The 1610s decade ran from January 1, 1610, to December 31, 1619.
- January 6 – Nossa Senhora da Graça incident: A Portuguese carrack sinks near Nagasaki, after fighting Japanese samurai for four nights.
- January 7 – Galileo Galilei first observes the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Ganymede, Callisto, Europa and Io, but is unable to distinguish the latter two until the following day.
- May 14 – François Ravaillac assassinates Henry IV of France.
- May 23 – Jamestown, Virginia: Acting as temporary Governor, Thomas Gates, along with John Rolfe, Captain Ralph Hamor, Sir George Somers, and other survivors from the Sea Venture (wrecked at Bermuda) arrive at Jamestown; they find that 60 have survived the "starving time" (winter), the fort palisades and gates have been torn down, and empty houses have been used for firewood, in fear of attacks by natives outside the fort area.
- May 24 – Jamestown, Virginia: The temporary Governor, Thomas Gates, issues The Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws.
- May 27 – Regicide François Ravaillac is executed by being pulled apart by horses in the Place de Grève, Paris.
- June 7 – Jamestown: Temporary Governor Gates decides to abandon Jamestown.
- June 8 – Jamestown: Temporary Governor Gates' convoy meets the ships of Governor Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (Delaware) at Mulberry Island.
- June 10 – Jamestown: The convoy of temporary Governor Gates, and the ships of Governor Lord De La Warr, land at Jamestown.
- July – Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine (Marian Vespers) are published in Venice.
- July 4 – Polish–Muscovite War – Battle of Klushino: The outnumbered forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth defeat the combined Russian and Swedish armies; Polish troops go on to occupy Moscow.
- July 5 – John Guy sets sail from Bristol, with 39 other colonists, for Newfoundland.
- July 9 – Lady Arbella Stuart, a claimant to the throne of England, is imprisoned for clandestinely marrying William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, another claimant, without royal permission on June 22.
- August 2 – Henry Hudson sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay, thinking he has made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean.
- August 9 – Anglo-Powhatan Wars: The English launch a major attack on the Paspahegh village, capturing and executing the native queen and her children, burning houses and chopping down the corn fields; the subsequent use of the term "Paspahegh" in documents refers to their former territory.
- October 9 – Poland, under the command of Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski, take control of the Kremlin during the Polish–Muscovite War.
- October 17 – Louis XIII of France is crowned.
- The Manchu tribal leader Nurhaci breaks his relations with the Ming dynasty of China, at this time under the aloof and growingly negligent Wanli Emperor; Nurhaci's line later becomes the emperors of the Qing dynasty, which overthrows the short-lived Shun dynasty in 1644, and the remnants of the Ming throne in 1662.
- The Orion Nebula is discovered by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.
- Publication is completed of the Douay–Rheims Bible (The Holie Bible Faithfully Translated into English), a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church.
- Jakob Böhme experiences another inner vision, in which he believes that he further understands the unity of the cosmos, and that he has received a special vocation from God.
- Work starts on the Wignacourt Aqueduct, in Malta.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico is founded as the oldest city in the state.
- Approximate date – First shipments of tea to Europe, by the Dutch East India Company.
- February 27 – Sunspots are observed by telescope, by Frisian astronomers Johannes Fabricius and David Fabricius, and Johannes publishes the results of these observations, in De Maculis in Sole observatis in Wittenberg, later this year. Such early discoveries are overlooked, however, and the first sighting is claimed a few months later, by Galileo Galilei and Christoph Scheiner.
- March 4 – George Abbot is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury.
- March 9 – Battle of Segaba in Begemder: Yemana Kristos, brother of Emperor of Ethiopia Susenyos I, ends the rebellion of Melka Sedeq.
- April 4 – Denmark declares war on Sweden, then captures Kalmar.
- April 28 – The Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario is established in Manila, the Philippines (later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomas, now known as the University of Santo Tomas).
- May 2 – The Authorized King James Version of the Bible is published for the first time in London, England, printed by Robert Barker.
- May 9 – In Japan, sixteen-year-old Emperor Go-Mizunoo succeeds Emperor Go-Yōzei.
- June 22 – English explorer and sea captain Henry Hudson, his teenage son John, and six crewmen are set adrift in or near Hudson Bay, after a mutiny on his ship Discovery. They are never seen again.
- August 2 – Jamestown: Deputy Governor Sir Thomas Gates returns to Virginia with 280 people, provisions and cattle on six ships and assumes control, ruling that the fort must be strengthened.
- September – Jamestown: Thomas Dale, with 350 men, starts building Henricus.
- October 30 – Gustavus Adolphus succeeds his father Charles IX as King of Sweden.
- November 1 – At Whitehall Palace in London, William Shakespeare's last solo play The Tempest is performed, perhaps for the first time.
- An uprising occurs in Moscow, Russia against occupying Polish forces, resulting in a major fire.
- Jamestown: John Rolfe imports tobacco seeds from the island of Trinidad (Nicotiana tabacum); the native tobacco is Nicotiana rustica.
- The Aix-en-Provence possessions takes place in France.
- Famine in Ethiopia resulting from crop failure due to weather conditions and the outbreak of a plague.
