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Timeline Part 2 | Timeline Part 3 | Timeline Part 4


Famed English playwright William Shakespeare dies.


The struggle that becomes known as the Thirty Years War begins in Bohemia over conflicts within the ruling Habsburg family.

Three bright comets are seen during this year.

Johannes Kepler discovers his third law of planetary motion.

English adventurer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for allegedly conspiring against King James I of England.


The first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time in Jamestown, Virginia.

The first slaves are brought to North America.

England establishes its first outpost in India.


The Pilgrim Fathers sail to Massachusetts on the 'Mayflower'.


War breaks out between Spain and the Netherlands.

Livonia, then part of Poland, is conquered by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

The first Thanksgiving celebration takes place, when the Pilgrims hold a three-day feast to celebrate the bountiful harvest they reap following their first winter in the New World.


The first successively published English newspaper, the 'Weekly Newes', begins to be printed. It is followed in the 1640s and 1650s by a plethora of different titles in the similar 'newsbook' format.


In the Thirty Years War, Bohemia suffers retribution, with forced re-Catholicisation causing one hundred and fifty thousand people to emigrate.

Blaise Pascal, French theologian, mathematician and physicist, is born.

German Wilhelm Schickard builds the first mechanical calculator, his 'calculating clock'. It is put to practical use by his friend, the astronomer Johannes Kepler.


Cardinal Richelieu is appointed the Chief Minister to the French Crown.

Work begins on the Palace of Versailles, outside Paris.

The Dutch establish a trading colony in Formosa [Taiwan].


After the death of his father, James I, Charles I comes to the throne of England as the second Stuart monarch. His first Parliament is adjourned to Oxford because of plague in London.

Charles I marries Henrietta-Maria de Bourbon, the Catholic youngest daughter of Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici, and the sister of King Louis XIII of France. Although the marriage seems to be a successful one, it is never popular with the British people. Her refusal to give up her Catholic faith alienates her from the people and certain powerful courtiers.

Denmark-Norway joins the Thirty Years War after receiving subsidies from the British, Dutch and French.

Englishman William Oughtred invents the slide rule.


Knighthoods are granted to all Englishmen with property worth more than forty pounds a year, increasing the revenues of the Crown.

The Dutch West India Company buys the island of Manhattan from the locals and founds the colony of New Amsterdam there.

The Spanish establish a trading colony in Formosa.


The Huguenots rise in France. The Duke of Buckingham sails from Portsmouth with a fleet to aid them in the defence of La Rochelle, but fails to relieve them, and retires.

A Dutch ship makes the first recorded sighting of the coast of South Australia.

The last Aurochs in Europe dies, killed by poachers in Poland, rendering the species extinct.

England places the first European settlers on the island of Barbados.


The Duke of Buckingham is assassinated as he embarks from Portsmouth on another expedition to La Rochelle, the last French stronghold of the Protestant Huguenots. La Rochelle surrenders to the French crown.

Unable to raise money without one, Charles I calls a new Parliament. Charles' attempts to levy customs duties, his opposition to a powerful Parliament in general and his persecution of his opponents leads him to dissolve Parliament and rule as best he can without one.

The sixty-four gun Swedish warship, the HMS Wasa, sinks on her maiden voyage.

Puritans settle Salem in what will later become part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.


Denmark-Norway withdraws from the Thirty Years War.


The English Puritan John Winthrop founds the city of Boston in the Massachusetts region of New England.

In France, Cardinal Richelieu stops a conspiracy by Maria de Medici.

A son is born to Charles I of England. He is also named Charles.

Sweden enters the Thirty Years War to protect the Protestant cause, and does so quite effectively.


Maria de Medici, wife of Henry IV of France, is exiled to Brussels and allies with her son, Gaston, the Duke of Orleans, to engineer the fall of Cardinal Richelieu.

An earthquake occurs in Naples, accompanied by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Algerian pirates sack Baltimore, in Ireland.


British Architect Christopher Wren is born.

Dutch painter Jan Vermeer is born.

John Locke, British philosopher, is born.

Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher, is born.

The first coffee shop opens in London.

British Catholics found the colony of Maryland after they are granted a charter by King Charles I.


Galileo Galilei is tried in Rome by the Inquisition and forced to recant his heliocentric views and abjure the theories of Copernicus.

The trial of a number of witches occurs in Lancashire, England.

