1661 In England, bank notes are issued for the first time. The following year silver pennies are no longer minted, but the first gold guinea comes into circulation.
The first spirit or bubble level is invented in 1661.
In 1669 the volcano of Etna on the
island of Sicily erupts, killing more
than 20,000 people.
In 1671 a Colonel Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman
steals the English Crown from the Tower of London. He
nearly gets away with it but is eventually captured. Charles II
was so astonished at his daring that he pardoned him!
In 1672 the Dutchman Jan van der Heyden (1637-
In 1676 the famous French chef known as Le Grand Vatel
committed suicide because the dinner he had prepared for
Louis XIV did not come up to the king's expectations!
ThexAshmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is established at Oxford University in 1677 to house collections donated by the antiquarian Elias Ashmole (1617-
In 1678 the chrysanthemum arrives in Holland from Japan.
Around 1680 the dodo, the flightless bird from the island of Mauritius, becomes extinct. Hence the expression “dead as a Dodo”. This painting is by the Flanders-
Roelant Savery, produced in 1626.
Inx1681 Sir Christopher Wren begins work on the Royal Chelsea Hospital
in London. Built to provide a home for wounded and discharged soldiers,
its inmates become known as "Chelsea Pensioners". It was opened in
1694 and houses colours captured at the Battles of Blenheim and
Waterloo. Today, the grounds are the site of the annual flower show of
the Royal Horticultural Society.
In England in 1682 the last hanging of a witch takes place.