On This Day

1709 in History

Events in History


Historic CommunicationGreat Frost of 1709

Jan 5 The Great Frost begins during the night, a sudden cold snap that remains Europe's coldest ever winter. Thousands are killed across the continent and crops fail in France.
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Le lagon gelé en 1709, painted by Gabriele Bella, showing part of a lagoon which froze in Venice in 1709
Le lagon gelé en 1709, painted by Gabriele Bella, showing part of a lagoon which froze in Venice in 1709
  • Jan 11 Colley Cibber's play "Rival Fools" premieres in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 British sailor Alexander Selkirk is rescued by William Dampier after being marooned on a desert island for 5 years, his story inspires "Robinson Crusoe

Explorer and Pirate William Dampier
Explorer and Pirate
William Dampier
  • Mar 27 Dike at Hardinxveld breaks (Alblasserwaard flooded)

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Jun 27 Peter the Great of Russia defeats Charles XII of Sweden at the Battle of Poltava.

Russian Tsar Peter the Great
Russian Tsar
Peter the Great
  • Jul 8 Battle of Poltava; Russians defeat Swedes, end of Swedish empire as a major power
  • Aug 8 1st known ascent in hot-air balloon, Bartolomeu de Gusmao (indoors)
  • Sep 3 1st major group of Swiss/German colonists reaches NC/SC
  • Sep 11 Battle at Malplaquet during War of the Spanish Succession: English, Austrian and Dutch Great Alliance defeat France
  • Oct 29 England & Netherlands sign anti-French "Barrieretraktaat"

Birthdays in History

  • Feb 24 Jacques de Vaucanson, French inventor (d. 1782)
  • Mar 10 Georg Steller, German naturalist (d. 1746)
  • Jul 11 Johan Gottschalk Wallerius, Swedish chemist and mineralogist, born in Stora Mellösa, Närke (d. 1785)
  • Jul 20 James Harris, English philosopher, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire (d. 1780)

Person of interestSamuel Johnson

Sep 18 Samuel Johnson, English scholar and lexicographer (A Dictionary of the English Language), born in Lichfield Staffordshire (d. 1784)

Scholar and Lexicographer Samuel Johnson
Scholar and Lexicographer
Samuel Johnson
  • Oct 25 Jan Wagenaar, Dutch merchant and historian, born in Amsterdam (d. 1773)
  • Nov 2 Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain, born in Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover (d. 1759)
  • Dec 11 Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, Queen consort of Spain, born in Palace of Versailles, France (d. 1742)
  • Dec 27 Pieter de Swart, Dutch architect (Royal Palace, Hague)

Person of interestElizabeth of Russia

Dec 29 Elizabeth of Russia [Elizaveta Petrovna], Empress of Russia (1741-62) and daughter of Peter the Great, born in Kolomenskoye, Moscow, Russia (d. 1762)

Empress of Russia Elizabeth of Russia
Empress of Russia
Elizabeth of Russia

Weddings in History

  • Apr 26 Frisian viceroy Johan Willem Friso marries countess Maria Louisa

Deaths in History

  • Jan 20 François de la Chaise, French confessor of Louis XIV of France, dies at 84
  • Jan 24 George Rooke, English admiral (b. 1650)
  • Feb 9 François Louis, Prince of Conti, French general, dies at 44
  • Feb 19 Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (b. 1646)
  • Mar 8 William Cowper/Cooper, English anatomist, dies at about 62
  • Mar 9 Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu, English diplomat, dies at 70
  • Jun 30 Edward Lhuyd, Welsh scientist (b. 1660)
  • Jul 17 Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (b. 1646)
  • Sep 4 Jean-Francois Regnard, French comedic poet/slave in Algeria, dies
  • Sep 11 Oxenstiern, Dutch general, dies in the Battle of Malplaquet
  • Sep 11 Spaar, Dutch General, dies in the Battle of Malplaquet
  • Oct 9 Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, English mistress of Charles II of England (b. 1640)
  • Nov 23 Hans Willem baron Bentinck, Dutch/English earl of Portland, dies at 60
  • Dec 1 Abraham a Sancta Clara, [Johann Ulrich Megerle], German court preacher and friar, dies at 65
  • Dec 8 Thomas Corneille, French dramatist (Timocrates), dies at 74