- Thomas Dale founds the city of Henricus on the James River, a few miles south of present day Richmond, Virginia.
- Construction begins on Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Persia.
- Thomas Sutton founds Charterhouse School, on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London.
- Itoh Gofuku Shop, a predecessor of Matsuzakaya, a famous for department store, founded in Nagoya, Japan.
- January 6 – Axel Oxenstierna becomes Lord High Chancellor of Sweden. He persuades the Riksdag of the Estates to grant the Swedish nobility the right and privilege to hold all higher offices of government.
- January 20 – Matthias becomes Holy Roman Emperor, upon the death of Rudolf II.
- January 20–November 4 – An uprising in Moscow expels Polish troops.
- March 2 – False Dmitry III is recognised as tsar by the Cossacks.
- April 11 – Edward Wightman, a radical Anabaptist, is the last person to be executed for heresy in England, by burning at the stake in Lichfield.
- May 10 – Shah Jahan marries Mumtaz Mahal.
- May 23–25 – A Sicilian–Neapolitan galley fleet defeats the Tunisians at La Goulette.
- June 13 – Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, is formally elected.
- July 22 – Four women and one man are hanged, following the Northamptonshire witch trials in Northampton, England.
- August 20 – Ten Pendle witches are hanged, having been found guilty of practising witchcraft in Lancashire, England.
- August 26 – Battle of Kringen: A Scottish mercenary force is destroyed in Norway.
- November 29 – Battle of Swally, in which the English fleet beat the Portuguese
- November 29 – The Treaty of Nasuh Pasha is signed, between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid Empire.
- November 30 – Battle of Swally: Forces of the British East India Company and Portugal engage off the coast of India, resulting in a British victory.
- December 15 – Simon Marius is the first to observe the Andromeda Galaxy through a telescope.
- December 28 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune when in conjunction with Jupiter, yet he mistakenly catalogues it as a fixed star, because of its extremely slow motion along the ecliptic. Neptune is not truly discovered until 1846, about 234 years after Galileo first sights it with his telescope.
- Jamestown: John Rolfe exports the first crop of improved tobacco (seeds from Trinidad).
- The Nagoya Castle is completed in Japan.
- The Okamoto Daihachi incident in Japan.
- Thomas Shelton's English translation of the first half of Don Quixote is published. It is the first translation of the Spanish novel into any language.
- January 11 – Workers in a sandpit, in the Dauphiné region of France, discover the skeleton of what is alleged to be a 30-foot tall man (the remains, it is supposed, of the giant Teutobochus, a legendary Gallic king who fought the Romans).
- January 21 – King James I of England successfully mediates the Treaty of Knäred between Denmark and Sweden.
- February 14 – Elizabeth, daughter of King James I of England, marries Frederick V, Elector Palatine.
- March 3 – An assembly of the Russian Empire elects Mikhail Romanov Tsar of Russia, and establishes the Romanov Dynasty, ending the Time of Troubles.
- March 27 – The first English child is born in Canada at Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.
- March 29 – Samuel de Champlain becomes the first unofficial Governor of New France.
- April 13 – Samuel Argall captures Algonquian princess Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia, to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father. She is brought to Henricus as an hostage.
- June – At Jamestown, John Rolfe makes the first shipment of West Indian tobacco grown in Virginia to England.
- June 29 – Fire destroys London's famed Globe Theatre.
- July – Algonquian princess Pocahontas meets English colonist John Rolfe in Henricus, Virginia during her captivity. Reverend Alexander Whitaker converts her to Christianity. She adopts the name Rebecca.
- July 28 – Gregor Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, denounces Jacob Boehme as a heretic, in his Sunday sermon.
- August 29 – The Sicilians under de Aragon defeat the trade fleet of the Ottoman Empire, ending the Battle of Cape Corvo.
- September 29 – The New River is opened, to supply London with drinking water from Hertfordshire.
- October 28 – Keichō embassy: Hasekura Tsunenaga sets out in the Date Maru with a Japanese diplomatic mission to the Holy See, first traveling to Acapulco in New Spain; this follows soon after an agreement between Tokugawa Ieyasu and the East India Company, permitting English merchants to live and trade in Japan.
- November 3 – English royal favourite Robert Carr is created 1st Earl of Somerset.
- December 26 – The Earl of Somerset marries Frances Howard, following her divorce from Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex; the event is the inspiration for John Donne's Eclogue.
- The Ottoman Empire invades Hungary.
- A locust swarm destroys La Camarque, France.
- The territory of Kuwait is founded.
- Sultan Agung of Mataram takes the throne of the kingdom of Mataram on Java.
- Near Jamestown, Virginia, Sir Thomas Dale starts a settlement called Bermuda City, which later becomes part of Hopewell, Virginia.
- February – King James I of England condemns duels, in his proclamation Against Private Challenges and Combats.
- April 5 – Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia.
- July 6 – Raid of Żejtun: Ottoman forces make a final attempt to conquer the island of Malta, but are beaten back by the Knights Hospitaller.
- August 23 – The University of Groningen is established in the Dutch Republic.
- September 1 – In England, Sir Julius Caesar becomes Master of the Rolls.
