1610  Marco Antonio de Dominis publishes the first

scientific explanation of a RAINBOW.

1605 The Bohemian Caspar Lehmann, jem cutter to Emperor Rudolf II at Prague, uses his skill to produce a beaker made out of cut-glass.

King James I introduces a gold coin known as the "unite" to mark the union of the crowns of Scotland and England. Worth about 20 shillings, it bears the

words Faciam eos in gentem unam, meaning "I will make them into one race”.

1608  The first cheques are used for money transactions.

1609  The first daily newspaper is produced in Augsburg

(according to some sources!)

A story goes that while staying as a guest at the home of Sir Richard Houghton near Blackburn in 1617 King James was so delighted with a loin of beef he was about to eat that he took out his sword and knighted it with the words “Arise Sir Loin”.  And so the word “sirloin” came into being. It’s a nice little tale (told sometimes with Henry VIII playing the part of the king) but, in fact, the name comes from the Middle French word surlong and did not come to be known as “sirloin” until the 18th century!

1620  Oliver Cromwell is criticised for taking part in that "disreputable game" called cricket.

1616  The famous blue mosque is completed in Istanbul.

Sumo wrestling, the national sport of Japan, is introduced in 1624. Training begins at a young age and lasts for many years.


Cricket: oil painting of 1743 after the English painter and illustrator Francis Hayman (1708-1776), a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768. Sumo wrestling: source unknown.

The last recorded burning of a heretic takes place in England.

Work is completed on St. Peter's

Basilica in Rome, started in 1506.



The Society of Apothecaries (Chemists) is founded in London and from now on only a member of the society is allowed to keep an apothecary's shop. Up to this time grocers used to sell medicines and made-up cures.


1610  Tea is first shipped to Europe by the Dutch East India Company.