1686 in England
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Events from the year 1686 in the Kingdom of England.
- Monarch – James II
- 21 June – judgement in the case of Godden v. Hales affirms the king's power to exercise his dispensing powers granting exemptions from anti-Catholic legislation. Heneage Finch is dismissed as Solicitor General for his refusal to defend the king's case.
- 10 July – Court of Ecclesiastical Commission created.
- 17 July – King James appoints four Catholics to the Privy Council of England.
- 5 November – Bar Convent in York established, making it the oldest surviving active Catholic convent in England.
- A group of conspirators meet at Charborough House in Dorset to plan the overthrow of James II by Parliamentarians and the Dutch Stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (James's son-in-law).
- Edmond Halley presents a systematic study of the trade winds and monsoons and identifies solar heating as the cause of atmospheric motions.
- Robert Plot publishes The Natural History of Staffordshire.
- April 9 – James Craggs the Younger, English politician (died 1721)
- April 29 – Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman (died 1742)
- June 5 – Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk, English aristocrat (died 1777). Possibly born in 1685.
- August 12 – John Balguy, English philosopher (died 1748)
- August 19 – Eustace Budgell, English writer (died 1737)
- November 30 – Richard Lumley, 2nd Earl of Scarbrough, English Whig politician (died 1740)
- George Clinton, English politician (died 1761)
- Thomas Carte, English historian (died 1754)
- Giles Jacob, English legal writer and literary critic (died 1744)
- William Law, English divine (died 1761)
- Christopher Packe, English medical doctor and geologist (died 1749)
- January 14 – Sir Thomas Abdy, 1st Baronet, English lawyer and landowner (born 1612)
- January 19 – Simon Digby, 4th Baron Digby, English politician (born 1657)
- February 10 – Sir William Dugdale, English antiquary (born 1605)
- April 15 – Sir Joseph Ashe, 1st Baronet, English Whig politician and merchant (born 1618)
- June 23 – Sir William Coventry, English statesman (born c. 1628)
- July 10 – John Fell, English churchman (born 1625)
- July 16 – John Pearson, English theologian and scholar (born 1612)
- October 26 – John Egerton, 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, English nobleman (born 1623)
- John Dolben, English churchman (born 1625)
- John (Jack) Ketch, executioner employed by King Charles II (birth unknown)
- John Playford, English bookseller and publisher (born 1623)
- Thomas Watson, English, non-conformist, Puritan preacher and author (born c. 1620)
- "Judgment in the Case Godden v. Hales, 1686". The Jacobite Heritage. 2003-10-25. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
- Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 196–197. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "The Bar Convent". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
- Halley, E. (1686). "An Historical Account of the Trade Winds, and Monsoons, observable in the Seas between and near the Tropicks, with an attempt to assign the Physical cause of the said Winds". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. London. 16: 153–168.
- Information on James Craggs the Younger and Elder