- October 11 – Adriaen Block and a group of Amsterdam merchants petition the States General of the Northern Netherlands for exclusive trading rights, in the area he explored and named "New Netherland".
- November 16 – The Treaty of Xanten ends the War of the Jülich Succession.
- November 19 – Hostilities resulting from an attempt by Toyotomi Hideyori to restore Osaka Castle begin. Tokugawa Ieyasu, father of the shōgun, is outraged at this act, and leads three thousand men across the Kizu River, destroying the fort there.
- December 4 – The Siege of Osaka begins.
- The French Estates General meets for the last time before the era of the French Revolution. In the interim, the Kingdom of France will be governed as an absolute monarchy.
- Scottish mathematician John Napier publishes Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio (Description of the Admirable Table of Logarithms), outlining his discovery of logarithms, and incorporating the decimal mark. Astronomer Johannes Kepler soon begins to employ logarithms, in his description of the Solar System.
- Tisquantum, a Native American of the Wampanoag Nation, is kidnapped and enslaved by Thomas Hunt, an English sea captain working with Captain John Smith. Freed in Spain, Tisquantum (a.k.a. Squanto) will travel for five years in Europe and North America, before returning to his home in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Twenty months later, he will be able to teach the Pilgrims the basics of farming and trade in the New World.
- The Rosicrucian Order is instituted in the Holy Roman Empire, according to Fraternitas Rosae Crucis.
- Christianity is banned throughout Japan.
- January 1 – The New Netherland Company is granted a three-year monopoly in North American trade, between the 40th and 45th parallels.
- February – Sir Thomas Roe sets out to become the first ambassador from the court of the King of England to the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, sailing in the Lyon under the command of captain Christopher Newport.
- March 10 – John Ogilvie, a Jesuit priest, is hanged and drawn at Glasgow Cross in Scotland for refusing to pledge allegiance to King James VI of Scotland; he will be canonised in 1976, becoming the only post-Reformation Scottish saint.
- April 21 – The Wignacourt Aqueduct is inaugurated in Malta.
- May 6 – The Peace of Tyrnau is signed between Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, and Gábor Bethlen.
- June 2 – The first Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France.
- June 3 – The Eastern Army of Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Osaka Army of Toyotomi Hideyori clash during the Battle of Dōmyōji and the Battle of Tennōji.
- June 4 – Forces under shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu take Osaka Castle in Japan, beginning a period of peace which lasts nearly 250 years. Bands of Christian samurai support Ieyasu's enemies at the Battle of Osaka.
- June 21 – The Peace of Asti is concluded between the Spanish Empire and Savoy.
- October – Spánverjavígin: 31 Spanish Basque whalers are killed, after a conflict with the people of Iceland, in the Westfjords Peninsula.
- December 6 – In England, John Winthrop, later governor of the future Massachusetts Bay Colony, marries his second wife (of four), Thomasine Clopton, daughter of William Clopton of Castleins, near Groton, Suffolk.
- Easter – Persian Safavid hordes led by Shah Abbas the Great kill all the monks at the David Gareja monastery complex in Georgia and set fire to its collection of manuscripts and works of art.
- Mary Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, is released from the Tower of London, in recognition of her role in helping to discover the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.
- The Somers Isles Company is founded to administer Bermuda.
- John Browne is created the first King's Gunfounder in England.
- Austrian merchants receive economic privileges in the Ottoman Empire.
- The Perse School in Cambridge, England, is founded by Dr Stephen Perse.
- Wilson's School in Wallington, near London, is founded by Royal Charter.
- The Grolsch Brewery is founded in Groenlo, Netherlands.
- Konoike Shinroku opens an office in Osaka, and begins shipping tax-rice from western Japan to Osaka.
- Johannes Kepler publishes Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo, in response to Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons.
- Manuel Dias, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, introduces for the first time in China the telescope, in his book Tian Wen Lüe (Explicatio Sphaerae Coelestis).
- The second volume of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote ("El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha") is published, and is as successful as the first. Don Quixote eventually becomes the only truly famous work its author ever writes.
- Six-year-old António Vieira arrives from Portugal, with his parents, in Bahia (present-day Salvador) in Colonial Brazil, where he will become a diplomat, noted author, leading figure of the Church, and protector of Brazilian indigenous peoples, in an age of intolerance.
- Officials in Württemberg charge astronomer Johannes Kepler with practicing "forbidden arts" (witchcraft). His mother had also been so charged and spent 14 months in prison.
- January 1 – King James I of England attends the masque The Golden Age Restored, a satire by Ben Jonson on fallen court favorite the Earl of Somerset. The king asks for a repeat performance on January 6.
- January 3 – In the court of James I of England, the king's favorite George Villiers becomes Master of the Horse (encouraging development of the thoroughbred horse); on April 24 he receives the Order of the Garter; and on August 27 is created Viscount Villiers and Baron Waddon, receiving a grant of land valued at £80,000. In 1617, he will be made Earl of Buckingham. After the Earl of Pembroke, he is the second richest nobleman in England.