Archbishop William Laud becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury. He begins a series of reforms in the Anglican Church to make it more ceremonial, beginning with the replacement of the wooden communion tables with stone altars. This leads to various Puritans accusing Laud (and thus, indirectly, the King, who supports him) of trying to reintroduce Catholicism.


France actively enters the Thirty Years War, siding with Sweden and prolonging the war and the suffering it brings.

The Academie Francaise is established.


A vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony establishes Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as the first college to be founded in the Americas.

The Chipangese [Japanese] attempt to halt foreign influence in their country by quarantining themselves. Foreign ships are banned from their ports, and their own ships are barred from leaving Chipangu, to the extent that Chipangese junks are to be designed with open sterns and large rudders so that they will be un-seaworthy far from shore.

A sermon preached in Salem, Massachusetts states that the cross is a symbol of Popery and was therefore the symbol of the antichrist. John Endicott, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, orders the cross removed from the flags used in Massachusetts. He is stopped by the local legislature, who decide that Endicott has exceeded the limits of his calling and strip him of office. They state that the standard bearers of the colony may adopt any flag they choose. Without exception they remove the cross from their flags.


With the aid of the Dutch, the Chipangese [Japanese] government quells the Christian Shimbara rebellion.

The Archbishop of Canterbury attempts to introduce the Book of Common Prayer into Scotland, by force if necessary. The Scotch, particularly the Presbyterians, seeing this as a shift towards Catholicism, join in a Covenant to resist its introduction, and rise up against the English. What become known as the Bishops Wars begin.

Swedish colonists establish first their settlement in Delaware, which they name New Sweden.


Seeking financial aid for the Bishops' Wars in Scotland, Charles I calls a Parliament for the first time in eleven years. However, Parliament wants to discuss their issues with Charles' rule rather than do what Charles wants, so Charles dissolves what becomes known as the Short Parliament within three weeks.

After some doubt and indecision, an English Army, under King Charles, engages the Scotch Covenanter army on the banks of the River Tweed. Unfortunately, the doubt and indecision continues throughout the battle, and the English, after initial gains, lose heart with a successful Covenanter counter-attack that makes them believe the Scotch are fielding more forces than they actually are, and retreat. Following this Charles decides that an invasion of Scotland is now impossible, and instead negotiates with the Scotch, something both sides are willing to do, despite rumbles of discontent from some of Charles' nobles and army people. [In the real world Charles' army never even engaged the Scotch because of doubt and indecision among its leadership, leading to even more discontent. This is the point of departure of this timeline.]

In the subsequent treaty, the Pacification of Berwick, Charles regains all of his Scotch fortresses, including Edinburgh Castle, and the Covenanter government, the Tables, is dissolved. However, Charles concedes to the calling of a Scotch Parliament and a general assembly of the Scotch Kirk, neither of which are friendly to him.

Connecticut adopts its first constitution, the 'Fundamental Orders'.

The first printing press in North America is started in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


After the military debacle in Scotland, the King accedes to his opponents and summons what becomes known as the Long Parliament, which quickly enacts a series of measures intended to sweep away the various encroachments of despotic monarchy. This is done, but discussion on church reform cause rifts between the Commons and the Lords. However, Parliament still continues to distrust the King.

Portugal regains its independence from Spain. John IV of Portugal becomes its King.

The Bay Psalm Book becomes the first book to be printed in North America.

By now there are over forty thousand British colonists in the New World.

1640 to 1688

Frederick the Great creates the Brandenburg-Prussian state.


A rebellion against British rule begins in Ireland. An army is needed to suppress the rebellion, but the Parliamentarians fear that the King will use it against them. Parliament adopts the Grand Remonstrance, reciting the evils of Charles's reign and demanding church reform and Parliamentary control over the army and over the appointment of royal ministers. These demands split the Parliamentary party and drive most moderates to the Royalist side.

The Dutch establish the first European trading post in Chipangu [Japan] on the artificial island of Dejima, in the bay of Nagasaki.

The Dutch oust the Portuguese from Malacca.


The support of moderate Parliamentarians encourages Charles to assert himself, and in January he attempts to arrest in person five leaders of the opposition in the Commons. This action makes civil war inevitable, but no fighting breaks out right away. Instead, both sides move to secure fortresses, arsenals, and popular support.

