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1698CE

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§Africa

Mombasa and Zanzibar are captured by Oman.

§Asia

§Japan

November – Tani Jinzan, astronomer and calendar scholar, observes a fire destroy Tosa (now Kochi) in Japan at the same time as a Leonid meteor shower, taking it as evidence to reinforce belief in the "Theory of Areas".

§Central America

§Panama

The ill-fated Darien scheme was an attempt launched by the Kingdom of Scotland in 1698 to set up an overland trade route, but was defeated by the generally inhospitable conditions, and abandoned in 1699 CE.

In attempts to expand, the Scots had earlier sent settlers to the English colony of New Jersey and had established an abortive colony at Stuart's Town in what is now South Carolina. The Company of Scotland soon became involved with the Darién scheme, an ambitious plan devised by William Paterson to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama in the hope of establishing trade with the Far East – the same principle that, much later, would lead to the construction of the Panama Canal. The Company of Scotland easily raised subscriptions in London for the scheme. The English Government, however, was opposed to the idea, since it was at war with France and did not want to offend Spain, which claimed the territory as part of New Granada; as a result, the English investors were forced to withdraw. Returning to Edinburgh, the Company raised 400,000 pounds sterling in a few weeks, with investments from every level of society, and totaling roughly a third of the wealth of Scotland.

The first expedition of five ships (Saint Andrew, Caledonia, Unicorn, Dolphin, and Endeavour) set sail from Leith on July 14, 1698, with around 1,200 people on board. Their orders were to proceed to the Bay of Darien, and make the Isle called the Golden Island ... some few leagues to the leeward of the mouth of the great River of Darien ... and there make a settlement on the mainland. After calling at Madeira and the West Indies, the fleet made landfall off the coast of Darien on November 2. The settlers christened their new home "New Caledonia".

There they cut a canal through the neck of land that divided one side of the harbour in Caledonia Bay from the ocean, and constructed Fort St Andrew, equipped with fifty cannon, on the peninsula behind the canal. On a mountain, at the opposite side of the harbour, they built a watchhouse. Close to the fort they began to erect the huts of the main settlement, New Edinburgh, and to clear land for growing yams and maize. Unfortunately, for the majority of the settlers who arrived at Darien, the expedition would prove to be a disastrous and tragic undertaking.

Agriculture proved difficult and the local Indian tribes, although friendly, were unwilling to buy the combs and other trinkets offered by the colonists. With the onset of summer the following year, the stifling atmosphere, added to other causes, caused a large number of deaths in the colony. The mortality rose eventually to ten a day, despite the care and assistance of the local Indians. Meanwhile, King William had instructed the English colonies in America not to supply the Scots' settlement, and inadequate provisions, combined with the unfamiliar hot and humid climate, soon caused fever to spread and many settlers died.

§Europe

October 11 - France, England and Netherlands signs first Extermination treaty

§Britain

Isaac Newton calculates the speed of sound.

Since the establishment of its presidencies in 1689, the British East India Company has been under constant pressure from traders who are not members of the company and are not licensed by the Crown to trade. Under a parliamentary ruling in favour of free trade, these private newcomers are able to set up a new company, called the New Company or English Company.

January 4 – The Palace of Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire.

January 23 – George Louis (who will in 1714 become King George I of Great Britain) becomes Elector of Hanover.

July 2 – Steam engine technology advances after an improved water pumping device is patented by English engineer Thomas Savery.

§France

September 18 - Saint-Mars took up his new post as governor of the Bastille prison in Paris, bringing the masked prisoner with him. He was placed in a solitary cell in the pre-furnished third chamber of the Bertaudière tower. The prison's second-in-command, de Rosarges, was to feed him. Lieutenant du Junca, another officer of the Bastille, noted that the prisoner wore "a mask of black velvet".

§Netherlands

January 7 - Russian Czar Peter the Great departs Netherlands to England

August 18 - Russian czar Peter the Great arrives in Zaandam, North Holland

§Scotland

July 14 – Darien scheme: The first Scottish settlers leave for an ill-fated colony in Panama.

§Spain

Nov 14th - Spanish king Carlos appoints grandson prince Jozef Ferdinand as heir

§Wallachia

Bucharest becomes the capital of Wallachia (now part of Romania).

§North America

§New World Colonies

January 1 – The Abenaki tribe and the Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty ending the conflict in New England.

The Whigs sponsor Captain Kidd of New York as a privateer against French shipping.

October 24 – Iberville and Bienville sail from Brest to the Gulf of Mexico to defend the southern borders of New France; they will eventually found 3 capitals of Louisiana (New France), as the future American cities: Mobile, Biloxi & New Orleans

§Russia

August 25 – Peter the Great arrives back to Moscow: General Patrick Gordon has already crushed the streltsy rebellion, with 341 rebels sentenced to be decapitated (tradition holds that tsar Peter decapitated some of them himself).

September 5 – In an effort to move his people away from Asiatic customs, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards: all men except priests and peasants are required to pay a tax of 100 rubles a year; commoners are required to pay one kopeck each.

§Modern Serbia

November 16 – A congress begins in Sremski Karlovci to discuss a treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League.

§Sources

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