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October 29 - Battle of Mbwila - Portuguese forces defeated the forces of the Kingdom of Kongo and decapitated king António I of Kongo, also called Nvita a Nkanga.


March 4 - The Second Anglo-Dutch War begins.

June 3 - James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England) defeats the Dutch Fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.


January 11 - The Royal Society name Robert Hooke Curator by Office for life.

In 1665 Hooke published Micrographia, a book describing his microscopic and telescopic observations, and some original work in biology. Hooke coined the term cell for describing biological organisms, the term being suggested by the resemblance of plant cells to monks' cells. The hand-crafted, leather and gold-tooled microscope he used to make the observations for Micrographia, originally constructed by Christopher White in London, is on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC.

Micrographia also contains Hooke's, or perhaps Boyle and Hooke's, ideas on combustion. Hooke's experiments led him to conclude that combustion involves a substance that is mixed with air, a statement with which modern scientists would agree, but that was not widely understood, if at all, in the seventeenth century. Hooke went on to conclude that respiration also involves a specific component of the air.

March 6 - The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans.), a scientific journal published by the Royal Society, was established this year, currently making it the oldest scientific journal printed in the English-speaking world.

June 13 (New Style) - First battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the naval Battle of Lowestoft led by James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England), ends in a decisive English victory. 1 English ship lost , 300 - 500 killed, 17 Dutch ships lost , 2000 -2500 killed ca 2000 taken prisoner

Great Plague of London

The Great Plague (1665-1666) was a massive outbreak of disease in England that killed 75,000 to 100,000 people, up to a fifth of London's population. The disease was proven to have been bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted via a rat vector. Other symptom patterns of the bubonic plague, such as septicemic plague and pneumonic plague were also present. The 1665-1666 epidemic was on a far smaller scale than the earlier "Black Death", a virulent outbreak of disease in Europe between 1347 and 1353, but was remembered afterwards as the "great" plague because it was one of the last widespread outbreaks in Europe.

In 2016 the Liverpool Street excavation cut through the remains of the old Bedlam Burial Ground, which was used between 1569 and the early 18th century. More than 3,300 skeletons were recovered, including a mass grave of 42 individuals who archaeologists believed to be plague victims. Yersinia pestis was recovered from the teeth of five of the victims, proving this bacteria to be the cause of this plague.

Possible Causes

April 12 - Margaret Porteous is the first person who was recorded to die of plague in the Great Plague of London. This last outbreak of Bubonic plague in London was possibly introduced by Dutch prisoners of war. Two-thirds of Londoners leave the city, but over 68,000 die.

Another possibility is that the plague arrived with Dutch trading ships carrying bales of Cotton from Amsterdam. The disease had occurred intermittently in the Netherlands since 1654. The dock areas outside of London, where poor workers crowded into ill-kempt districts, such as the parish of St. Giles-in-the Fields, were first struck by the plague. During the winter of 1664-1665, there were reports of several deaths. However, the winter was very cold, seemingly controlling the contagion. But spring and summer months were unusually warm and sunny, and the plague spread rapidly. Records were not kept on the deaths of the very poor.


By July 1665, plague was in the city of London itself. King Charles II of England, his family and his court left the city for Oxford. However, the Lord Mayor of the city and the aldermen stayed at their posts. Businesses were closed when most wealthy merchants and professionals fled. Only a small number of clergymen, physicians and apothecaries chose to remain, as the plague raged throughout the summer. Plague doctors would traverse the streets, diagnosing victims, although many of them were unqualified physicians.

Samuel Pepys's Diary: June 7, 1665 "This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and 'Lord have mercy upon us' writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension."

Several public health efforts were attempted. Physicians were hired by city officials, and burial details were carefully organized. Authorities ordered fires to be kept burning night and day, in hopes that the air would be cleansed. Substances giving off strong odours, such as pepper, hops or frankincense, were also burned to ward off the infection. London residents, mainly young children, were strongly urged to smoke tobacco and mariuana.

Though concentrated in London, the outbreak affected other areas of the country. Perhaps the most famous example was the village of Eyam in Derbyshire. The plague arrived in a parcel of cloth sent from London. The villagers imposed a quarantine on themselves to stop the further spread of the disease. Spread of the plague was slowed in surrounding areas, but the cost to the village was the death of around 50% of its inhabitants.

Records state that deaths in London crept up to 1000 persons per week, then 2000 persons per week and, by September 1665, to 7000 persons per week. By late autumn, the death toll began to slow until, in February 1666, it was considered safe enough for the King and his entourage to return to the city. By this time, however, trade with the European continent had spread this outbreak of plague to France, where it died out the following winter.

