Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty
- John Milton, L'Allegro, in a passage which would become the origin of the phrase "tripping the light fantastic."
In the year AD 1631...
- The Thirty Years War enters its thirteenth year. Imperial forces under Tilly succeed in taking the Protestant stronghold of Magdeburg, but their brutal extermination of the populace in the ensuing Sack of Magdeburg hardens Protestant resolve to keep up the fight. Meanwhile, Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus shores up his support, forging an alliance with the elector of Brandenburg, winning over the dithering elector of Saxony, and signing the Treaty of Bärwalde with France, whereby Cardinal Richelieu agrees to generously subsidize the Swedish king's "liberation" of the German states from Hapsburg domination, to the tune of 1,000,000 livres a year. Marching south into the heart of Germany, Adolphus crushes Tilly at the Battle of Breitenfeld, near Leipzig, and then continues on all the way to Frankfurt, which he captures after a brief siege and then uses as his winter headquarters.
- In China the Ming Dynasty continues to fall apart as the peasant rebellions led by Li Zicheng and Zhang Xianzhong gather momentum. Meanwhile in Manchuria, Manchu king Abahai establishes a Chinese-style imperial bureaucracy in Mukden and proclaims the Qing Dynasty.
- Mount Vesuvius errupts in Italy, killing more than 4,000 people. The ensuing cleaning and restoration efforts will lead to the discovery of the lost Roman city of Pompeii.
- In the Mombasa Rising of 1631 the citizens of Mombasa, Kenya rise up against their Portuguese colonial overlords, slaughtering every Portuguese in the entire town and establishing an independent Sultanate which will last until the Portuguese return in force in 1638.
- In the Sack of Baltimore, Barbary Pirates from Algeria sack the village of Baltimore, Cork County, Ireland, making off with 108 English and Irish, who are sold into slavery, the men becoming galley slaves and the women becoming slaves in the Sultan's harem or servants in the palace.
- English printer Robert Barker, Royal Printer to the Crown, issues a reprint edition of the King James Bible which becomes a great controversy and is remembered as "The Wicked Bible" because a typesetting error caused the seventh commandment to read Thou shalt commit adultery.
These people were born in 1631...
These people died in 1631...
- English poet John Donne.
- English colonist in America John Smith, best remembered for his role in establishing Jamestown, the first permanent English colony, and for his brief association with the Native American princess Pocahontas.
- Mumtaz Mahal, favorite wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who would build the Taj Mahal in her honor.
- Italian philosopher Cesare Cremonini.
- English politician and antiquary Robert Cotton, founder of the famous Cotton Library.
- Spanish dramatist Guillén de Castro y Bellvis, accounted as a major figure in the Spanish Golden Age.
- Croatian writer Matija Divković.
- Ambrosio I, king of the Kingdom of Kongo, killed in a revolt against his incompetent rule.
- Japanese warlord Katō Yoshiaki, one of a group of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's most trusted generals known as the Seven Spears of Shizugatake
- Scottish nobleman Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll.
1630 - 1631 - 1632
How they were made