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1640s decade ran from January 1, 1640, to December 31, 1649.
The Dutch drive Spain from
Taiwan. The village of Bro (Broo),
Sweden is granted city rights for the second time, and takes the name Kristinehamn (literally "Christina's port") after the then Swedish monarch, Queen Christina.
Rembrandt finishes his painting, . The Night Watch The
Manchu, under their leader Hong Taiji, raid the Ming Chinese province of Shandong from their base in Manchuria. Two years later Beijing falls to rebels, the Chongzhen Emperor commits suicide, and the Shunzhi Emperor becomes the first Qing Emperor to rule over China proper.
1642 Yellow River flood: Some 300,000 people die, when the Ming Dynasty army in China intentionally breaks the dams and dykes of the Yellow River, to break the siege by the large rebel force of Li Zicheng. Isaac Aboab da Fonseca is appointed rabbi in Pernambuco, Brazil, thus becoming the first rabbi of the Americas.
July 1 – The Westminster Assembly of Divines meets for the first time.
July 5 – First English Civil War – Battle of Lansdowne: Royalists and Parliamentarians battle to a draw.
July 13 – First English Civil War – Battle of Roundway Down: In England, Lord Henry Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, wins a crushing victory over Parliamentarian Sir William Waller.
September 20 – First English Civil War – First Battle of Newbury: Royalists withdraw to end further bloodshed.
September 21 – Hong Taiji, Qing dynasty Emperor of China, dies.
October 8 – The Shunzhi Emperor of China is crowned age 5, having been chosen to succeed his father by the Deliberative Council of Princes and Ministers.
October 28 – The Dutch corsairs end their occupation of Valdivia, in what will become Chile.
November 14 – Empress Meishō abdicates, and Emperor Go-Kōmyō accedes to the throne of Japan.
November 24 – Battle of Tuttlingen: France is defeated by forces of the Holy Roman Empire.
December 13 - English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire. December 25 – Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean is first sighted, by Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company, on the Royal Mary. 
January 22 – The Royalist Oxford Parliament is first assembled by King Charles I of England.
January 26 – First English Civil War – Battle of Nantwich: The Parliamentarians defeat the Royalists, allowing them to end the 6-week Siege of Nantwich in Cheshire, England.
February–August – Explorer Abel Tasman's second expedition, for the Dutch East India Company, maps the north coast of Australia.
January 30 – Battle of Ochmatów: Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski secure a substantial victory over the horde of Crimean Tatars, under Tugay Bey.
February 5 – The first livestock branding law in America is passed in Connecticut. 
March 24 – In England, Roger Williams is granted an official grant for his Rhode Island Colony, allowing the establishment of a general assembly.
April 25 – A popular Chinese rebellion led by Li Zicheng sacks Beijing, prompting Chongzhen, the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, to commit suicide.
May 6 – Johan Mauritius resigns as Governor of Brazil. 
May 25 – Ming general Wu Sangui forms an alliance with the invading Manchus, and opens the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan Pass, letting the Manchus through, towards the capital Beijing.
May 26 – Battle of Montijo: The Kingdom of Portugal is victorious over Habsburg Spain, in the first major action between the two nations during the Portuguese Restoration War.
May 27 – Battle of Shanhai Pass: The Manchu Qing Dynasty and Wu Sangui gain a decisive victory, over Li Zicheng's Shun Dynasty.
June 3 – Li Zicheng proclaims himself emperor of China. June 6 – The invading Qing army, with the help of Ming general Wu Sangui, captures Beijing, China. This marks the beginning of Manchu rule over China proper.
January 3 – The Long Parliament adopts the in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, replacing the Directory for Public Worship Book of Common Prayer ( 1559). Holy Days (other than Sundays) are not to be observed.
January 10 – Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud is executed for treason on Tower Hill, London. 
January 14 – English Civil War: Fairfax is appointed Commander-in-Chief.
January 29 – English Civil War: Armistice talks open at Uxbridge.
February 2 – Battle of Inverlochy: The Covenanters are defeated by Montrose.
February 15 – English Civil War: The New Model Army is officially founded.
February 28 – English Civil War: Uxbridge armistice talks fail.
March 4 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert leaves Oxford for Bristol.
March 5 – Thirty Years' War – Battle of Jankau: The armies of Sweden decisively defeat the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, in one of the bloodiest battles of the war, in southern Bohemia, some 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Prague.
March 31 – Fearing the spread of the Black Death (plague), Edinburgh Town Council prohibits all gatherings except weddings and funerals.
April 3 – The House of Lords passes the , requiring members of the Self-denying Ordinance Parliament of England to resign commissions in the armed services.
April 10 – Because of the plague, the Edinburgh town council orders that the college graduation ceremony should be moved forward, so that students can leave the city (on November 19, teaching resumes in Linlithgow).
