Incredible and fun facts to explore

17th Centuries facts

While investigating facts about 17th Centuries, I found out little known, but curios details like:

In the late 17th century, the pirate Henry Avery became the richest pirate in the world after raiding a treasure laden ship belonging to the Grand Ruler of India. He stole £600,000 in precious metals and jewels, equivalent to £89.6M today. The world’s first worldwide manhunt was called on him.

Julie D'Aubigny, the famous 17th century French opera singer who once took the holy vows to enter a convent so she could have sex with a nun. She also had a habit of seducing women at parties, which led to their husbands challenging her to a duel. An expert duelist, she killed 10 men this way

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across. Here are 50 of the best facts about 17th Centuries I managed to collect.

  1. Carrots are orange for political reasons. In the 17th century, Dutch growers cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange. Before this, they were mostly yellow, white or purple.

  2. Julie d'Aubigny was a 17th-century traveling swordswoman. Among her other exploits, when her female lover was sent to a convent, she also entered the convent, stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in her lover's bed, escaped with her lover and burnt the convent down.

  3. Whipping Tom, the name given to two serial spankers in London in the 17th & 18th centuries. "On seeing an unaccompanied woman, he would grab her, lift her dress, and slap her buttocks repeatedly before fleeing. He would sometimes accompany his attacks by shouting "Spanko!""

  4. Coffee is credited with helping to spark the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th century Europe. Before coffee was introduced to that part of the world, people often drank beer/alcohol throughout the day because it was safer than water. Coffee provided a safe alternative to alcohol.

  5. That, since the 1300's, the pronoun "thou" was actually considered more informal and even derogatory than the pronoun "you." This is also why its usage began declining in the 17th century; it was considered "impolite."

  6. At the end of the 17th century in an attempt to modernize society, Russian Emperor Peter the Great taxed any men who didn't shave their beard. Those that paid the tax carried around a copper or bronze token as proof they had paid.

  7. In the 17th century, choir boys as young as eight years old would be castrated in order to preserve their pre-pubescent "angel voices"

  8. The Czech language was saved from extinction by puppet shows. In the 17th century, the Catholic Ferdinand II forced the Protestant Czech people to speak in German and banned the Czech language. Puppets were the only remaining entities that had the right to speak Czech in public places.

  9. That, starting during their golden age in the early 17th century, the Dutch had a monopoly on trade with Japan that lasted until 1854. During this time, the Dutch were Japan's only source of information on the Western world.

17th centuries facts
What are the best facts about 17th Centuries?

17th Centuries data charts

For your convenience take a look at 17th Centuries figures with stats and charts presented as graphic.

17th centuries fact data chart about Only five leaders of France separate us from the 17th centur
Only five leaders of France separate us from the 17th century

17th centuries fact data chart about Most popular names of accused witches in 17th century Scotla
Most popular names of accused witches in 17th century Scotland

What is true about 17th centuries?

You can easily fact check it by examining the linked well-known sources.

Due to heavy inbreeding, Louis XIV of France (17th century) is descended from Louis IX of France (13th century) in 368 different ways

Virtually all Middle Ages scholars believed that the Earth is spherical. The myth that people in the Middle Ages thought the earth is flat appears to date from the 17th century as part of the campaign by Protestants against Catholic teaching. - source

The Black Death killed so many people in the 14th century that the world population did not recover to pre-plague levels until the 17th century. - source

In 17th century Italy conjoined twins were on trial for murder. Authorities arrested Lazarus after he stabbed a man for teasing his parasitic twin brother. Though he was sentenced to death the court let him go, finding that they could not execute him without killing his innocent conjoined twin. - source

The 17th century Ottoman Sultan Murad VI made the consumption of coffee a capital offense. In addition to closing Istanbul’s many coffeehouses, he would disguise himself as a commoner and stalk the streets of Istanbul with his executioner, beheading any coffee-drinkers that he caught.

When the Dutch discovered penguins for the first time in the 17th century, they literally called them "fat gooses"

The Jesuit Order is credited as the single most important contributor to experimental physics in the 17th and 18th Centuries, with significant contributions to the study of magnetism, optics, and electricity; observed the colored bands of Jupiters surface, the Andromeda nebula, and Saturns Rings

The saying "cut of one's jib" is because in the 17th century, the shape of the jib sail often identified a vessel's nationality, and hence whether it was hostile or friendly.