- January 10 – English diplomat Sir Thomas Roe presents his credentials to the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in Ajmer Fort, opening the door to the British presence in India. Roe sailed in the Lyon under the command of captain Christopher Newport, best known for his role in the Virginia colonies.
- January 12 – The city of Belém, Brazil is founded on the Amazon River delta, by Portuguese captain Francisco Caldeira Castelo Branco, who had previously taken the city of São Luís in Maranhão from the French.
- January 15 – After overwintering with the Huron Indians, Samuel de Champlain and Recollect Father Joseph Le Caron visit the Petun and Ottawa Indians of the Great Lakes. This is Champlain's last trip in North America before returning to France. Having secured Canada, he helps create French America, New France, or L'Acadie.
- January 29 – Dutch captain Willem Schouten, in the Eendracht, rounds the southern tip of South America, and names it Kaap Hoorn, after his birthplace in Holland.
- February – English merchants of the East India Company complain that the great troubles and wars in Japan since their arrival have put them to much pains and charges. Two great cities, Osaka and Sakaii, have been burned to the ground, each one almost as big as London, and not one house left standing, and it is reported above 300,000 men have lost their lives, “yet the old Emperor Ogusho Same hath prevailed and Fidaia Same either been slain or fled secretly away, that no news is to be heard of him.” Jesuits, priests, and friars are banished by the emperor and their churches and monasteries pulled down; they put the fault on the arrival of the English; it is said if Fidaia Same had prevailed against the emperor, he promised them entrance again, when without doubt all the English would have been driven out of Japan.
- February 1 – James I of England grants Ben Jonson an annual pension of 100 marks, making him de facto poet laureate.
- February 19 – First recorded eruption of Mayon Volcano, the Philippines' most active volcano.
- February 24 – A commission of Roman Catholic theologians, the "Qualifiers," reports that the idea that the Sun is stationary is "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture...".
- February 28 – In the aftermath of the 1613–1614 anti-Jewish pogrom called the Fettmilch Uprising in Frankfurt, Germany, mob leader Vincenz Fettmilch is beheaded, but the Jews, who had been expelled from the city on August 23, 1614, following the plundering of the Judengasse, can only return as a result of direct intervention by Holy Roman Emperor Matthias. After long negotiations, the Jews are left without any compensation for their plundered belongings.
- March – Action of 1616, La Goulette, Tunisia: A Spanish squadron under Francisco de Ribera defeats a Tunisian fleet.
- March 5 – Nicolaus Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) is placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, by the Congregation of the Index of the Roman Catholic Church "until corrected".
- March 11
- March 19
- Sir Walter Ralegh, English explorer of the New World, is released from prison in the Tower of London, where he has been imprisoned for treason, in order to conduct a second (ill-fated) expedition, in search of El Dorado in South America.
- The Scornful Lady, a comedy stage play written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, is published.
- March 26 – August 30 – English explorer William Baffin, as pilot to Robert Bylot on the Discovery, makes a detailed exploration of Baffin Bay, whilst searching for the Northwest Passage. The expedition also discovers Smith Sound, Lancaster Sound and Devon Island, and reaches latitude 77° 45' North, a record which holds for 236 years.
- April 25 – Sir John Coke, in the Court of King's Bench (England), holds the King's actions in a case of In commendam to be illegal.
- May 25 – King James I of England's former favourite, the Earl of Somerset, and his wife Frances, are convicted of the murder of Thomas Overbury in 1613. They are spared death, and are sentenced to imprisonment in the Tower of London (until 1622). Although the King has ordered the investigation of the poet's murder and allowed his former court favorite to be arrested and tried, his court, now under the influence of George Villiers, gains the reputation of being corrupt and vile. The sale of peerages (beginning in July) and the royal visit of James's brother-in-law, Christian IV of Denmark, a notorious drunkard, add further scandal.
- May 3 – The Treaty of Loudun is signed, ending a series of rebellions in France.
- June 12 – Pocahontas (now Rebecca) arrives in England, with her husband, John Rolfe, their infant son, Thomas Rolfe, her half-sister Matachanna (alias Cleopatra) and brother-in-law Tomocomo, the shaman also known as Uttamatomakkin (having set out in May). Ten Powhatan Indians are brought by Sir Thomas Dale, the colonial governor, at the request of the Virginia Company, as a fund-raising device. Dale, having been recalled under criticism, writes A True Relation of the State of Virginia, Left by Sir Thomas Dale, Knight, in May last, 1616, in a successful effort to redeem his leadership. Neither Pocahontas or Dale see Virginia again.
- July 6 – First recorded eruption of Manam Volcano (erupting frequently since), forming a 10-km-wide island in the Bismarck Sea, 13 km (8.1 mi) off coast of Papua New Guinea, in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
- July 20 – Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, dies in Rome, thus concluding the Flight of the Earls from Ireland.
- August 8 – The Tokugawa shogunate (Bakufu) in Japan forbids foreigners other than Chinese from traveling freely, or trading outside of the ports of Nagasaki and Hirado.
- September – Sakazaki Naomori of Iwami Tsuwano han fails to kidnap Princess Sen, and commits suicide.
- September 15 – The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy.
