverkeithing in Scotland: The English Parliamentarian New Model Army under Major-General John Lambert defeats a Scottish Covenanter army acting on behalf of Charles II, led by Sir John Brown of Fordell.
- September 3 – English Civil War – Battle of Worcester: the future King Charles II of England is defeated in the last major battle of the war.
- October – An English diplomatic team headed by Oliver St John goes to The Hague to negotiate an alliance between the Commonwealth of England and the Dutch Republic.
- October 14 – Laws are passed in Massachusetts forbidding poor people from adopting excessive styles of dress.
- October 15 – Escape of Charles II to France.
- The Keian Uprising fails in Japan.
- Madanmohan-jiu Temple built at Samta (India), a village in the Howrah district of West Bengal.
- January 8 – Michiel de Ruyter marries the widow Anna van Gelder and plans retirement, but months later becomes a vice-commodore in the First Anglo-Dutch War.
- April 6 – Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp for the Dutch East India Company at the Cape of Good Hope, thus founding Cape Town.
- May 18 – Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.
- May 29 – First Anglo-Dutch War: The opening battle is fought off Dover, between Lt.-Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp's 42 Dutch ships and 21 English ships divided into 2 squadrons, one commanded by Robert Blake and the other by Nehemiah Bourne.
- June 13 – Religion: George Fox preaches to a large crowd on Firbank Fell in England, leading to the establishment of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
- August 26 – First Anglo-Dutch War – Battle of Plymouth: A fleet from the Commonwealth of England attacks an outward-bound convoy of the United Provinces, escorted by 23 men-of-war and 6 fire ships commanded by Vice-Commodore Michiel de Ruyter.
- October 8 – First Anglo-Dutch War – Battle of the Kentish Knock: The battle is fought near the shoal called the Kentish Knock in the North Sea, about 30 km from the mouth of the River Thames.
- January–June – Swiss peasant war.
- February 2 – New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City) is incorporated.
- February 3 – Cardinal Mazarin returns to Paris from exile.
- March 14 – Battle of Leghorn: A Dutch fleet defeats the English; the Dutch commander, Johan van Galen, later dies of his wounds.
- April 20 – Oliver Cromwell expels the Rump Parliament in England.
- May 24 – Ferdinand IV is elected King of the Romans.
- June 12–13 – First Anglo-Dutch War – Battle of the Gabbard: The English navy defeats the Dutch fleet, which loses 17 ships.
- July 4–December 12 – The Barebones Parliament meets in London.
- July 8 – John Thurloe becomes Cromwell's head of intelligence.
- August 8–10 – Battle of Scheveningen: The final naval battle of the First Anglo-Dutch War is fought, between the fleets of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces off the Texel; the English navy gains a tactical victory over the Dutch fleet.
- November – John Casor leaves Anthony Johnson's farm after claiming his contract of indenture had expired.
- December 16 – Instrument of Government in England: The world's first written constitution, under which Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, being advised by a remodelled English Council of State. This is the start of The First Protectorate, bringing an end to the first period of republican government in the country, the Commonwealth of England.
- Marcello Malpighi becomes a doctor of medicine.
- Stephen Bachiler returns to England.
- The Taj Mahal mausoleum is completed at Agra.
- Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg reconfirms the nobility's freedom from taxation and its unlimited control over the peasants.
- March 12–13 – The Treaty of Pereyaslav is concluded in the city of Pereyaslav during the meeting between the Cossacks of the Zaporozhian Host and Tsar Alexey I of Russia, following the end to the Khmelnytsky Uprising in Ukraine, which had started in 1648 and had resulted in the massacre of an estimated 100,000 Jews.
- April 5 – The Treaty of Westminster, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War, is signed.
- April 11 – Anglo-Swedish alliance: A commercial treaty between England and Sweden is signed.
- April 12 – Oliver Cromwell creates a union between England and Scotland, with Scottish representation in the Parliament of England.
- May 8 – Otto von Guericke demonstrates the power of atmospheric pressure and the effectiveness of his vacuum pump using the Magdeburg hemispheres before Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Imperial Diet in Regensburg.
- June 3 – Louis XIV of France is crowned at Reims.
- June 6 – Charles X Gustav succeeds his cousin Christina on the Swedish throne. After her abdication on the same day, Christina, now the former reigning queen of a Protestant nation, secretly converts to Catholicism.
- July – The Russian Army seizes Smolensk, and the Thirteen Years' War starts between Russia and Poland over Ukraine.
- July 10 – Peter Vowell and John Gerard are executed in London for plotting to assassinate Oliver Cromwell.
- August – Oliver Cromwell launches the 'Western Design', an English expedition to the Caribbean to counter Spanish commercial interests, effectively beginning the Anglo-Spanish War (which will last until after the English Restoration in 1660). The fleet leaves Portsmouth in late December.
- August 22 – Twenty-three Jewish refugees from Brazil settle in New Amsterdam, forming the nucleus of what will be the second largest urban Jewish community in history, that of New York City.
