Theophraste Renaudot establishes La Gazette in Paris, France's first newspaper. A weekly news sheet sanctioned by the government, it was renamed La Gazette de France in 1752.


1625  The hackney coach - a four wheeled carriage drawn by one or two horses - makes its first appearance in London. Possibly named after the London district of Hackney, there were some 300 of these licensed coaches in the capital within 25 years.  The French coach for hire, named a fiacre after the Hotel Saint-Fiacre in Paris, first made its appearance in the 1640s. It was a box-like vehicle, drawn by three horses.

Inx1634 the first Passion play is performed at Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps. It was held in fulfilment of a vow made by the local people the previous year after their village was spared an epidemic of the plague then raging throughout Bavaria. Since 1700 this famous event - an entirely local production - has been held every ten years - except during the Franco-Prussian War and World War II.

1635 The first regular postal service starts between London and Edinburgh.


In 1626 the Jardin des Plantes

is founded in Paris. Created as

a royal garden, it was opened

to the public in 1650.

Inxthe same year the English

mathematician William Oughtred,

(1575-1660) suggests that the symbol X  be used to denote multiplication.

And the symbols for “greater than” and “less than” > < come into use, an idea put forward by the English scientist Thomas Harriot (c1560-1621) in his book The Analytical Arts.

The first bananas arrive in Britain in 1633 and go on sale. The following year the famous Covent Garden Market is opened in London, for fruit, flowers and vegetables.

ThomasxParr dies in November 1635 at the alleged age of 152 years. The English physician William Harvey carried out an autopsy, but there was no hard evidence to support this claim. However, the story goes that he went to London to see the king and died from partaking of too much royal hospitality!

1638  In England torture is officially abolished by an act of Parliament.

1645  Capuchin monks explore the River Congo.

About this time wallpaper begins to replace tapestry

as a cheaper alternative in the houses of the nobility.