- October/November – Ben Jonson's satirical five-act comedy, The Devil is an Ass, is produced at the Blackfriars Theatre in London by the King's Men, poking fun at contemporary credence in witchcraft and Middlesex juries.
- October 25 – Dirk Hartog makes the second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at Dirk Hartog Island, off the Western Australian coast. The pewter Hartog Plate, left to mark the landfall of the Dutch ship Eendracht, is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
- Peter Paul Rubens begins work on classical tapestries, when a contract is signed in Antwerp with cloth dyers Jan Raes and Frans Sweerts in Brussels, and the Genoese merchant Franco Cattaneo.
- René Descartes, at age 20, graduates in civil and canon law at the University of Poitiers, where he becomes disillusioned with books, preferring to seek truths from "le grand livre du monde." His thesis defense may have been written in December.
- With small profits to show, the Virginia Company decides to distribute land in Virginia to shareholders according to the number of shares owned. Each stockholder can set up a "particular" plantation and pay associated expenses, receiving 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land for each share and 50 acres (200,000 m2) for each person transported (the "headrights" system).
- Author Robert Burton is made vicar of St. Thomas in the west suburbs of London.
- November 4 – Prince Charles (15-year-old surviving son of James I of England and Anne of Denmark) is invested as Prince of Wales at Whitehall in London, the last such investiture until 1911.
- November 5 – Bishop Lancelot Andrewes preaches the annual Gunpowder Treason sermon before King James I of England at Whitehall (both were intended victims).
- November 6 – 25 – Ben Jonson's works are published in a collected folio edition (the first of any English playwright).
- November 6 – Captain William Murray is granted a royal patent, giving him the sole privilege of importing tobacco to Scotland for a period of 21 years. Continuing from the reign of Elizabeth I of England, the creation of grants and patents reaches a new highwater mark from 1614 to 1621, during the reign of James I of England.
- November 13 – Italian artist Guido Reni's famous Pietà, commissioned by the Senate of Bologna, is placed on the greater altar of the church of Santa Maria della Pietà.
- November 14 – In England, Sir Edward Coke is dismissed as Chief Justice of the King's Bench by royal prerogative.
- November 16 – Marco Antonio de Dominis, Roman Catholic Archbishop of the See of Spalato and Primate of Dalmatia, having run afoul of Pope Paul V over secular matters relating to Venice, submits to King James I of England and later becomes Dean of Windsor.
- November 30 – Cardinal Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, is named French Secretary of State by young king Louis XIII. Richelieu will change France into a unified centralised state, able to resist both England and the Habsburg Empire.
- December – In the Middle East, traveller Pietro Della Valle marries Jowaya, daughter of a Nestorian Christian father and an Armenian mother, in Baghdad. The couple then sets off (1617) to find the Shah in Isfahan.
- December 10 – An ordinance establishes parish schools in Scotland. The same act of the Privy Council commends the abolition of Gaelic.
- December 18 – A widely reported earthquake occurs in Leipzig, Germany (also dated December 22).
- December 22 – An Indian youth (called one of "the first fruits of India") is baptized with the name "Peter" in London at the St. Dionis Backchurch, in a ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor, the Privy Council, city aldermen, and officials of the Honourable East India Company. Peter thus becomes the first convert to the Anglican Church in India. He returns to India as a missionary, schooled in English and Latin.
- December 25
- "Father Christmas" is a main character of Christmas, His Masque, written by Ben Jonson and presented at the court of King James I of England. Father Christmas is considered a papist symbol by Puritans, and later banished from England until the English Restoration. The traditional, comical costume for this jolly figure, as well as regional names, indicate that he is descended from the presenter of the medieval Feast of Fools.
- Captain Nathaniel Courthope reaches the nutmeg-rich island of Run in the Moluccas, to defend it against the Dutch East India Company. A contract with the inhabitants, accepting James I of England as their sovereign, makes it part of the English colonial empire.
- Abbas I's Kakhetian and Kartlian campaigns occur as progressive combats. Abbas I of Persia captures Tbilisi following a conflict with the Georgian soldiers and the general populace. After the capture of Tbilisi, Abbas I confronts an Ottoman army. The battle takes place near Lake Gökçe, and results in a Safavid victory.
- Nurhaci declares himself khan (emperor) of China, and founds the Later Jin Dynasty.
- Manchurian leader Qing Tai Zu crowns himself king.
- In the Edo period of Japan, Hideyori's forces are defeated during the Summer Battle of 1616, he commits suicide, and the house of Toyotomi is ended.
- The Tepehuán Revolt in Nueva Vizcaya tests the limits of Spanish and Jesuit colonialism, in western and northwestern Durango and southern Chihuahua, Mexico.
- Oorsprong en voortgang der Nederlandtscher beroerten (Origin and progress of the disturbances in the Netherlands), by Johannes Gysius, is published.
- The Collegium Musicum is founded in Prague.
- Physician Aleixo de Abreu is granted a pension of 16,000 reis, for services to the crown in Angola and Brazil, by Philip III of Spain, who also appoints him physician of his chamber.
- Ngawang Namgyal arrives in Bhutan, having escaped Tibet.
- The Swiss Guard is appointed part of the household guard of King Louis XIII of France.
