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|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1650s 1660s 1670s – 1680s – 1690s 1700s 1710s|
|Years:||1685 1686 1687 – 1688 – 1689 1690 1691|
|1688 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||2441|
|English Regnal year||3 Ja. 2 – 1 Will. & Mar.|
— to —戊辰年十二月初九日
|- Vikram Samvat||1744–1745|
|- Shaka Samvat||1610–1611|
|- Kali Yuga||4789–4790|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||688–689|
|Japanese calendar||Jōkyō 5Genroku 1
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||224 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2231|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1688|
- March – William Dampier makes the first recorded visit to Christmas Island.
- March 1 – Great fire devastates Bungay in England.
- Spring – James VII and II orders his Declaration of Indulgence, suspending penal laws against Catholics, to be read from every Anglican pulpit in England. The Church of England and its staunchest supporters, the peers and gentry, are outraged.
- April 18 (Julian calendar) – The Germantown Quaker Protest Against Slavery is drafted by four Germantown Quakers.
- April 29 – Death of Friedrich Wilhelm, the "Great Elector" of Brandenburg-Prussia. Friedrich III becomes Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia until 1701, when he becomes the first King of Prussia as Friedrich I.
- June 10 – The birth of King James' heir, James Francis Edward Stuart (1688–1766; later to become known as the "Old Pretender") increases public disquiet about a Catholic dynasty. The fears are confirmed when the baby is baptised into the Catholic faith.
- June 30 – A high-powered conspiracy of notables (the Immortal Seven) invite Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange and Princess Mary to "defend the liberties of England" and depose King James VII and II.
- July – Phetracha stages a coup d'état and becomes king of Ayutthaya.
- October 27 – King James II of England dismisses minister Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland.
- November 11 (November 1 OS) – The Glorious Revolution: William III of Orange sets sail a second time from Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands to take over England, Scotland and Ireland from King James II of England before the Glorious Revolution.
- November 15 (November 5 OS) – The Glorious Revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Torbay in Britain with a multinational force of 15,000 mercenaries. He makes no claim to the British Crown, saying only that he has come to save Protestantism and to maintain English liberty, and begins a march on London.
- November 19 (November 9 OS) – William of Orange captures Exeter after the magistrates flee the city.
- November 23 – A group of 1,500 Old Believers immolate themselves to avoid capture when troops of the tsar lay siege to their monastery on Lake Onega.
- November 26 – Hearing that William of Orange has landed in England, Louis XIV declares war on the Netherlands. Perhaps revealingly, he does not attack the Netherlands but instead strikes at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire with about 100,000 soldiers. The Nine Years' War begins in Europe and America.
- December 11 – Having led his army to Salisbury and been deserted by his troops, James VII and II attempts to flee to France.
- December 18 – William of Orange enters London.
- The Austrians incite a rebellion against the Ottomans in Bulgaria.
- Fall of Belgrade to the Austrians as the Ottoman Empire continues to lose ground in Europe.
- Edward Lloyd opens the London coffee house that soon becomes a popular meeting place for shipowners, merchants, insurance brokers and underwriters. In time the business association they form will outgrow the coffee house premises and become Lloyd's of London.
- Neuruppin becomes a Prussian garrison town.
- Francesco Morosini becomes Doge of Venice.
- Janez Vajkard Valvasor becomes a member of the Royal Society.
- Antonio Verrio begins work on the Heaven Room at Burghley House.
- Earliest known mention of the balalaika.
- January 18 – Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (d. 1765)
- February 2 – Queen Ulrike Eleonora of Sweden (d. 1741)
- February 4 – Pierre de Marivaux, French playwright (d. 1763)
- February 8 – Emanuel Swedenborg Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian (d. 1772)
- March – William Burnet, British colonial administrator (d. 1729)
- April 4 – Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, French astronomer (d. 1768)
- April 15 – Johann Friedrich Fasch, German composer (d. 1758)
- May 22 – Alexander Pope, English poet (d. 1744)
- June 10 – James Francis Edward Stuart, The Old Pretender (d. 1766)
- July 19 – Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian missionary to China (d. 1766)
- August 14 – King Frederick William I of Prussia (d. 1740)
- September 12 – Ferdinand Brokoff, Czech sculptor (d. 1731)
- October 17 – Domenico Zipoli, Italian composer (d. 1726)
- October 22 – Nadir Shah of Persia (d. 1747)
- date unknown – Charles Rivington, English publisher (d. 1742)
- January 7 – James Howard, 3rd Earl of Suffolk
- January 28 – Ferdinand Verbiest, Flemish Jesuit missionary in China (b. 1623)
- February 2 – Abraham Duquesne, French naval officer (b. 1610)
- April 29 – Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg (b. 1620)
- May 14 – Antoine Furetière, French writer (b. 1619)
- June 5 – Constantine Phaulkon, Greek adventurer (b. 1667)
- June 26 – Ralph Cudworth, English philosopher (b. 1617)
- July 11 – Narai of Thailand (b. 1639)
- July 21 – James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, Irish statesman (b. 1610)
- August 25 – Henry Morgan, Welsh privateer and Governor of Jamaica (b. c. 1635)
- August 31 – John Bunyan, English writer (b. 1628)
- September 2 – Robert Viner, Lord Mayor of London (b. 1631)
- October 6 – Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle, English statesman (b. 1653)
- October 23 – Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange, French philologist (b. 1610)
- November 26 – Philippe Quinault, French dramatist (b. 1635)
- December 15 – Gaspar Fagel, Dutch statesman (b. 1634)
- December 15 – Louis Victor de Rochechouart de Mortemart, French military man, brother of Madame de Montespan (b. 1636)