In June, Parliament sends the King a statement reiterating the demands of the Grand Remonstrance. Since the proposals amount to a complete surrender of sovereignty by the Crown to Parliament, the King does not even consider them as a basis for discussion. Armed forces, including most Peers from the House of Lords and a nearly half of the Commons, gather about him in the north. [In the real world many peers and a sizeable minority of the Commons supported him.] Parliament organises its own army and appoints Robert Devereux, Third Earl of Essex, to lead it.

On August 20th, Charles raises his standard at Nottingham. [Slightly earlier than in the real world, where this happened on the 22nd.]

The first major engagement of the armies occurs at Edgehill on October 23rd, and is a drawn battle. [The Parliamentarians do slightly worse in this battle than in the real world.] Charles then establishes himself at Oxford. The Royalist forces gain ground in the north and west, although repeated attempts by the King to advance on London prove to be abortive.

Cardinal Richelieu dies.

Galileo Galilei, Italian scientist, dies.

Georgeana, Massachusetts [York, Maine] becomes the first incorporated city in America.

The Dutch drive the Spanish from Formosa.

Abel Tasman makes the first recorded sighting of New Zealand and Tasmania.

Blaise Pascal produces a mechanical adding machine, the 'Pascaline'.

[Because of the slightly less indecisive performance at the River Tweed in 1639 there is somewhat more support for Charles than in the real world and less for Parliament, so battles are slightly closer and the Parliamentarians slightly less successful.]

1642 to 1659

Anthony van Diemen, Governor General of India for the Dutch East India Company, sends Dutchman Abel Tasman to explore the Pacific Ocean. In the course of his explorations Tasman discovers Mauritius, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), New Zeeland and New Guinea.


Futile negotiations for peace are conducted at Oxford.

A number of indecisive and bloody engagements are remarkable mainly for the emergence of Oliver Cromwell, an inconspicuous member of the Long Parliament, to military prominence with his own regiment of 'godly' men, who soon become famous as the 'Ironsides'. [Cromwell still comes to prominence, as he did in the real world, but the battles, although still indecisive, go slightly less well for the Parliamentarians.]

Parliament secures an alliance with the Presbyterian Scots by accepting the Solemn League and Covenant. Scotch aid is obtained only by a promise to quickly submit England to Presbyterianism. This produces a reaction from the Independents and other sectarians (particularly in the army) who oppose the idea of any centralised national church.

King Louis XIII of France dies and is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Louis XIV at the age of four, with a regent ruling for him.

Cardinal Mazzarini replaces Cardinal Richelieu as Chief Minister to the French Crown, and continues his policies.

The French found Montreal, in Canada.

The New England Confederation is formed.


A Scotch army advances into Yorkshire and gives aid to the Parliamentary army in the north.

Charles I's nephew, Prince Rupert, helps to stem Royalist losses by retaking Newark, but only temporarily. Rupert's campaign to relieve the besieged city of York leads to the battle of Marston Moor, where Cromwell and Leslie inflict a crushing defeat on the Royalists.

Charles' forces manage to cut off Essex but shortly afterwards encounter Parliamentary troops from the north in an indecisive engagement at Newbury.

To stem rising dissension among Parliamentary leaders, Cromwell sponsors the Self-Denying Ordinance, by which all members of Parliament are compelled to resign their military commands.

The reorganisation of the Parliamentary army into the New Model Army begins with Thomas Fairfax as Commander In Chief.

A peasant revolt brings an end to the Ming Dynasty in China. They are succeeded by the Qing Dynasty, sometimes known as the Manchu Emperors. The regent Dorgun founds the Manchu Dynasty.


Futile peace negotiations occur at Uxbridge.

Charles I, hoping to join the forces of the Marquess of Montrose, moves north and storms Leicester. He meets Cromwell in battle at Naseby, losing a large part of his army. [The Parliamentary army takes slightly more casualties here than in the real world.] This loss renders the Royalist cause essentially hopeless.

Tsar Michael I of Russia, the first of the Romanov dynasty, dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes Tsar Aleksey I.

British Queen Henrietta Maria flees to France with her children.


Unable to join Montrose, who is defeated in Scotland, and unable to secure aid from Ireland or the Continent, Charles I is unable to halt the Royalist losses. He surrenders himself to the Scots, who make vague but reassuring promises to him.

The First Civil War ends with the surrender of Oxford.