Plague cases continued at a modest pace until September 1666. On September 2nd and 3rd, the Great Fire of London destroyed many of the most crowded housing and business areas of the city. This event seems to have effectively stopped the plague outbreak, probably due to the destruction of London rats and their plague-carrying fleas. After the fire, London was rebuilt on an urban plan originally drafted by architect Christopher Wren which included widened streets, reduced congestion and basic sewage-drainage systems. Thatched roofs (which had provided splendid places for rats to live) were also forbidden within the city, and remain forbidden under modern codes. The second rebuilding of the Globe Theatre in 1997 required a special permit to have a thatched roof.

Samuel Pepys's Diary: September 14, 1665 "To see a person sick of the sores, carried close by me by Grace-church in a hackney coach. My finding the Angell tavern at the lower end of Tower-hill, shut up, and more than that, the person was then dying of the plague when I was last there, a little while ago, at night, to write a short letter there, and I overheard the mistresse of the house sadly saying to her husband somebody was very ill, but did not think it was the plague. To hear that poor Payne, my waiter, hath buried a child, and is dying himself. To hear that a labourer I sent but the other day to Dagenham's, to know how they did there, is dead of the plague; and that one of my own watermen, that carried me daily, fell sick as soon as he had landed me on Friday moring last, when I had been all night upon the water (and I believe he did get his infection that day at brainford), and is now dead of the plague. To hear that Captain Lambert and Cuttle are killed in the taking these ships; and that Mr. Sidney Montague is sick of a desperate fever at my Lady Carteret's, at Scott's-hall. To hear that Mr. Lewes hath another daughter sick. And, lastly, that both my servants, W. Hewer and Tom Edwards, have lost their fathers, both in St. Sepulchre's parish, of the plague this week, do put me into great apprehensions of melancholy, and with good reason. But I put off the thoughts of sadness as much as I can, and the rather to keep my wife in good heart and family also."

The origins of "six feet under" come from this outbreak. The mayor of London specifications for burial of the dead in "Orders Conceived and Published by the Lord Major and Aldermen of the City of London, Concerning the Infection of the Plague"—was that “all the graves shall be at least six feet deep."


The Act of Explanation states that Cromwellian settlers (with some named exceptions) have to give up one third of the lands they received after 1652 in order to compensate innocent Catholic landowners.

King Charles II of England and Ireland grants letters patent to Sir Robert Reading to erect six lighthouses on the coast of Ireland, at Hook Head, Old Head of Kinsale, Barry Oge's castle, the Isle of Magee (near Carrickfergus) and Howth (two).

King Charles II elevates the office of Mayor of Dublin to Lord Mayor of Dublin, the first holder being The Right Honourable Sir Daniel Bellingham.

Michael Boyle (archbishop of Armagh) is appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, an office he will hold for more than twenty years.


January 5 – The Journal des sçavans begins publication in France.


March 16 - Bucharest allows Jews to settle in the city in exchange for an annual tax of 16 guilders.


Johannes Vermeer painted his masterwork, Girl With a Pearl Earring about this time.


September 17, Charles II became King of Spain upon his father's death. Charles II was the last of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty, physically disabled, mentally retarded and disfigured (possibly through affliction with mandibular prognathism). His tongue was so large that his speech could barely be understood, and he frequently drooled.

He may also have suffered from the bone disease acromegaly. He was treated as virtually an infant in arms until he was ten years old. Fearing the frail child would be overtaxed, he was left entirely uneducated, and his indolence was indulged to such an extent that he was not even expected to be clean. When his brother John of Austria the Younger, a natural son of Philip IV, obtained power by exiling the queen mother from court, he insisted that at least the king's hair should be combed. He was known in Spanish history as El Hechizado ("The Bewitched") from the popular belief � to which Charles himself subscribed � that his physical and mental disabilities were caused by "sorcery" rather than the much more likely cause: centuries of inbreeding within the Habsburg dynasty (in which first cousin and uncle/niece matches were commonly used to preserve a prosperous family's hold on its multifarious territories). Charles' own immediate pedigree was exceptionally populated with nieces giving birth to children of their uncles: Charles' mother Maria Anna was niece of Charles' father, being daughter of Maria Ana of Spain (1606-46) and Emperor Ferdinand III. Thus, Empress Maria Anna was simultaneously his aunt and grandmother.

North America

See a map of North and South America c. 1665 "Americae nova tabula (1665)"

United States

June 12 - England installs a municipal government in New York City (the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam).

June 30 - King Charles II of England issues a second charter for the Province of Carolina, which clarifies and expands the borders of the Lords Proprietors' tracts.

South Pacific


Keakealaniwahine (female) becomes the Aliʻi Aimoku of the Island of Hawaii until 1695. The date is suspect because the monarch only changes on the half decade.


Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), a Jewish rabbi was proclaimed to be the Jewish Messiah in 1665 by Nathan of Gaza. Vast numbers of Jews in the Jewish diaspora accepted his claims, even after he became a Jewish apostate with his conversion to Islam in 1666.


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