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October - A whirlwind blows down the tower of the Gan Takal in Gondar, capital of Ethiopia, killing 30.

§Eastern Asia


February 4 - In Japan, the 47 samurai (47 Ronin) commit seppuku, a ritual suicide.

December 31 - Genroku earthquake - The epicenter was near Edo, the forerunner of present-day Tokyo, in the southern part of the Kantō Region, Japan. It shook Edo and an estimated 2,300 people were killed by the shaking and subsequent fires. The earthquake triggered a major tsunami which caused many casualties, giving a total death toll of at least 5,233, possibly up to 10,000. Other sources have the list as high as 200,000.



July 29-31 - Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory then imprisoned 4 months for the crime of seditious libel, after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet (his release is granted mid-November). Myth says that people threw flowers instead of rotten fruit and drank to his health.

November 24 to December 2 - the Great Storm of 1703, an Atlantic hurricane, ravages southern England and the English Channel, killing nearly 8000, mostly at sea.

George Psalmanazar arrives in London.

Isaac Newton becomes the chairman of the Royal Society.


November 19 - Man in the mask dies in custody. It is believed that this man was Cardinal Mazarin's valet, Eustache Dauger who may have revealed that the Cardinal had stolen a portion of his vast wealth. He died under the name of Marchioly, during the reign of Louis XIV of France


A Tale of a Tub, first major satire by Jonathan Swift, is published.


February 2 - An earthquake hits the town of L'Aquila, Italy.

February 14 - An earthquake hits Norcia, Italy.


May 26 - Portugal joins the Grand Alliance.


April 21 - Company of Quenching of Fire (i.e., a fire brigade) founded in Edinburgh, Scotland.

§Middle East

§Persia (Modern Iran)

Ahmed III became the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire upon his brother's abdication. Ahmed III was another son of Mehmed IV, the the third brother to become the Sultan.

§North America


A combined Franco-Spanish Fleet attacked Nassau

§New World Colonies

February - Soldiers at Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrate Mardi Gras in Mobile, starting the tradition for Mobile, Alabama.

October 18 - Virginia, Maryland, and New England were hit by a hurricane. There was great wind and flood damage. Many ships were lost.

Connecticut and Rhode Island agree upon a common boundary line.


May 27 - Founding of St Petersburg in Russia.



Amangkurat II died and was briefly succeeded by his son, Amangkurat III.


  • March 3 - Robert Hooke, English scientist who coined the term, "cell"


  • The Great Northern War


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