1688 in England
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Events from the year 1688 in the Kingdom of England.
- Monarch - James II (to 11 December).
- March - William Dampier makes first recorded landing on Christmas Island.
- 1 March - Great fire devastates Bungay.
- 4 May - Declaration of Indulgence ordered to be read aloud in all churches on two consecutive Sundays.
- 8 June - Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to proclaim the Declaration of Indulgence.
- 10 June - Birth of James Francis Edward Stuart, son to King James II and his Catholic wife Mary of Modena, at St James's Palace in London. Rumours about his true maternity swiftly begin to circulate.
- 30 June - A conspiracy of notables, the "Immortal Seven", invite William of Orange and Mary to depose James II.
- by July - First definitely known performance of the Henry Purcell opera Dido and Aeneas, at Josias Priest's girls' school in Chelsea, London.
- 27 October - James II dismisses government minister Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland.
- 5 November (15 November NS) - Glorious Revolution begins: William lands at Brixham; James is prevented from meeting him in battle because many of his officers and men desert to the other side.
- 9 December
- 11 December - After a series of defeats, James II attempts to flee to France but is intercepted by fishermen in Kent.
- 18 December - William of Orange enters London.
- 22 December - James II succeeds in fleeing to France.
- December - John Dryden dismissed as Poet Laureate for refusing to swear loyalty to the new monarchy.
- undated - Lloyd's of London marine insurance market begins to form on the premises of Edward Lloyd (coffeehouse owner) in London.
- Mrs Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko.
- John Locke has the first abstract of his seminal An Essay Concerning Human Understanding appear in Leclerc's Bibliothèque universelle.
- Fourth (and illustrated) edition of John Milton's Paradise Lost.
- 18 January - Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (died 1765)
- 22 May - Alexander Pope, poet (died 1744)
- 10 June - James Francis Edward Stuart, "The Old Pretender" (died 1766)
- 7 January - James Howard, 3rd Earl of Suffolk (born 1606/1607)
- 26 June - Ralph Cudworth, philosopher (born 1617)
- 25 August - Henry Morgan, privateer and Governor of Jamaica (born c. 1635)
- 31 August - John Bunyan, writer (born 1628)
- 2 September - Sir Robert Viner, Lord Mayor of London (born 1631)
- 6 October - Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle, statesman (born 1653)
- Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 196–197. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- White, Bryan (2009). "Letter from Aleppo: dating the Chelsea School performance of Dido and Aeneas". Early Music 37: 417–428. doi:10.1093/em/cap041.
- Kenyon, J. P. (1978). Stuart England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-022076-3.
- Leavis, Q.D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (rev. ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.