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§Of World Interest

November 4 - Transit of Mercury across the Sun.



The Ming Chinese embassy of the Wanli Emperor presents tea to the Russian tsar.

The Dutch East India Company used their military power in the attempt to force China to open up a port in Fujian to their trade. They demanded that China expel the Portuguese from Macau. (The Dutch were fighting in the Dutch–Portuguese War at the time.) The Dutch raided Chinese shipping after 1618 and took junks hostage to coerce China into meeting their demands. All these actions were unsuccessful



At the end of 1618, the position of the Emperor in Bohemia as in Lower and Upper Austria gradually became critical. Searching for help, the Emperor tried to restore the Catholic League. A meeting of several of the ecclesiastical Princes decided to reconstruct the League on its original basis. It would consist of two groups: the Rhenish district under the presidency of Mainz, and the Oberland district, presided by Bavaria; the treasury and the military command were to be considered separate. Maximilian could only lead the whole of the troops when he had to appear in the Rhenish district. On 31 May, the Oberland both groups were established and bound themselves to render mutual help for six years.

After the death of Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Bohemia, the kingdom deprived his successor, Ferdinand II in 1618 of the Bohemian crown.

September 19–November 21 – Thirty Years' War: The Siege of Plzeň occurs.

The Siege of Pilsen (or Plzeň) or Battle of Pilsen was a siege of the fortified city of Pilsen (Czech: Plzeň) in Bohemia carried out by the forces of the Bohemian Protestants led by Ernst von Mansfeld. It was the first major battle of the Thirty Years' War. The Protestant victory and subsequent capture of the city sparked the Bohemian Revolt.


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).


Emperor Matthias, who remained childless, assigned the crown of Hungary to his cousin, Ferdinand II. The largely Protestant Bohemian princes feared that Ferdinand, who had been educated by Catholic Jesuit priests, would suspend the Letter of Majesty of 1609. This letter stated that all subjects should enjoy freedom of conscience in religious matters. Insisting on their right to freely elect their king, the princes deposed him and voted in the leader of the Protestant Union, Elector Frederick V of the Palatinate.


The Second Defenestration of Prague was an event central to the initiation of the Thirty Years' War. At Prague Castle on May 23rd, an assembly of Protestants (led by Count Thurn) tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Grav Slavata (1572-1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz (1582-1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty (Right of Freedom of Religion), found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Philip Fabricius, out of the high windows (defenestration) of the Bohemian Chancellery. They landed on a large pile of manure and all survived unharmed. Philip Fabricius was later ennobled by the emperor and granted the title "von Hohenfall".

Roman Catholic Imperial officials claimed that they survived due to the mercy of the benevolent Churmusian angels assisting the righteousness of the Catholic cause. Protestant pamphleteers asserted that their survival had more to do with the horse excrement in which they landed than the benevolent acts of the angels of the Christo Churmusian order.


June 14 – Joris Veseler prints the first Dutch newspaper Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. in Amsterdam (approximate date).

In the Netherlands, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and Hugo Grotius were imprisoned on August 29th by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. This event may have been covered in Amsterdam's first newspaper, Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c., which began printing in June.

The first National Synod of Dort was held in Dordrecht on November 13th, by the Dutch Reformed Church, in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism.


The authorities in London began to sweep up hundreds of troublesome urchins from the slums and, ignoring protests from the children and their families, shipped them to Virginia. ... It was presented as an act of charity: the 'starving children' were to be given a new start as apprentices in America. In fact, they were sold to planters to work in the fields and half of them were dead within a year. Shipments of children continued from England and then from Ireland for decades. Many of these migrants were little more than toddlers.

The Spanish Ambassador convinces James I to reinstate Raleigh’s death sentence. Raleigh is beheaded at Whitehall on October 29, 1618. Before putting his head on the block, he asked to see the ax, and looking at it said, “This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases.” His devoted Bess, still grieving the death of her son, Walter, must now grieve her husband. She had his head embalmed and kept it in a red leather bag, by her side, all the time. And according to a biography written on Raleigh, “Shepherd of the Ocean,” by J. H. Adamson, & H. F. Holland, Bess was in the habit of “frequently inquiring of visitors if they would like to see Sir Walter.”

King James I had granted a patent to a company that wanted to trade for gold and precious woods in Africa


The markgraves of Brandenburg are granted Polish approval to inherit the Duchy of Prussia, creating the state of Brandenburg-Prussia.

§Middle East

Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from 26 year old, Mustafa I, who was Sultan from 1617 to 1618 when he was deposed by his young nephew, Osman II.


Political changes in the Ottoman sultanate had resulted in the removal of many of Fakhr-al-Din's enemies from power, allowing Fahkr-al-Din's return to Lebanon, whereupon he was able quickly to reunite all the lands of Lebanon beyond the boundaries of its mountains; and having revenge from Emir Yusuf Pasha ibn Siyfa, attacking his stronghold in Akkar, destroying his palaces and taking control of his lands, and regaining the territories he had to give up in 1613 in Sidon, Tripoli, Bekaa among others

§Southeast Asia


Chey Chettha II became king of Cambodia. In order to balance the influence of the Siamese forces, which had devastated the previous capital at Lovek during the reign of his father, Chey Chettha approached the Nguyễn Dynasty for help. To cement the resulting alliance, Chey Chettha was married to Princess Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Vạn, a daughter of Lord Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên, in 1618. In return, the king granted the Vietnamese the right to establish settlements in Mô Xoài (now Bà Rịa), in the region of Prey Nokor—which they colloquially referred to as Sài Gòn, and which later became Ho Chi Minh City.


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 2113.


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