On This Day

What Happened in December 1640

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule following a revolution by Portuguese nobility; the Portuguese Restoration War begins and lasts until 1668 with recognition by Spain of the country's independence
  • Dec 9 Settler Hugh Bewitt banished from Mass colony when he declares himself to be free of original sin
  • Dec 15 Duke of Braganca crowned King Johan IV of Portugal
  • Dec 25 Pierre de Fermat writes to Marin Mersenne about Fermat's church thesis

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 6 Claude Fleury, French priest and historian, born in Paris (d. 1723)
  • Dec 13 Robert Plot, English naturalist, born in Borden, Kent (d. 1696)
  • Dec 14 Aphra Behn, English playwright and novelist, baptized in Canterbury, England (d. 1689)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 6 Matthijs Elsevier, Flemish/Dutch book publisher/merchant, dies at 75
  • Dec 9 Pierre Fourier, Roman Catholic saint and French priest (b.1565)
  • Dec 30 John Francis Regis, French saint (b. 1597)