9 of 21 portraits of John Donne
by Matthäus Merian the Younger
line engraving, published 1640
12 7/8 in. x 8 3/8 in. (328 mm x 212 mm) paper size
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Events of 1640back to top
Current affairsSecond Bishops' War. James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, leading the Scottish armies, occupies northeast of England. Defeat at the Battle of Newburn forces impoverished Charles to sign Treaty of Ripon. Long Parliament. Habeas Corpus Act is passed, abolishing the Star Chamber. Impeachment of Royalists, Earl of Strafford and Archbishop Laud.
Art and scienceAuthor, James Howell, writes Dodona's Grove, a historical allegory of events since 1603. A renowned royalist, Howell's anti-parliamentary remarks in the book would later attract accusations from parliamentarians. The last Caroline masque before the outbreak of civil war, Salmacida Spolia by Sir William Davenant, is performed at Whitehall Palace.
InternationalFrederick William becomes Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. The Elector's policy of religious tolerance benefited his state during the religious struggles dominating the Thirty Years' War. The Bay Psalm Book is published, the first book to be printed in British North America.