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1611 (MDCXI) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1611th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 611th year of the 2nd millennium, the 11th year of the 17th century, and the 2nd year of the 1610s decade. As of the start of 1611, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- February 27 – Sunspots are observed by telescope, by Frisian astronomers Johannes Fabricius and David Fabricius, and Johannes publishes the results of these observations, in De Maculis in Sole observatis in Wittenberg, later this year. Such early discoveries are overlooked, however, and the first sighting is claimed a few months later, by Galileo Galilei and Christoph Scheiner.
- March 4 – George Abbot is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury.
- March 9 – Battle of Segaba in Begemder: Yemana Kristos, brother of Emperor of Ethiopia Susenyos I, ends the rebellion of Melka Sedeq.
- April 4 – Denmark declares war on Sweden, then captures Kalmar.
- April 28 – The Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario is established in Manila, the Philippines (later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomas, now known as the University of Santo Tomas).
- May 2 – The Authorized King James Version of the Bible is published for the first time in London, England, printed by Robert Barker.
- May 9 – In Japan, sixteen-year-old Emperor Go-Mizunoo succeeds Emperor Go-Yōzei.
- June 22 – English explorer and sea captain Henry Hudson, his teenage son John, and six crewmen are set adrift in or near Hudson Bay, after a mutiny on his ship Discovery. They are never seen again.
- An uprising occurs in Moscow, Russia against occupying Polish forces, resulting in a major fire.
- Jamestown: John Rolfe imports tobacco seeds from the island of Trinidad (Nicotiana tabacum); the native tobacco is Nicotiana rustica.
- The Aix-en-Provence possessions takes place in France.
- Famine in Ethiopia resulting from crop failure due to weather conditions and the outbreak of a plague.
- Thomas Dale founds the city of Henricus on the James River, a few miles south of present day Richmond, Virginia.
- Construction begins on Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Persia.
- Thomas Sutton founds Charterhouse School, on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London.
- Itoh Gofuku Shop, a predecessor of Matsuzakaya, a famous for department store, founded in Nagoya, Japan.
- January 3 – James Harrington, English political theorist of classical republicanism (d. 1677)
- January 5 – Tsarevich Ivan Dmitriyevich, pretender to the Russian throne (d. 1614)
- January 28 – Johannes Hevelius, Polish astronomer (d. 1687)
- February 2 – Ulrik of Denmark, Danish prince-bishop (d. 1633)
- February 3 – Christian Ulrik Gyldenløve, Danish diplomat and military officer (d. 1640)
- February 5 (bapt.) – Philip Sherman, English-born founder of Rhode Island (d. 1687)
- February 6 – Chongzhen Emperor of China (d. 1644)
- February 19 – Andries de Graeff, Dutch politician (d. 1678)
- February 24 (bapt.) – William Dobson (d. 1646)
- February 28 – William Brereton, 2nd Baron Brereton, English politician (d. 1664)
- March 1 – John Pell, English mathematician (d. 1685)
- March 9 – Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot, French missionary (d. 1693)
- March 15 – Jan Fyt, Flemish Baroque painter (d. 1661)
- March 17 – Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge, Swedish field marshal (d. 1662)
- March 25 – Evliya Çelebi, Ottoman Turk, travelled around the Ottoman Empire for 40 years (d. 1682)
- March 28
- July 15 – Jai Singh I, Maharaja of Jaipur (d. 1667)
- July 16 – Cecilia Renata of Austria, Queen of Poland (d. 1644)
- July 21 – Jan van Balen, Flemish painter (d. 1654)
- July 23 – Henry Hungerford, English politician (d. 1673)
- July 24 – Giancarlo de' Medici, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1663)
- August 4 – Jan van den Hoecke, Dutch painter (d. 1651)
- August 9 – Henry II, Count of Nassau-Siegen (d. 1652)
- September 1 – William Cartwright, English dramatist (d. 1643)
- September 3 – Toussaint Rose, French writer (d. 1701)
- September 4 – George III of Brieg, Duke of Brzeg (1633–1664) (d. 1664)
- September 8 – Johann Friedrich Gronovius, German classical scholar (d. 1671)
- September 11 – Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne (d. 1675)
- September 17 – Johann Olearius, German hymnwriter (d. 1684)
- January 6 – Juan de Ribera, Spanish Catholic archbishop (b. 1532)
- January 16 – Niiro Tadamoto, Japanese samurai (b. 1526)
- February 7 – Ruprecht von Eggenberg, Austrian general (b. 1546)
- February 12 – Henry Lee of Ditchley, English noble (b. 1533)
- February 26 – Antonio Possevino, Italian Jesuit protagonist of Counter Reformation, papal diplomat (b. 1533)
- March 2 – Ernest II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, (b. 1564)
- March 3 – William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus, son of William Douglas (b. 1552)
- March 5 – Shimazu Yoshihisa, Japanese warlord and samurai (b. 1533)
- March 13 – Louis III, Count of Löwenstein (1541–1611) (b. 1530)
- March 17 – Princess Sophia of Sweden (b. 1547)
- March 20 – Johann Georg Gödelmann, German demonologist (b. 1559)
- July 9 – János Imreffy, Hungarian politician (b. 1559)
- July 26 – Horio Yoshiharu, Japanese warlord (b. 1542)
- August – Antoni Clarassó i Terès, Spanish priest
- August 2 – Katō Kiyomasa, Japanese warlord and samurai (b. 1561)
- August 9 – John Blagrave, English mathematician (b. 1561)
- August 12 – Herman van den Bergh, Dutch soldier in the Eighty Years' War (b. 1558)
- August 27 – Tomás Luis de Victoria, Spanish composer (b. c. 1548)
- September 9 – Eleanor de' Medici, Italian noblewoman (b. 1567)
- September 17 – Johannes Corputius, Dutch engineer, cartographer and military leader (b. 1542)
- September 18 – John Augustus, Count Palatine of Lützelstein, German count (b. 1575)
- September 25 – Šurhaci, Chinese prince (b. 1564)