After years of competition and brewing tension between England and the Netherlands, the two naval powers finally go to war. The formal declaration of war is made after a Dutch provocation: Admiral Marten Tromp refuses to salute the British flag when he meets the fleet of Robert Blake off Dover. The First Anglo-Dutch War is fought only at sea, with both sides winning battles. The lust for war trickled out, and in 1654 a peace treaty was signed, with no clear winner.

Spanish forces capture Barcelona. This puts to end the Guerra dels Segadors, an uprising which had let Catalunya be under French rule for twelve years. Philip IV once more becomes king of Aragon, but he has to let France have the Catalan territories north of the Pyrenees.

In France, the king's forces overwhelm the Fronde, an alliance between noblemen, the judges of the Parlement, and the populace of Paris against Cardinal Mazarin. The child king Louis XIV can enter Paris again, and The French civil war is over for the moment. However, Spain is about to enter the fray.

The Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeek establishes a filling station between Europe and Asia at the Cape of Good Hope. The settlement will later become Cape Town. Soon after, the interior of the land is opened for settlement, forcing native San and Khoikhoi to move north.

Dutch settlers found Wiltwijck, which is now known as Kingston, New York. The local Esopus tribe is not happy about the newcomers, and drive them out after three years of skirmishes. Needless to say, the settlers are soon back in strength and the natives lose in the end.

The goldsmith John Hull establishes the first American mint in Boston, Massachusetts, contrary to English orders. The mint continues to produce colonial coins well until the 1680s, when it is closed by the English Parliament. For the first thirty years, the year printed on the coin remains the same.

Slavery is made illegal in Rhode Island, which becomes the first North American state to ban it. However, the law is hardly enforced. Slaves are still kept, and Rhode Island merchants continue to be involved in the slave trade for centuries.

Samuel Sewall is born in Hampshire, England. Sewall would be the first colonial author to write a text against slavery, but he would also become one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials.

The Sofokuji temple in Nagasaki invites Yin-yüan Lung-ch'i to leave China for a position as their abbot. He will accept, and become Ingen Ryuki, founder of the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism.

In Florence, Clement Lorenzo Corsini is born into a family of noblemen and cardinals. The lawyer, book collector and cardinal is elected pope at the age of 78, and serves for 10 years as Clement XII.

Death of Arcangela Tarabotti, née Galerana Baratotti in Venice. Forced into a convent by her father, Tarabotti wrote several works attacking the state, the family, and the way they treated women. The writings were not published in her lifetime.

Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi is also assumed to have died in this year. This accomplished artist favoured painting Biblical women, often in conflict with men. These motifs may have reflected a strong woman's struggle for recognition in the male-oriented Italian society of the Renaissance.

Publication of The Cardinall, a tragedy written by James Shirley in 1641. Edmund Gosse calls this the last great play of the Elizabethan age.

English poet Edward Benlowes publishes Theophila, or Loves Sacrifice, a Divine Poem, his most important work.

John Milton becomes blind and loses his first wife Mary Powell Milton, who dies after giving birth to their daughter Deborah. Her death may have inspired his 23rd sonnet, although it may equally well have been written for the poet's second wife, who also died in childbirth.

Thomas Otway is born in Sussex. The future translator and writer of comedies, tragedies, poems, and love letters will meet both fame and poverty in his short life.

Nahum Tate is born in Ireland. He will become a poet and playwright, chiefly reworking the plays of Shakespeare. He will also write several hymns and, despite being a poet laureate, he will die hiding from creditors.

Birth of Michel Rolle. The French scribe and self-taught mathematician will create Rolle's theorem as well as the now standardised notation nx for the nth root of x.

Death of Gregorio Allegri, chorister and composer. His large body of church music was influenced by the style of his teacher, Nanino, and Nanino's teacher, Palestrina. Allegri's most famous piece is Miserere, an intricate psalm which was kept secret by the Papal Choir for centuries. However, Mozart showed his genius by being able to write the notes down from memory after hearing it once.

Death of Georges de La Tour, a painter from Lorraine, probably of the plague. La Tour created beautiful images of both holiness and everyday life. However, after his death he was forgotten for centuries, and his pictures were often wrongly labelled as works by Murillo, Velázquez, or Caravaggio.

After a lifetime of creativity as an architect, painter, and surveyor of the king, Inigo Jones dies in poverty. He may have brought classicism to England, but having been close to the King was not popular in 1652.

< 1651 | 1653 >

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