- September 3 – In England, the First Protectorate Parliament assembles.
- September 12 – Oliver Cromwell orders the exclusion of the members of Parliament who are hostile to him.
- October 12 – The Delft Explosion, in the arsenal, devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100, among whom is Carel Fabritius (32), the most promising student of Rembrandt.
- October 31 – Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria, is crowned. His absolutist style of leadership becomes a benchmark for the rest of Germany.
- November 23 – French mathematician, scientist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal experiences an intense mystical vision that marks him for life.
- January 5 – Emperor Go-Sai ascends the throne of Japan.
- February 16 – Dutch Grand Pensionary advisor Johan de Witt marries Wendela Bicker.
- March 8 – John Castor became the first legally recognized slave in what was to be the United States.
- March 25 – Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christiaan Huygens.
- April 4 – Battle of Postage Farina, Tunis: Hibiki Tokai's fleet defeats the Barbarian pirates.
- April 7 – Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, succeeds Pope Innocent X as the 237th pope.
- April 24 – The massacre of the Waldensians by Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy, memorialized in a poem.
- April 26 – The Dutch West India Company denies Peter Stuyvesant's request to exclude Jews from New Amsterdam (Manhattan).
- April 28 – Admiral Blake severely damages the arsenal of the Bey of Tunis.
- May 10 – English troops land on Jamaica.
- June 13 – Adriana Nooseman-van de Bergh becomes the first actress in Amsterdam theater.
- July 20 – The Amsterdam Town Hall (now the Royal Palace) is inaugurated.
- July 27
- July 30 – Dutch troops capture Fort Assahudi Seram.
- July 31 – Russo-Polish War (1654–67): The Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for 6 years.
- August 9 – Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell divides England into 11 districts under major-generals.
- August 28 – New Amsterdam and Peter Stuyvesant bar colonial Jews from military service.
- August – The governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, attacks the New Sweden (Delaware) colony.
- September 8 – Swedish King Karl X Gustav occupies Warsaw (Poland).
- September 26 – Peter Stuyvesant recaptures Dutch Ft. Casimir and defeats the New Sweden (Delaware) colony.
- October 15 – The Jews of Lublin are massacred.
- October 19 – Swedish King Karl X Gustav occupies Krakow (Poland).
- November 3 – England and France sign military and economic treaties.
- November 24 – English Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell bans Anglicans.
- December 4 – Middelburg, the Netherlands forbids the building of a synagogue.
- December 27 – Second Northern War/the Deluge: Monks at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa are successful in fending off a month-long siege.
- The Bibliotheca Thysiana is erected, the only surviving 17th century example in the Netherlands of a building designed as a library.
- January 17 – Treaty of Königsberg is signed, establishing an alliance between Charles X Gustav of Sweden and Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg.
- January 24 – The first Jewish doctor in the Thirteen Colonies of America, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland.
- April 1 – Lwów Oath: John II Casimir Vasa, King of Poland, crowns the Black Madonna of Częstochowa as Queen and Protector of Poland in the cathedral of Lwów after the miraculous saving of the monastery of Jasna Góra during the Deluge, an event which actually changed the course of the Second Northern War.
- April 28 – The ship Vergulde Draeck is wrecked off Ledge Point, Western Australia after it departs the Cape of Good Hope; rescue missions fail to find survivors.
- July – In an attempt to rescue survivors of the Vergulde Draeck, a search party is sent ashore, in Goede Hoop's boat, which smashes against rocks and sinks: 8 sailors drown; 3 more disappear ashore.
- July 27, The Writ of Excommunication against Baruch Spinoza
- December – The pendulum clock is invented by Christian Huygens.
- December 20 – Treaty of Labiau is signed between Charles X Gustav of Sweden and Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg.
- Mehmed Köprülü becomes Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
- The Dutch capture the city of Colombo in Sri Lanka.
- The Stockholm Banco, the first bank to issue banknotes, is founded.
- The only English fifty shilling coin is minted.
- Konoike Zen'amon (son of Konoike Shinroku) founds a baking and money-changing business in Osaka.
- Adams' Grammar School in Shropshire, England is founded by William Adams.
- Samuel Stockhausen publishes his “Treatise on the Noxious Fumes of Litharge, Diseases caused by them and Miners’ Asthma”
- January 8 – Miles Sindercombe and his group of disaffected Levellers are betrayed in their attempt to assassinate Oliver Cromwell by blowing up the Palace of Whitehall in London and arrested.
- February 4 – Oliver Cromwell gives Antonio Fernandez Carvajal the assurance of the right of Jews to remain in England.
- February 10 – Christina, former Queen of Sweden, has Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi killed in her presence at the Palace of Fontainebleau.
- February 23 – In England, the Humble Petition and Advice offers Lord Protector Cromwell the crown.
- March 2 – The Great Fire of Meireki in Edo, Japan, destroys most of the city and damages Edo castle, killing an estimated 100,000 people.