- Week-long festivities in honor of the Prince of Urbano, of the Barberini family, occur in Florence, Italy.
- Richard Steel and John Crowther complete their journey from Ajmeer in the Mughal Empire to Ispahan in Persia.
- Captain John Smith publishes his book A description of New England in London. Smith relates one voyage to the coast of Massachusetts and Maine, in 1614, and an attempted voyage in 1615, when he was captured by French pirates and detained for several months before escaping.
- The New England Indian smallpox or leptospirosis epidemic of 1616–19 begins to depopulate the region, killing an estimated 90% of the coastal native peoples.
- A slave ship carries smallpox from the Kingdom of Kongo to Salvador, Brazil.
- In England, louse-borne epidemic typhus ravages the poor and crowded.
- A fatal disease of cattle, probably rinderpest, spreads through the Italian provinces of Padua, Udine, Treviso and Vicenza, introduced most likely from Dalmatia or Hungary. Great numbers of cattle die in Italy, as they had in previous years (1559, 1562, 1566, 1590, 1598) in other European regions when harvest failure also drives people to the brink of starvation (for example, 1595–97 in Germany). The consumption of beef and veal is prohibited, and Pope Paul V issues an edict prohibiting the slaughter of draught oxen that are suitable for plowing. Calves are also not slaughtered for a some time afterwards, so that Italy's cattle herds can be replenished.
- At the behest of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Dr. Richard Vines, a physician, passes the winter of 1616–17 at Biddeford, Maine, at the mouth of the Saco River, that he calls Winter Harbor. This is the site of the earliest permanent settlement in Maine, of which there is a conclusive record. Maine will become an important refuge for religious dissenters persecuted by the Puritans.
- In Spanish Florida, the Cofa Mission at the mouth of the Suwannee River disappears.
- The first African slaves are brought to Bermuda, an English colony, by Captain George Bargrave to dive for pearls, because of their reputed skill in this activity. Harvesting pearls off the coast proves unsuccessful, and the slaves are put to work planting and harvesting the initial large crops of tobacco and sugarcane. At the same time, some English refuse to purchase Brazilian sugar because it is produced by slave labour.
- Italian natural philosopher Giulio Cesare Vanini publishes a radically heterodox book in France, after his English interlude De admirandis naturae reginae deaeque mortalium arcanis, for which he is condemned and forced to flee Paris. For his opinion that the world is eternal and governed by immanent laws, as expressed in this book, he is executed in 1619.
- Francesco Albani paints the ceiling frescoes of Apollo and the Seasons, at the Palazzo Verospi in Via del Corso, for Cardinal Fabrizio Verospi.
- Elizabethan polymath and alchemist Robert Fludd publishes Apologia Compendiaria, Fraternitatem de Rosea Cruce suspicionis … maculis aspersam, veritatis quasi Fluctibus abluens at Leiden, countering the arguments of Andreas Libavius. Fludd later becomes a cult figure, being linked with Rosicrucians and the Family of Love, without any historical evidence.
- Johannes Valentinus Andreae claims to be the author of Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz Anno 1459 published in Strasbourg.
- Witch trials:
- John Cotta writes his influential book The Triall of Witch-craft.
- Elizabeth Rutter is hanged as a witch in Middlesex, England, Agnes Berrye in Enfield, and nine women in Leicester on the testimony of a raving 13-year-old named John Smith, under the Witchcraft Act 1604. In Orkney, Elspeth Reoch is tried. In France Leger (first name unknown) is condemned for witchcraft on May 6, Sylvanie de la Plaine is burned at Pays de Labourde as a witch, and in Orléans eighteen witches are killed.
- A second witch-hunt breaks out in Biscay, Spain. An Edict of Silence is issued by the Inquisition, but the king overturns the Edict, and 300 accused witches are burned alive.
- Latest probable date of Thomas Middleton composition of The Witch, a tragicomedy that may have entered into the present-day text of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
- "Drink to me only with thine eyes" comes from Ben Jonson's love poem, To Celia. Jonson's poetic lamentation On my first Sonne is also from this year.
- Francis de Sales' literary masterpiece Treatise on the Love of God is published, while he is Bishop of Geneva.
- Orlando Gibbons' anthem See, the Word is Incarnate is written.
- Italian naturalist Fabio Colonna states that "tongue stones" (glossopetrae) are shark teeth, in his treatise De glossopetris dissertatio.
- An important English dictionary is published by Dr. John Bullokar with the title An English Expositor: teaching the interpretation of the hardest words used in our language, with sundry explications, descriptions and discourses.
- English mathematician Henry Briggs goes to Edinburgh, to show John Napier his efficient method of finding logarithms, by the continued extraction of square roots.
- Moralist writer John Deacon publishes a quarto entitled Tobacco Tortured in the Filthy Fumes of Tobacco Refined (supporting the views of James I of England). Deacon writes the same year that syphilis is a "Turkished", "Spanished", or "Frenchized" disease that the English contract by "trafficking with the contagious courruptions."
- Fortunio Liceti publishes De Monstruorum Natura in Italy, which marks the beginning of studies into malformations of the embryo.
