On This Day

1631 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 23 France & Sweden sign anti-German Treaty of Barwald

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 5 Founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams arrives in Boston from England

Theologian and Colonist Roger Williams
Theologian and Colonist
Roger Williams
  • May 17 Earl Johann Tilly attacks Maagdenburg
  • May 18 English colony Massachusetts Bay grants Puritan voting right

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

May 18 John Winthrop is elected 1st Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop
Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop
  • May 20 Magdeburg in Germany seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire under earl Johann Tilly, most inhabitants massacred, one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years' War
  • May 30 The Treaty of Fontainebleau signed between Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and the Kingdom of France, establishing a secret alliance between them during the Thirty Years' War.

IndiaTaj Mahal

Jun 17 Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal

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The Taj Mahal in all its glory, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan I for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal
The Taj Mahal in all its glory, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan I for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal
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  • Jun 19 Peace of Cherasco: Charles de Gonzaga-Nevers becomes duke of Mantua
  • Jun 20 The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates
  • Sep 13 Admiral Tholen conquers 30+ Spanish frigates
  • Sep 17 Battle of Breitenfeld: King Gustaaf Adolf of Sweden defeats Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly.
  • Oct 10 Saxon army occupies Prague
  • Nov 4 Ferdinand of Austria installed as land guardian of South Netherlands
  • Nov 7 Pierre Gassendi observes 1st ever transit of Mercury predicted by Kepler
  • Dec 6 1st predicted transit of Venus (Kepler) is observed
  • Dec 16 Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupts, burying many villages under lava flows and killing around 3,000 people

Birthdays in History

  • Mar 16 René Le Bossu, French critic (d. 1680)
  • Apr 8 Cornelis de Heem, Dutch painter, born in Leiden, Netherlands (d. 1695)
  • Jul 15 Jens Juel, Danish diplomat (d. 1700)
  • Aug 19 John Dryden, English poet (1st Poet Laureate 1668-1700), born in Aldwincle, Northamptonshire (d. 1700) [OS=Aug 9]
  • Sep 30 William Stoughton, American judge at the Salem witch trials (d. 1701)
  • Nov 4 Mary, 1st British Princess Royal and the Princess of Orange, born in St James's Palace, London (d. 1660)
  • Dec 14 Anne Conway, English philosopher, born in London (d. 1679)
  • Dec 28 Ludolf Backhuysen, Dutch seascape painter/cartoonist

Deaths in History

  • Jan 1 Thomas Hobson, the "Cambridge Carrier", eponym of Hobson's Choice, dies at 86
  • Mar 31 John Donne, Metaphysical poet, dies (birth date unknown)
  • May 6 Robert Bruce Cotton, English politician and antiquarian (his library formed basis of British Museum manuscript collection), dies at 60
  • May 26 Enrico Caterino Davila, Italian writer (Storia delguerre civili Francia), dies at 54
  • Jun 17 Mumtaz Mahal, Empress consort of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal as her mausoleum and symbol of his undying love, dies during childbirth of her 14th child at 38

Person of interestJohn Smith

Jun 21 John Smith, English explorer (Chesapeake Bay, New England) and leader of the Virginia Colony (Jamestown), dies at 51

Explorer John Smith
John Smith
  • Jun 26 Justinus van Nassau, ltalian admiral (Armada), dies
  • Jul 19 Cesare Cremonini, Italian philosopher (b. 1550)
  • Jul 28 Guillén de Castro y Bellvis, Spanish dramatist (b. 1569)
  • Aug 8 Konstantinas Sirvydas, Lithuanian lexicographer (b. 1579)
  • Oct 5 Arabella Holles, wife of English politician Thomas Wentworth, dies
  • Oct 14 Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, Queen of Denmark and Norway, dies at 74
  • Oct 20 Michael Maestlin, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1550)
  • Nov 30 Rabbi Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-levi Edels, dies
  • Dec 23 Michael Drayton, English poet (b. 1563)
  • Dec 27 John Pijnas, Dutch painter, buried at about 47