April 23 ( St George's Day) – English Civil War: One hundred and fifty Irish soldiers bound for service with King Charles I of England are captured at sea by Parliamentarians and killed at Pembroke in Wales.
May 2 – Thirty Years' War – Battle of Herbsthausen (or Mergentheim): The Bavarian army, led by Franz von Mercy, catches French forces led by Marshal Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne unawares, and heavily defeats them.
May 9 – Battle of Auldearn: Scottish Covenanters are defeated by Montrose.
June 1 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert's army sacks Leicester.
June 10 – English Civil War: Oliver Cromwell is confirmed as the Lieutenant-General of the Cavalry.
June 14 – English Civil War – Battle of Naseby: 12,000 Royalist forces are beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers. June 28 – English Civil War: The Royalists lose Carlisle.
July 2 – A fight breaks out at Alford, Aberdeenshire.
July 10 – English Civil War – Battle of Langport: Cromwell wins in Somerset.
July 21 – Qing Dynasty regent Dorgon issues an edict ordering all Han Chinese men to shave their forehead, and braid the rest of their hair into a queue, identical to those of the Manchus.
July 23 – Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich of Russia comes to the throne.
August 13 – The Treaty of Brömsebro is signed between Sweden and Denmark–Norway, ending the Torstenson War and ceding Jemtland, Herjedalen, Gotland and Ösel ( Saaremaa) to Sweden, which also holds the province of Halland for a period of 30 years, as a guarantee.
September 10 – English Civil War: Prince Rupert surrenders Bristol.
September 13 – Battle of Philiphaugh: The Covenanters defeat Montrose at Selkirk.
September 24 – English Civil War – Battle of Rowton Heath: Parliamentarians defeat the Royalist cavalry.
October 8– October 14 – English Civil War: The Third siege of Basing House by Oliver Cromwell results in its destruction.
October 8 – Jeanne Mance founds the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, the first hospital in North America.
October 11 – English Civil War: Re-fortification of Bourne Castle in Lincolnshire against a threatened Royalist attack begins. November 20 The Colegio de Santo Tomas is elevated by Pope Innocent X into the University of Santo Tomas, in his brief In Supreminenti. It has the oldest extant University Charter in the Philippines, as well as the whole of Asia.
16 July– 19 July – Thirty Years' War – Battle of Prague: The west bank of Prague (including Prague Castle) is occupied and looted by Swedish armies.
August 8 – Mehmed IV (1648– 1687) succeeds Ibrahim I ( 1640–1648), as Ottoman Emperor.
August 20 - Battle of Lens: French Duc d'Enghien defeats Spaniards
September 12 – Battle of Stirling in Scotland: " Engagers" achieve victory over the Kirk Party.
October 24 – Signing of the Treaties of Münster and Osnabrück conclude the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years' War. Rulers of the Imperial States have powers to decide their state religion, Protestant, Catholic or Calvinist, with the minorities of each of those faiths granted toleration of worship, and there is general recognition of exclusive sovereignty, including that of the Dutch Republic and Switzerland. France and Sweden gain territory, and the latter is granted an indemnity. However, France remains at war with Spain until 1659.
October 31 – A treaty is signed between the Arabs and the Portuguese. The terms include a provision that the Portuguese should build fortresses at Kuriyat, Dibba Al-Hisn ( Sharjah) and Muttrah ( Oman). 
November 11 – France and the Netherlands agree to divide the Caribbean island of Saint Martin between them. December 11 – " Pride's Purge" in England: Elements of the New Model Army, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell invade London and expel a majority of the Long Parliament, resulting in the creation of the Rump Parliament.
January 4 – English Civil War: The Rump Parliament passes an ordinance to set up a High Court of Justice, to try Charles I for high treason.
January 20 – Charles I of England goes on trial, for treason and other " high crimes".
January 27 – King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland is found guilty of high treason in a public session. He is beheaded three days later, outside the Banqueting Hall in the Palace of Whitehall, London.
Following the execution of King Charles I, the
Commonwealth of England, a republican form of government, replaces the monarchy as the form of government of England, and later of Scotland and Ireland. Members of the Long Parliament serve as government. Charles, Prince of Wales declares himself King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. At the time, none of the three kingdoms recognize him as ruler.
February 5 – In Edinburgh, Scotland claimant King Charles II of England is declared King in his absence. Scotland is the first of the three Kingdoms to recognize his claim to the throne.
March 11 – The rebel and the French government sign the Frondeurs Peace of Rueil.
March 19 – The House of Commons of England passes an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring that it is "useless and dangerous to the people of England". 
March – Robert Blake is promoted to become a General at Sea of the English fleet. 
May 17 – The Banbury mutiny in England ends – leaders of the Leveller mutineers in the New Model Army are hanged.
May 19 – is passed by the An act declaring England to be a Commonwealth Rump Parliament. May 22–October – Robert Blake blockades Prince Rupert's fleet in Kinsale, Ireland.
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