- Dutch traders smuggle the coffee plant out of Mocha, a port in Yemen on the Red Sea, and cultivate it at the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens. The Dutch later introduce it to Java.
- Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, known as Allameh Majlesi, is born in the city of Isfahan.
- Fort San Diego, in Acapulco Bay, Mexico, is completed by the Spanish as a defence against their erstwhile vassals, the Dutch.
- Anti-Christian persecutions break out in Nanking, China, and Nagasaki, Japan. The Jesuit-lead Christian community in Japan at this time is over 3,000,000 strong.
- Master seafarer Henry Mainwaring, Oxford graduate and lawyer turned successful Newfoundland pirate, returns to England, is pardoned after rescuing a Newfoundland trading fleet near Gibraltar, and begins to write a revealing treatise on piracy.
- The first Thai embassy to Japan arrives.
- William Harvey gives his views on the circulation of blood, as Lumleian Lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians. It is not until 1628 that he gives his views in print.
- The Dutch establish their colony of Essequibo, in the region of the Essequibo River, in northern South America (present-day Guyana), for sugar and tobacco production. The colony is protected by Fort Kyk-Over-Al, now in ruins. The Dutch also map the Delaware River in North America.
- The Ottoman Empire attempts landings at the shoreline between Cádiz and Lisbon.
- Croatian mathematician Faustus Verantius publishes his book Machinae novae, a book of mechanical and technological inventions, some of which are applicable to the solutions of hydrological problems, and others concern the construction of clepsydras, sundials, mills, presses bridges and boats for widely different uses.
- John Speed publishes an edition of his Atlas of Britain, with descriptive text in Latin.
- Pierre Vernier is employed, with his father, in making fine-scale maps of France (Franche-Comté area).
- Danish natural philosopher Ole Worm collects materials that will later be incorporated into his museum in Copenhagen. His museum is the nucleus of the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum.
- Isaac Beeckman, Dutch intellectual and future friend of René Descartes, leaves his candle factory in Zierikzee, to return to Middelburg to study medicine.
- In Sardinia, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Sassari is founded.
- Gian Lorenzo Bernini sculpts Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children, at the age of 18 years. This work is now in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- The States of Holland set up a commission to advise them on the problem of Jewish residency and worship. One of the members of the commission is Hugo Grotius, a highly regarded jurist and one of the most important political thinkers of his day.
- Marie Venier (called Laporte) is the first female actress to appear on the stage in Paris.
- Jesuit astronomer Christoph Scheiner becomes the advisor to Archduke Maximilian, brother of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna. A lifelong enemy of Galileo, following a dispute over the nature of sunspots, Scheiner is credited with reopening the 1616 accusations against Galileo in 1633.
- Tommaso Campanella's book In Defence of Galileo is written.
- Istanbul's Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is completed during the rule of Ahmed I.
- In Tunis, the mosque of Youssef Deyis is built. Today it has an octagonal minaret crowned with a miniature green-tiled pyramid for a roof.
- Inigo Jones designs the Queen's House at Greenwich, near London.
- Ambrose Barlow, recently graduated from the College of Saint Gregory, Douai, France, and the Royal College of Saint Alban in Valladolid, Spain, enters the Order of Saint Benedict. In 1641 he will be martyred in England.
- John Vaughan, 1st Earl of Carbery is appointed to the post of comptroller, in the newly formed household of Prince Charles in England; Vaughan later claims that serving the Prince has cost him £20,000.
- February 27 – The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia. Sweden gains Ingria and Kexholm.
- April 14 – Second Battle of Playa Honda: The Spanish navy defeats a Dutch fleet in the Philippines.
- April 24 – Encouraged by Charles d'Albert, seventeen-year-old Louis XIII, king of France, forces his mother Marie de Medici, who has held de facto power, into retirement and has her favourite, Concino Concini, assassinated.
- June 5 – Ferdinand II, Archduke of Inner Austria, is elected King of Bohemia. Ferdinand's forceful Catholic counter-reformation causes great unrest, amongst the Protestants and moderates in Bohemia.
- September 1 – The weighing ceremony of Jahangir is described by the first English ambassador to the Mughal court, Sir Thomas Roe.
- September 23 – The Peace of Busza is signed, between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
- October 9 – The Treaty of Pavia is signed between Spain and Savoy, under which Savoy returns Monferrato to Mantua.
- November 17 – A naval battle between the Sicilians and Venetians ends inconclusively.
- November 22 – Mustafa I succeeds Ahmed I, as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- At least seven women are sentenced to death by burning for witchcraft, at the Finspång witch trial in Sweden.
- Giambattista Andreini's play The Penitent Magdalene is published in Mantua.
- March 8 – Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion (he soon rejects the idea after some initial calculations were made, but on May 15 confirms the discovery).
- May 23 – The Second Defenestration of Prague – Protestant noblemen hold a mock trial, and throw two direct representatives of Ferdinand II of Germany (Imperial Governors) and their scribe out of a window into a pile of manure, exacerbating a low-key rebellion into the Bohemian Revolt (1618–1621), precipitating the Thirty Years' War into armed conflict, and further polarizing Europe on religious grounds.
