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June in the 17th century

June - a very decisive month

Battles that shape that Civil Wars are fought and at Naseby, there is a battle that decisively changes the course of our nation’s history. New footholds are made in the New World and existing colonies battle for survival. The age of science sees more greats strides; great names are written into the history books; countries are founded and formed; and tragedy leads to the building of an iconic tourist attraction.

1606 - 6th June. Pierre Corneille (d.1684), French dramatist, poet and writer of Le Cid, was born - Le Cid is the basis of the Charlton Heston 1960’s epic movie El Cid.

1610 - 10th June. Dutch settlers colonise Manhattan Island.

1610 - 10th June. Supply ships arrive to rescue Jamestown - you may have seen the TV series based on the colony.

1611 - 22nd June. English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people are set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers. The starving crew of the Discovery, which had spent the winter trapped by ice in Hudson Bay, mutiny against Hudson, who is never seen again. Hudson Bay is named after him.

1613 - 29th June. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre burns down. It is soon rebuilt on the same foundations.

1615 - 4th June. The fortress of Osaka, Japan, fell to shogun Leyasu after a six-month siege. 45 years later a lightning strike ignites the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion sets the castle on fire.

1623 - 19th June. Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, religious writer, is born. He goes on to invent the roulette wheel in an effort to create a perpetual motion machine. He formulates the first laws of atmospheric pressure, equilibrium of liquids and probability.

1625 - 8th June. Giovanni Domenico Cassini is born in Italy. He goes on to discover the wide gap in the rings of Saturn now called the Cassini division, as well as four of the planet’s moons.

1631 - 17th June. Mumtax Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan of India dies. Her husband builds the Taj Mahal in her memory. The project takes 22 years to complete.

1631 -21st June. John Smith the English sailor, soldier and author, dies in England. He played a vital role in the establishment and survival of the colony at Jamestown and he led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. His life is reputedly to have been saved twice by Pocahontas (that was the extent of their relationship). He is buried in Saint Sepulchre-without-Newgate Church, Holborn Viaduct, in London.

1633 - 22nd June. Galileo, having already been tortured by the Inquisition, is again forced by the Pope to withdraw his theory that the Earth orbits the Sun. On 31st October 1992, the Vatican will admit it was wrong.

1635 - 28th June. The French colony of Guadeloupe is established in the Caribbean.

1638 - 1st June. The first earthquake is recorded in the U.S. at Plymouth, Mass.

1639 - 19th June. The Pacification of Berwick is signed between the King and Scottish Covenanters, bringing to an end the First Bishops’ War. A year later there will be a second round. The seeds of the later Civil Wars were laid in this early conflict which has set Charles I against his Scottish subjects in a power struggle over religion.


Both houses pass the Nineteen Propositions that propose radical changes and the effective transfer of supreme power from the King to Parliament. The King issues a scathing reply later in the month.

The King issues a Commission of Array - a general call to arms and virtually a declaration of war. Later in the month he writes to each ship’s captain in the navy in a bid to secure their loyalty - this will prove unsuccessful, the navy sides with Parliament.

The pace of the steps on the road to war are quickening.


Winners and losers - Royalist victory at the Battle of Chalgrove Field establishes the reputation of Prince Rupert. The death of his wounds of one of Parliament’s prime protagonists, John Hampden, is a bitter blow.

The Royalists achieve a decisive outcome in the ‘battle for Yorkshire’ with victory at Adwalton Moor. Leeds and Bradford quickly fall to the Royalists.


The Earl of Manchester’s army arrives to take up position around York, completing its encirclement. A premature assault on the city is repulsed. A Royalist relief force arrives and the stage is set for the Battle of Marston Moor in July.

Prince Rupert attacks Parliament held Liverpool and is repulsed.

Sudely Castle surrenders to Parliament forces.

A game of cat-and-mouse manoeuvring culminates in the Battle of Cropredy Bridge. The King is blocked from any advance on London, but his strategy to draw Parliamentary forces away from his capital has been successful and the opposing Parliament Army under Waller has ceased to be an effective fighting force.


Gaunt House, one of the fortified manors around the Royalist capital at Oxford, surrenders

A loophole in the Self-Denying Ordinance, the overhaul of the command structure, allows Oliver Crowell to command the horse in Parliament’s New Model Army.

Parliament’s New Model Army inflicts a decisive draft on the King and his forces at Naseby in Northamptonshire. The destruction of his main field army and the propaganda coup of what his captured private letters divulge, makes for the beginning of the end of the Civil War and victory for Parliament.

In the wake of the battle, Leicester falls to Parliament.

In the North, Carlisle Castle surrenders to Parliamentary forces after an 8-month siege.


A year after the defeat at Naseby, Oxford, the King’s Civil War capital surrenders.


Cornet Joyce removes the King from Holdenby House. This bold moves takes Charles I from being a prisoner of Parliament to being a prisoner, or perhaps more a hostage of its Army.

In gathering tension, the Army asserts is rights to oppose Parliament in defence of its rights and demands for satisfaction over pay and politics.


The Second Civil War sees pockets of uprisings break out. Kent declares for the King; however, Parliament acts decisively, seizing Maidstone. The Royalists retreat to Colchester and a siege ensues.

1652 - 27th June. New Amsterdam (later New York City) issue the first speed limit law in what will become the United States, stating that wagons, carts and sleighs cannot be run, rode or driven at a gallop.

1654 - 7th June. Louis XIV is crowned King of France in Rheims.

1661 - 5th June. Isaac Newton is admitted as a student to Trinity College, Cambridge.

1664 - 24th June. New Jersey, named after the Isle of Jersey, is founded.

1671 - 8th June. For the classic music lover, Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer, is born. He is credited (but not undisputedly) with writing Adagio in G-minor.

1672 - 9th June. Peter I, "The Great", is born. He becomes famous for being a moderniser and moves the Russian capital to the new city he builds, St. Petersburg.

1673 - 25th June. French commander Charles de Batz dies in the Siege of Maastricht in the Franco-Dutch War, in the service of Louis XIV. Known as D’Artagnan, he is one of the musketeers who inspires Dumas’ fictional novel ‘The Three Musketeers’.

1675 - 20th June. The First ‘Indian War’ begins between the colonists and their native American Indian allies and opposing tribes. It is also known as King Philip’s War after the anglicised name of a local chief.

1675 - 22nd June. Charles II establishes the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

1685 - 11th June. The exiled Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, lands at Lyme Regis in Dorset with a small force in an attempt to topple the new Catholic King, James II. This attempt will end in defeat at the battle of Sedgemoor less than a month later.

1685 - 30th June. For the opera lovers, John Gay, playwright, is born. He goes on to write the Beggars' Opera.

1692 - 7th June. An earthquake strikes Jamaica. Re-arranging the geology, splitting the rocks, turning mountains to lakes, and engulfing two-thirds of Port Royal. Five thousand of the inhabitants died.

1692 - 10th June. Bridget Bishop is the first official execution of the notorious Salem witch trials.

1692 - 24th June. Kingston, Jamaica, is founded.

1693 - 27th June. The first woman's periodical "The Ladies' Mercury" is published in London. It is a spin off from “The Athenian Mercury”, first published in 1690 and deals with all kinds of topics of interest to both men and women, like science, religion, love, marriage and sex. "The Ladies' Mercury" only lasts four editions.