The Scots hand Charles I over to Parliament.

Presbyterian rule in Parliament has alienated the army, who resist Parliament's proposal to disband it by capturing the King and marching on London. As time passes and Parliament refuses to accept the army's peace proposals, their discontent becomes more radical and is coupled with a growing desire to dispose of the King altogether.

Charles escapes and takes refuge on the Isle of Wight, negotiating simultaneously with the Scots and with Parliament.

Charles concludes an agreement with the Scots to accept Presbyterianism in return for their military support.


The Scots invade England, and the Second Civil War begins. Parliamentary forces suppress uprisings in Wales, Kent, Essex and the Midlands. Cromwell defeats the Scots at Preston.

Charles I's appeals for aid to France and Ireland fail to win him any assistance.

The Second Civil War ends.

[Basically the Civil Wars run much as they did in the real world, with Cromwell rising to prominence and battles turning out as they did. However, the Parliamentarians take slightly more casualties and do slightly less well as they have slightly less support. However, this is not enough to seriously affect the overall sequence of events.]

The Thirty Years War ends with the Peace of Westphalia that creates the first secular and religiously tolerant states and re-draws many borders. France having come out of the war in a far better position than any other Power, it is able to dictate much of the treaty, via the work of Cardinal Mazzarini, the de facto leader of France. Spain is forced to recognise the Netherlands and loses its position as the pre-eminent power in Europe to France. Switzerland and the Netherlands officially leave the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire dissolves into separate German states. A key feature of the Peace of Westphalia is that nations no longer have the right to interfere with the internal affairs of other nations, even if they disagree with them.

The French nobility begin a revolt against the Crown over the loss of their political power.

Parliament attempts to reach an agreement with the King. However, the army, now dominated by Cromwell, disposes of its Parliamentary enemies in what becomes known as Pride's Purge, after the man who carries it out, leaving only a legislative remnant known as the Rump Parliament.

The Rump Parliament tries Charles I for treason and finds him guilty. However, there is not enough support for the execution of Charles for him to be condemned to death. Instead, he goes into exile in France, joining his French Catholic wife Queen Henrietta Maria, who has been there with their children since 1645. [This is the major point of departure for this alternate history, as in the real world he was beheaded at this point.]

Russian explorers discover the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alyeska.


Charles I is sent into exile and a republic known as the Commonwealth is set up in Britain, governed by the Rump Parliament and an executive council of state. However, Oliver Cromwell is the real power in the land, and enforces the Puritan moral code under a strict military administration.

The former Charles I is received by the French King, Louis XIV, the Sun King, in Paris, where, with the backing of Cardinal Mazzarini, who sees potential benefits for France in this, he proclaims his support for his fellow monarch against these threats to the divine right of Kings. After considering his options, such as continuing his exile in the nation of his mother, Anne of Denmark, which he rejects due to his wish to avoid a long sea voyage, Charles remains in exile in France.

Many Roman Catholics begin to flee Britain, mostly to France, but some to the New World. Those in France call on Charles I to return to the British throne.

Cromwell requires all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the English Channel to salute any British fleet by lowering their flags.

In Russia, after a number of less extreme measures have failed to keep the peasants on the land, the Tsar imposes a new set of laws codifying serfdom onto the country.


Because Charles has some support at home [somewhat more than in the real world, particularly among the nobility], he is able to convince the French King to help him re-take his throne. Although King Louis would like Charles to convert to Catholicism before doing so, his advisors convince him that this is impractical, as it would lose him the support of the vast majority of Britons. Instead, Charles agrees to help the French in a future war.

French money begins to support the British Royalist cause.

René Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician, dies.

Archbishop James Ussher in Ireland uses the genealogy listed in the Bible to calculate the age of the Earth. From his calculations, the Earth was created at midday on October 23th, 4004 BC, and is thus some six thousand years old. This leads to the Doctrine of Catastrophism in which the Earth has been shaped by series of giant disasters, fitting many processes into a short time scale.


A number of Royalist uprisings occur across England, Wales and Ireland. These are brutally crushed.

A British diplomatic mission attempts to unite the Commonwealth of England with the Dutch Republic under Cromwell's leadership. The Dutch reject this offer, and the British reject a counter-offer of unification under Dutch leadership. [As an aside, what sort of world might have grown up if Britain and the Netherlands had unified at this point?]

