The 1690s decade ran from January 1, 1690, to December 31, 1699.
- July 10 – Battle of Beachy Head (also known as the Battle of Bévéziers): The Anglo-Dutch navy is defeated by the French, giving rise to fears of a Jacobite invasion of England.
- July 11 – Battle of the Boyne, north of Dublin: King William III of England (William of Orange) defeats the deposed James II, who returns to exile in France. The rebellion in Ireland continues for a further year until the Orange army gains full control.
- July 26 – French landing party raids and burns Teignmouth in Devon, England. However, with the loss of James II's position in Ireland, any plans for a real invasion are soon shelved, and Teignmouth is the last-ever French attack on England.
- August 24 – In India, the fort and trading settlement of Sutanuti (which later becomes Calcutta) is founded on the Hooghly River by the English East India Company, following the signing of an Anglo-Moghul treaty.
- September 25 – The only issue of Publick Occurrences is published in Boston, Massachusetts, before being suppressed by the colonial authorities.
- October 6–12 October – Massachusetts Puritans, led by Sir William Phips, besiege the city of Quebec; the siege ends in failure.
- October 8 – Great Turkish War: The Ottomans recapture Belgrade.
- November 17 – Barclays is founded in London, England.
- December – The planet Uranus is first sighted and recorded, by John Flamsteed, who mistakenly catalogues it as the star 34 Tauri.
- December 29 – An earthquake hits Ancona, in the Papal States of Italy.
- February 13 – Massacre of Glencoe: The forces of Robert Campbell slaughter 38 members of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe in Scotland (from whom they have previously accepted hospitality), for delaying to sign an oath of allegiance to King William III of England.
- March 1 – The Salem witch trials begin in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony, with the charging of 3 women with witchcraft.
- March 22 – The Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty issues the Edict of Toleration, recognizing all the Roman Catholic Church, not just the Jesuits, and legalizing missions and their conversion of Chinese people.
- June 1–3 – Nine Years' War – Battle of La Hogue: The Anglo-Dutch fleet gains a decisive naval victory over the French.
- June 7 – Jamaica earthquake: An earthquake and related tsunami destroy Port Royal, capital of Jamaica, and submerge a major part of it; an estimated 2,000 are immediately killed, 2,300 injured, and a probable additional 2,000 die from the diseases which ravage the island in the following months.
- June 8 – During a famine in Mexico City, an angry mob torches the Viceroy's palace and ignites the archives; most of the documents and some paintings are saved by royal geographer Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora.
- June 10 – The Salem witch trials' first victim, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft.
- July 27 – The Bank of England is founded through Royal charter by the Whig-dominated Parliament of England, following a proposal by Scottish merchant William Paterson to raise capital, by offering safe and steady returns of interest guaranteed by future taxes. A total of £1.2 million is raised for the war effort against Louis XIV of France by the end of the year, to establish the first-ever government debt.
- September 5 – The Great Fire of Warwick breaks out in England.
- Autumn – A major windstorm spreads the Culbin Sands over a large area of farmland, in Scotland.
- October 23 – British/American colonial forces, led by Sir William Phips, fail to seize Quebec from the French.
- October 25 – Queen Mary II of England founds the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.
- December – Thomas Tenison is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
- December 3 – The Parliament of England passes the Triennial Act, requiring general elections every three years.
- December 28 – Queen Mary II of England dies of smallpox aged 32, leaving her husband King William III to rule alone but without an heir. Since he is also without a royal hostess, Mary's sister Princess Anne is summoned back to court (having been banished after an unseemly row with the queen), as his official heiress.
- Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
- English manufacturers call for an embargo on Indian cloth, and silk weavers picket the House of Commons of England.
- A £2 fine is imposed for swearing in England.
- After 23 years of construction, Spain completes Castillo de San Marcos, to protect St. Augustine, Florida, from foreign threats.
- After many years of construction, the Potala Palace in Lhasa is completed.
- Gold is discovered in Brazil.
- In Amsterdam, the bank Wed. Jean Deutz & Sn. floats the first sovereign bonds on the local market. The scheme is designed to fund a 1.5 million guilder loan to the Holy Roman Emperor. From this date on, European leaders commonly take advantage of the low interest rates available in the Dutch Republic, and borrow several hundred millions on the Dutch capital market.
- The Great Famine of 1695–1697 begins in Swedish Estonia, and spreads across Finland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden.
- January – French writer Charles Perrault publishes Histoires ou contes du temps passé ("Mother Goose tales") in Paris, a collection of popular fairy tales, including Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood, The Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard.
- January 8 – Scottish student Thomas Aikenhead becomes the last person in Great Britain to be executed for blasphemy, when he is hanged outside Edinburgh.
- March 9 – Peter the Great of Russia sets out to travel in Europe incognito, as Artilleryman Pjotr Mikhailov.
- March 13 – The Spanish conquest of Petén, and of Yucatán, is completed with the fall of Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya Kingdom, the last independent indigenous peoples of the Americas.
- March 22 – Charles II of Spain issues a Royal Cedula extending to the indigenous nobles of the Spanish Crown colonies, as well as to their descendants, the preeminence and honors customarily attributed to the Hidalgos of Castile.