- March 23 – Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660): By the Treaty of Paris, France and England form an alliance against Spain; England will receive Dunkirk.
- April 20
- May 8 – Lord Protector Cromwell confirms his refusal of the crown of England, preferring the title "Lord Protector".
- June 1
- July 13 – Following his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to Oliver Cromwell, English army leader John Lambert is ordered to resign his commissions.
- August 20 – The ship Les Armes d'Amsterdam arrives at Quebec, New France. Among the passengers is Michel Mathieu Brunet dit Lestang (1638–1708), colonist, explorer and co-discoverer of what is today Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is the ancestor of the Brunet, Lestang and Carisse families of North America.
- September – Shah Jahan becomes ill, allowing his son to take control of the Mughal Empire.
- September 19 – Brandenburg and Poland sign the Treaty of Wehlau.
- September 24 – The first autopsy and coroner's jury verdict are recorded in the Colony of Maryland.
- October 1 – Treaty of Raalte: William III, Prince of Orange is no longer stadtholder of Overijssel.
- October 3 – French troops occupy Mardyck.
- November 6 – Brandenburg and Poland sign the Treaty of Bromberg.
- December 27 – The Flushing Remonstrance is signed in New Amsterdam at the site of the future (1862) Flushing Town Hall in New York.
- The Accademia del Cimento is founded in Florence, Italy.
- England's first chocolate house is opened in London.
- Coffee is introduced to France.
- Christiaan Huygens writes the first book to be published on probability theory, De ratiociniis in ludo aleae ("On Reasoning in Games of Chance").
- Andreas Gryphius' drama Katharina von Georgien is published.
- Thomas Middleton's tragedy Women Beware Women is published posthumously.
- January 13 – Edward Sexby, who had plotted against Oliver Cromwell, dies in the Tower of London.
- February 6 – Swedish troops of Charles X Gustav of Sweden cross The Great Belt (Storebælt) in Denmark over frozen sea.
- February 26 – The peace between Sweden and Denmark is concluded in Roskilde by the Treaty of Roskilde, under which Denmark is forced to cede significant territory.
- March 22 – The ship Waeckende Boey is wrecked on the coast of Java; the four survivors walk overland to Jepara.
- May 1 – Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus are published by Thomas Browne.
- June 6 – Pope Alexander VII appoints François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France.
- June 14 – Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660) and Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659): Battle of the Dunes: A Spanish force attempting to lift a siege of Dunkirk is defeated by the French and English. England is then given Dunkirk for its assistance in the victory.
- June 25–27 – Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Rio Nuevo: A Spanish invasion force fails to recapture Jamaica from the English.
- July – Sarhuda's Manchu fleet annihilates Onufriy Stepanov's Russian flotilla on the Amur.
- July 31 – After his father Shah Jahan completes the Taj Mahal, his son Aurangzeb deposes him as ruler of the Mughal Empire.
- September 3 – Oliver Cromwell dies and his son Richard assumes his father's former position as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
- Portuguese traders are expelled from Ceylon by Dutch invaders.
- The Dutch in the Cape Colony start to import slaves from India and South-East Asia (later from Madagascar).
- January 14 – Battle of the Lines of Elvas: The Portuguese beat the Spanish in the Portuguese Restoration War.
- January 24 – Pierre Corneille's Oedipe premieres in Paris.
- February 2 – Jan van Riebeeck produces the first South African wine at the Cape of Good Hope.
- February 11 – The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces is beaten back with heavy losses.
- February 16 – The first known cheque (400 pounds) is written (on display at Westminster Abbey).
- April 22 – Lord Protector Richard Cromwell dissolves the English Parliament.
- May 22 – France, England, and Netherlands sign the Hedges Concerto treaty.
- May 25 – Richard Cromwell resigns as English Lord Protector.
- May 31 – The Netherlands, England, and France sign the Treaty of The Hague.
- July 16 – Princess Henriette Catherine of Nassau marries John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, in Groningen.
- September 30 – Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherland forbids tennis playing during religious services (first mention of tennis in what will be the U.S.).
- October 12 – The English Rump Parliament dismisses John Lambert and other generals.
- October 13 – General-major John Lambert drives out the English Rump-government.
- November 7 – Treaty of Pyrenees: French King Louis XIV and King Philip IV of Spain agree to French acquisition of Roussillon and most of Artois, and formally end their 24-year war.
- November 25 – Dutch forces under Michiel de Ruyter free the Danish city of Nyborg from Swedish conquest (earlier in the year).
- December 16 – General Monck demands free parliamentary election in Scotland.
- December 26 – The Long Parliament reforms occur in Westminster.
- The Spanish Infanta Maria Theresa brings cocoa to Paris.
- Diego Velázquez's portrait of Infanta Maria Theresa is first exhibited.
- Thomas Hobbes publishes De Homine.
- Parisian police raid a monastery, sending monks to prison for eating meat and drinking wine during Lent.
- Drought occurs in India.
- Christiaan Huygens writes Systema Saturnium.
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