- June 14 – Joris Veseler prints the first Dutch newspaper Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. in Amsterdam (approximate date).
- July 20 – Pluto reaches, according to sophisticated mathematical calculations, its second most recent aphelion. The next one occurs in 1866, and the following one will occur in 2113.
- August 29 – Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and Hugo Grotius are imprisoned by Maurice, Prince of Orange.
- September 4 – Rodi avalanche: A rock- or snowslide buries the Alpine town of Piuro, claiming 2,427 victims.
- September 18 – Beginning of the 13th Baktun, in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (220.127.116.11.0).
- September 19–November 21 – Thirty Years' War: The Siege of Pilsen takes place.
- September 28 – The Battle of Orynin takes place.
- October 9 – Residents of Mogilev revolt against Uniate bishop Josaphat Kuntsevych.
- October 29 – English adventurer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded at the Palace of Westminster, for allegedly conspiring treasonably against James I of England in 1603, following pressure from the Spanish government, over his attack on their settlement on the Orinoco, on his last (1617–18) voyage.
- November 13 – The Synod of Dort has its first meeting.
- December 11 – Russia and Poland sign the Truce of Deulino.
- The margraves of Brandenburg are granted Polish approval to inherit the Duchy of Prussia, creating the state of Brandenburg-Prussia.
- Osman II deposes his uncle Mustafa I as Ottoman sultan (until 1622).
- The 3,000 seat Teatro Farnese, the first permanent proscenium theatre, is built into the Great Hall of the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma, Italy.
- The Ming Chinese embassy of the Wanli Emperor presents tea to the Russian tsar.
- January 12 – James I of England's Banqueting House, Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire. Inigo Jones is commissioned to design a replacement.
- March 20 – Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor dies, leaving the Holy Roman Empire without an official leader, to deal with the Bohemian Revolt.
- April – Battle of Sarhu: Manchu leader Nurhaci is victorious over the Ming forces.
- May 8 – The Synod of Dort has its final meeting.
- May 13 – Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt is executed in The Hague, after having been convicted of treason.
- May 30 – Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, conquers Jayakarta, and renames it Batavia.
- June 10 – Thirty Years' War – Battle of Sablat: Protestant forces are defeated.
- June 21 – Dulwich College founded by Edward Alleyn, in Dulwich, London.
- July 30 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first English-speaking representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.
- August – The first African slaves are brought to an English colony onboard an English privateer ship, arriving at Point Comfort, in the colony of Virginia. Slavery was previously established in the 16th Century, as part of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida.
- August 5 – Thirty Years' War: Battle of Věstonice – Bohemian forces defeat the Austrians.
- August 10 – The Treaty of Angoulême ends the civil war between Louis XIII of France and his mother, Marie de' Medici.
- August 26 – Frederick V of the Palatinate is elected King of Bohemia by the states of the Bohemian Confederacy.
- August 28 – Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and King of Bohemia, is elected Holy Roman Emperor unanimously by the prince-electors.
- October 8 – Thirty Years' War – The Treaty of Munich is signed by Ferdinand II and Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria.
- November 16 – William Parker School, Hastings, England, is founded by the will of Reverend William Parker.
- November 23 – Thirty Years' War: Battle of Humenné – Polish Lisowczycy troops assist the Holy Roman Emperor by defeating a Transylvanian force, forcing Gabor Bethlen to raise his siege of Vienna.
- December 4 – Thirty-eight colonists from England disembark in Berkeley Hundred, Virginia from the Margaret of Bristol and give thanks to God (considered by some to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas).
- Jahangir grants a British mission important commercial concessions at Surat, on the west coast of India.
- Salé Rovers declare the port of Salé on the Barbary Coast to be the Republic of Salé, independent of the Sultan of Morocco, with the Dutch-born corsair Jan Janszoon as president.
- The Danish–Dutch whaling settlement of Smeerenburg is founded in Svalbard.
- An expedition in Sri Lanka, led by Filipe de Oliveira, deposes and executes the last Jaffna king (Cankili II), putting an end to the Jaffna Kingdom.
- A Spanish expedition sails around Tierra del Fuego, mapping the coast and discovering the Diego Ramírez Islands.
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- W.A. Seaver, "Giants and Dwarfs", Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 39:202-210, 1869.
- Anon. (1613), The Marriage of prince Fredericke, and the King’s daughter the Lady Elizabeth..., London: Thomas Creede, p. 1
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- John Donne (1995). The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne. Indiana University Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 0-253-31812-2.
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- Lesaffer, Randall, ed. (2004). Peace Treaties and International Law in European History: From the Late Middle Ages to World War One. Cambridge University Press. p. 39.
- Jehângïr's period of stay at Ajmer was from 5 Shawwäl 1022 to 1 Zil-qä'da 1025 equivalent to November 8, 1613, to October 31, 1616.
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- His notebooks, not fully published until the 20th century, reveal a coherent mechanical philosophy of nature with incipient atomism, a force of inertia, and mathematical interpretations of natural philosophy are present. van Berkel, K. (1983). Isaac Beeckman (1588–1637) en de mechanisering van het wereldbeeld. Amsterdam.
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