- April 5 – Charles XII, the Swedish Meteor, becomes king of Sweden upon the death of his father, Charles XI.
- May 7 – The 13th century royal Tre Kronor ("Three Crowns") castle in Stockholm burns to the ground. A large portion of the royal library is destroyed.
- June 1 – Augustus II the Strong becomes king of Poland.
- June 30 – The earliest known first-class cricket match takes place in Sussex, England.
- July 14 – Darien scheme: The first Scottish settlers leave for an ill-fated colony in Panama.
- July 25 – English engineer Thomas Savery obtains a patent for a steam pump.
- August 25 – Peter the Great arrives back to Moscow: General Patrick Gordon has already crushed the Streltsy Uprising, with 341 rebels sentenced to be decapitated (tradition holds that tsar Peter decapitated some of them himself).
- September 5 – In an effort to move his people away from Asiatic customs, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards: all men except priests and peasants are required to pay a tax of either 100 or 60 rubles a year, depending upon status; peasants are required to pay two half kopecks each time they enter a city.
- October 24 – Iberville and Bienville sail from Brest to the Gulf of Mexico, to defend the southern borders of New France; they will eventually found three capitals of Louisiana (New France), as the future American cities of Mobile, Biloxi & New Orleans.
- November – Tani Jinzan, astronomer and calendar scholar, observes a fire destroy Tosa (now Kōchi) in Japan at the same time as a Leonid meteor shower, taking it as evidence to reinforce belief in the "Theory of Areas".
- November 14 – The first Eddystone Lighthouse is built off Plymouth, England, illuminated.
- November 16 – A congress begins in Sremski Karlovci, to discuss a treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League.
- January 19 – The Parliament of England (under Tory dominance) limits the size of the country's standing army to 7,000 'native born' men; hence, King William III's Dutch Blue Guards cannot serve in the line. By an Act of February 1, it also requires disbandment of foreign troops in Ireland.
- January 26 – The Republic of Venice, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Holy Roman Empire sign the Treaty of Karlowitz with the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks cede to Austria all their former territories in Transylvania, Slavonia, Croatia and the whole of Hungary, except for the Banat of Temeswar. The Peloponnese and Dalmatia are ceded to Venice. Large parts of the Ukraine are ceded to Poland. The treaty marks a major geopolitical shift, as the Ottoman Empire subsequently abandons its expansionism and adopts a defensive posture.
- February 4 – 350 rebellious Streltsy are executed in Moscow.
- March 2 – The Edinburgh Gazette is first published in Scotland.
- March 4 – Jews are expelled from Lübeck, Germany. 
- April 13 – The 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh, creates the Khalsa.
- May 1 – Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville founds the first European settlement in the Mississippi River Valley, at Fort Maurepas (Ocean Springs, Mississippi).
- June 11 – England, France and the Dutch Republic agree on the terms of the Second Partition Treaty for Spain.
- June 14 – Thomas Savery demonstrates his first steam pump to the Royal Society of London.
- ^ (there is no evidence for this). Rice, Albert R. (1992). The Baroque Clarinet. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 17, 40–42. ISBN 0198161883.
- ^ (the battle took place on June 30, according to the "old style" Julian calendar in use at this time by the English)
- ^ (the battle took place on July 1, according to the "old style" Julian calendar in use at this time by the English. This is equivalent to 11 July in the "new style" Gregorian calendar, although today it is commemorated on July 12).
- ^ a b Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 285. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- ^ "Parades and Marches - Chronology 2: Historical Dates and Events". Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN). Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- ^ "Historical Events for Year 1691 | OnThisDay.com". Historyorb.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- ^ "In the Light and Shadow of an Emperor: Tomás Pereira, S.J. (1645–1708), the Kangxi Emperor and the Jesuit Mission in China". An International Symposium in Commemoration of the 3rd Centenary of the death of Tomás Pereira, S.J. Lisbon, Portugal; Macau, China. 2008. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- ^ Stratton, J. M. (1969). Agricultural Records. John Baker. ISBN 0-212-97022-4.
- ^ Hochman, Stanley. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama. 4. p. 542.
- ^ a b Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 198–200. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- ^ Kraybill, Donald B. (2001). Anabaptist World USA. Herald Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-8361-9163-3.
- ^ Cunningham, Hugh. "Re-inventing childhood". open2.net. Open University. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- ^ "Greenwich Hospital". Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- ^ Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- ^ a b Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 287. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- ^ Eeghen, I. H. van (1961). "Buitenlandse manopolies van de Amstersamse kooplieden in de tweedee helft van de zeventiende eeuw". Jaarboek Amstelodamum. 53: 176–184.
- ^ Carlyle, E. I. (2004). "Savery, Thomas (1650?–1715)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24733. Retrieved 2011-11-05. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- ^ O’Neill, C. E. (1974). "Le Moyne de Bienville, Jean-Baptiste". In Halpenny, Francess G. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. III (1741–1770) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- ^ Majdalany, Fred (1959). The Red Rocks of Eddystone. London: Longmans. p. 49.
- ^ Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 200–201. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- ^ Moody, T. W.; et al., eds. (1989). A New History of Ireland. 8: A Chronology of Irish History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-821744-2.
- ^ Bach, J. (1966). "Dampier, William (1651 - 1715)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 2012-03-15.