In retaliation the British Parliament passes the Navigation Act, ordering that only British ships and ships from the originating country can import goods to England. This is aimed at hampering the shipping of the highly trade-dependent Dutch.

With both rumours and evidence of plots against the government supported by funds provided by Charles I in France, British Roman Catholics become persecuted increasingly harshly. Because of this the number of Catholics fleeing the country rises.

In Ireland perhaps half of the population is killed in the suppression of their revolt, with many fleeing to Europe or being sent to the New World as slaves. Many British and Scotch settlers move to Ireland, with the Irish they are replacing being transplanted to poor-quality land in the west of Ireland.


A Dutch Admiral orders his captains not to salute a British fleet in the English Channel by lowering the Dutch flag as Cromwell requires. A battle between the two fleets occurs near Dover, won by the British, beginning the First Anglo-Dutch War. Later battles range up and down the English Channel and into the Thames Estuary until Parliament, thinking the war won, sends much of the fleet to the Mediterranean.

Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament, considering it rife with Royalism. He accepts a constitutional document drawn up by a group of army officers and assumes the title Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, agreeing to share his power with a Council of State and a Parliament of one house.

At this point the British state changes from a Commonwealth to a Protectorate, a dictatorship resting on the power of the army. Strict Puritan rule in imposed on the people. [This occurred in 1653 in the real world, with a Nominated or Bare-Bones Parliament between the Rump Parliament and the Protectorship.]

The Dutch East India Company founds Cape Town.

Rhode Island becomes the first settlement in North America to make slavery illegal.


After another Royalist uprising, Cromwell divides the country into eight military districts, each under the administration of a major general who enforces the rigidly puritanical laws and collects taxes. With Royalist unrest in many across the country, harsh measures are sometimes imposed by the major generals of the various military districts, alienating significant sections of the population. [This actually occurred in 1655.]

[Because of the large-scale unrest, no toleration is extended to Jews, Protestants (non-Anglicans), and Roman Catholics, unlike the real world, where Toleration for the first two groups was granted in 1654. As such many Jews go on to form a large, wealthy and talented community in the Netherlands, contributing to the growth of the Dutch Empire. Also, Cromwell is never offered the Kingship here, as happened in the real world in 1657.]

Wishing to concentrate on the unrest at home, Cromwell opens peace negotiations with the Dutch that end with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, in which the Dutch recognise the Commonwealth, and conclude the First Anglo-Dutch War with no real gains for either side. However, especially in the colonies, hostilities continue between British and Dutch trade companies, which all have warships and troops of their own. The Dutch begin to build more ships for their Navy. [The war turns out less well for the British and ends earlier than in the real world because of more unrest and less support at home.]

The revolt of the French nobility that began in 1648 ends with their losing most of the political power they were fighting to keep.


A Royalist uprising begins in Canterbury spreads across southern England. Charles I sets sail from France with a small army to lead it, but by this time it has been largely crushed, and he turns back mid-Channel.

[No war breaks out between England and Spain here, as happened in the real world, leaving Dunkirk in Spanish hands. Jamaica also remains nominally Spanish, although in reality they had abandoned it by this point. Because of this abandonment it becomes a haunt for pirates and other unsavoury types, even more so than in the real world, and without at least nominal British oversight.]

War begins between Russia and Poland over the Ukraine after the Russian Army seizes the city of Smolensk.


More Royalist uprisings occur, and spread, some of them covertly funded by the French, some not. Most are crushed by the army, but because the army is spread quite thinly, some survive for longer than others. Charles I takes his chance, and accompanied by an army of expatriates, sails for England.

Landing in Dover, Royalist supporters rally to the King, while anti-Royalists rally to Cromwell. The Third Civil War begins.

Dutch forces attack and capture New Sweden [Delaware].

French astronomer Abbé Jean Picard measures the length of a degree of longitude and computes from it the size of the Earth, at the same time defining a prime meridian of longitude running through Paris.


Uprisings up and down the country support the King, but the army is well-used to suppressing this sort of thing by now, and many of the people still support Cromwell, turning neighbour against neighbour yet again. Major battles take place at Naseby, Ireton and in London.

During the fighting in London a fire begins that consumes much of the city, to the detriment of both sides. This becomes known as the Great Fire of London. However, the leadership of both sides interprets the fire as a sign of God's favour. [Because of the earlier Great Fire, which decimates the London rat population, there is not a Great Plague in England in 1665.]