Nicholas Culpeper, a 17th century physician married to wealthy heiress, enabling him to provide services free of charge while translating Latin medical text into English then sold them very cheaply for the poor who can't afford expensive physicians

Despite being synonymous with Italian cuisine, tomatoes were not incorporated into the Italian diet until the late 17th or early 18th century. The earliest mention of a tomato in Italy was in 1548, but the view was that they "were to be sought only for their beauty"

Interesting facts about 17th centuries

Julie D’Aubigny who was a 17th century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who fought and won at least ten life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest opera stage in the world and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and shag a nun.

The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart". The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through "fine fellow", "blusterer", to "harasser of the weak"

Tim Jenison. A dude from TX who may have rediscovered a lost, elegant technique that might explain how the 17th century painter, Vermeer, was able to paint with incredible realism.

Europeans didn't know Marco Polo's "Cathay" was really China or that the city "Cambulac" was really Beijing, until 1598 when Jesuit priests in Beijing talked to Arab merchants there, who still called it Cambulac. Maps until the 17th century showed China and Cathay as 2 different empires.

The often-quoted idiom "seeing is believing" leaves out half of the original sentence. The full quote from 17th century English clergyman, Thomas Fuller, is "Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth."

Nzinga, a 17th century queen in Angola who had a harem of men that had to fight to be with her and were put to death after a night of pleasure

The first mention of a pen with ink reservoir came in 973 in the region of northwest Africa by Ma'ād al-Mu'izz. He wanted a pen that didn’t get his hand messy. The next mention came in the 17th century by a German inventor, Daniel Schwenter.

In 16th and 17th Century Denmark, merchant ship captains had to pay a toll based on the value of the goods on the ship. The value was declared by the captain. The Danish authorities could take the value based toll (1-2%) or opt to buy the cargo for the declared value.

Until the 17th century most scientists believed that the speed of light was infinite. It was only in 1676 that Ole Rømer and Giovanni Cassini made the first measurement of the velocity of light (just 27% off the real value) by observing the orbits of the moons of Jupiter.

For centuries in mainland Europe groups of people would just start dancing for days to months at a time & no one knows why. They broke ribs, collapsed bridges, and even died until in the 17th century the behavior halted abruptly and completely.

In the 17th century an old man on trial openly confessed to being a werewolf, but claimed to be good-natured, stating that he regularly went to hell with other werewolves to battle the witches and wizards of Satan to ensure a bountiful harvest.

The term "waffle" (meaning blather or to be indecisive) is not based on the food. It actually comes "waff" which is the 17th century version of "woof," - the implication being the speaker's words have as much meaning as a dog barking.

Before the late 17th century, humans' sleep cycle was divided into two periods. The first sleep usually began at dusk, lasted four hours, and was followed by an hour or so of being awake. Then we had a second sleep, lasting another four hours.

The phrase 'It's raining cats and dogs' originated from the tendency of dead animals to be washed away following periods of heavy rain in the filthy streets of 17th century England.

17th century Dutch blacksmith Jan de Doot allegedly removed an egg-sized bladder stone from himself using a procedure called lithotomy in which one makes an incision between the scrotum and the anus and removes the offending stone. He then set it in gold.

In the 17th century, English Army field rations consisted entirely of a week's worth of biscuits and cheese

Australia remained in the Stone Age until European contact in the 17th century.

17th century Italian biologist Francesco Redi found that tortoise's brains are so small and irrelevant that when he surgically removed them, they could continue to live for up to six months. When he entirely decapitated one, it still lived for 23 days.

The "t" in "often" became silent during the 16th and 17th centuries to simplify the word's articulation, but as literacy rose in the 1800s, "t" began to reenter speech as more people became aware of spelling.

As late as 17th-Century Europe, masturbation was commonly employed by nannies to put their young male charges to sleep.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about 17th Centuries. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is 17th Centuries so important!

Editor Veselin Nedev Editor