The war between Poland, Ducal Prussia, Russia and Transylvania ends.


With large amounts of damage done across the country, the tide begins to turn against the Parliamentarian side. The Royalists, gaining increased popular support, gain more and more of the country, pushing back the Parliamentarians on all fronts.

Seeing their inevitable defeat approaching, the Puritan leadership, including Cromwell and his family, flee to the New World by sea, landing at Boston. Also with them goes John Milton, the poet, devoted Puritan, and Cromwell's Latin secretary.

With the flight of the Puritan leadership, resistance to Charles quickly collapses and the Third Civil War ends. The official Parliamentarian surrender takes place at Cambridge, and the monarchy is restored.

Charles sets about consolidating his rule.

Shah Jehan, the ruler of the Mughal Empire, falls ill. A violent struggle to succeed him begins among his sons. [As in the real world.]

The Fire of the Long Sleeves lays waste to three-quarters of Tokyo's buildings and kills an estimated one hundred thousand people.


With his rule put on a solid foundation, Charles I begins to deal with all those who acted against him. He reconstitutes his Star Chamber to do so, and rapidly becomes even more despotic than he was before his exile. Some of those he persecutes flee the country, but many are imprisoned, or executed, or both. He also reinstates Parliament, but in a very much reduced, and largely powerless, form. He now has complete power in Britain. Not being satisfied with just the victory, Charles also wishes to grind the faces of his opponents in it, and forces them to acknowledge his divine right to be monarch.

Charles also insists that all of the British nobility accept the Book of Common Prayer, and the pomp-and-ceremony version of the Anglican Church espoused by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. Some do so, but many refuse, and are again either imprisoned, executed, or flee. They are replaced by Charles' supporters, including a number of Protestant members of the French nobility.

These 'reforms' of the Church of England are not popular. Many Puritans, and in addition many other Protestants, flee to North America, building new settlements there.

In Ireland, Catholic violence against foreign settlers in there becomes endemic. Charles, needing the support of the Irish, tolerates this.

On Charles' orders Christopher Wren begins work on a new, and very grand, Whitehall Palace, from where he will rule. This will be on a par with the Louvre, in Paris. At the same time he also begins work on a new St Paul's Cathedral, the original having been destroyed in the Great Fire.

The Dutch take Ceylon [Sri Lanka] from the Portuguese.

Some of the Irish who left the country during the Commonwealth return with the Restoration of King Charles. Those who return are particularly enthusiastic in their support of Charles, and their wish to remove the taint of Protestantism from their land, which Charles tolerates. As such the areas of Ulster, and particularly Belfast, become and remain strongholds of Catholic fervour.

Over the years of his second rule, King Charles I establishes a tradition of direct, personal, rule, with all the power in the land concentrated in one set of hands - his. With the British Crown able to tax at will, without legal controls, there is no incentive to develop the British financial system, and without that as a system for developing Britain's resources, Britain remains a poor nation. Likewise, the traditions of 'Englishman's rights' are swept by the board. Censorship is widely used, resulting in a fall in literacy rates as well as the stifling of scientific discussion and free debate. The main, and most serious, long-term effect is the destruction of the origins of many of the powerful democratic societies that exist in the real world, and the departure of some of the finest minds in Britain to countries where they are more appreciated, generally in Europe and particularly the Netherlands.

Ireland, however, is more peaceful, as Charles' use of Catholic troops from Ireland gives him an interest in being reasonably tolerant towards the Irish people.


After defeating all of his brothers, Aurangzeb, the third son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, is formally crowned as the new Mughal Emperor. With his coronation the last survivor of his brothers, Dara Shikoh, the first son of Shah Jehan, is executed. [As in the real world.]

A Muslim noted for his piety and zeal, the new Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb begins imposing his own strict, fundamentalist, view of Islam on the Empire, and discriminating against non-Muslims. At the same time he begins engaging in almost constant warfare with the intention of conquering as much of India as he can and converting it to Islam. [Again, as in the real world.]


With the 'reforms' of the Church of England going reasonably well, Charles I attempts to extend them into Scotland. The Scots rally to a call to fight this, and violence spreads. Anti-Catholics in England also rise up in support, and the Fourth Civil War begins.

Members of the Fifth Monarchy Men, a radical Puritan politico-religious group, attempt to take over London in the name of 'King Jesus'. Most of them are either killed or taken prisoner and then executed for high treason. [In the real world this happened in 1661.]

[Because of the unrest and disruption of this period, the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge is not founded in this year, or indeed ever. Britain at this point is ruled by despotic King, returned to the throne after a very different and much more violent restoration of the British monarchy. Its political system has more emphasis on the King as an absolute ruler than in the real world, the persecution, imprisonment and execution of the enemies of the King is commonplace, and Parliament is much less powerful than in the real world. Because of all of this, Britain at this point in time has an intellectual environment that is much more hostile to an institution such as the Royal Society than was the case in the real world under Charles II at this time.]

[In the absence of the Royal Society, advancement in science and technology is slowed significantly compared to the real world.]

With much to do at home, Charles allows the Puritan rebels in the New World to remain unmolested. However, he does what he can to ensure the 'loyal' settlements in the New World are well defended. Locals loyal to the King do their best to track down Cromwell and his associates, but with no success, beyond sparking a number of violent incidents.

[Puritanism was slowly dying; the greater opposition it suffers here revitalises and strengthens it.]

Continuing religious struggles and despotism in Britain hold back its development and industrialisation. Many of its more radical, innovative and moneyed citizens flee to more peaceful and tolerant climes, often in Europe, particularly the Netherlands and some of the German states.


King Louis XIV, now being of age, takes power in France.

A bright comet is appears over the Earth.

Dutch rule ends in Formosa [Taiwan].


Oliver Cromwell dies and succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, Richard Cromwell [this happened in 1658 in the real world]. Richard's extra years of experience make him an adequate if not inspired leader. [In the real world Richard was unable to control the army and resigned, leading to the restoration of the British monarchy.]

Manchu Emperor K'ang Hsi comes to the Chinese throne.

Blaise Pascal, French theologian, mathematician and physicist, dies.


After incidents involving the capture of Dutch trading posts and colonies in West Africa and North America by British company forces, in particular with their brutal capture of New Amsterdam, which they rename New York, the Dutch declare war on the British in what becomes known as the Second Anglo-Dutch War. By now the Dutch have expanded their Navy by forty ships, while that of the British is somewhat in decline. [In the real world the Second Anglo-Dutch War began in 1665, with the British declaring war on the Dutch, though for basically the same reasons; the Dutch had expanded their navy by sixty ships. The taking of New Amsterdam is more brutal here than in reality, as a spin-off from the more brutal events in Britain.]

The war begins for real with the Battle of Harwich, where the British Navy is defeated by the Dutch. Other battles follow, but continuing financial problems arising from the continuing Fourth Civil War force the British to reduce their naval operations more and more.

1663 to 1699

The Ottoman Turks, under Mohammed IV, assault central Europe for the second time.

As the British Crown attempts to maintain control over the New World the people there see, again, the attempted imposition of Catholicism and the suppression of their own faith. Unrest grows.


After various other battles and attacks, the Dutch launch the 'Raid on the Medway' at the mouth of the River Thames. They break through the massive chain protecting the entrance to the Medway and attack the British fleet laid up at Chatham. Many of the Navy's ships are destroyed, either by the Dutch or by being scuttled by the British to block the river. The British flagship, the HMS Royal Charles, is sunk. The Dutch also destroy the Chatham Dockyard, England's largest industrial complex, effectively breaking the back of the Royal Navy. [In the real world the Dutch did not destroy the dockyards, but here the more French-leaning British government inspire them to do more damage.]

The Scotch and English rebels take advantage of this defeat to push forward on all fronts.

With no hope, now, of victory, and the Fourth Civil War taking a turn for the worst, England quickly sues for peace. The Dutch give fairly generous terms. The British give up their claim to the various spice islands that provide much of the Dutch revenues at this time. They also cede New York and the West Indian islands back to the Netherlands, as well as British Suriname and various British holdings in West Africa. However, the local Puritans in America refuse to honour the terms of the treaty, and New York remains British. The Dutch, having achieved most of their aims in the war, do not try and re-take it by force.

There is great unrest in England at the outcome of the war, but given the poor state of British finances, little can be done about it at present.

In India, the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb begins to be marked by numerous rebellions, which are brutally suppressed.

Timeline Part 2 | Timeline Part 3 | Timeline Part 4

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