Famous 17th Century Emperors, Kings & Monarchs

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Find out more about the greatest 17th Century Emperors, Kings & Monarchs, including Elizabeth I of England, Charles II of England, William III of England, Charles I of England and Louis XIV of France.
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 1 
Peter the Great
(First Emperor of Russia)
Peter the Great
30
Birthdate: June 9, 1672
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: February 8, 1725
Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia, and then the Russian Empire, from 1682 to 1725. He ushered in the Enlightenment and cultural revolution in Russia. He also strengthened the Russian navy and launched the Russo-Persian War. Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russia till 1917, was established by him.
 2 
Louis XIV of France
(King of France from 1643 to 1715)
Louis XIV of France
25
Birthdate: September 5, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: September 1, 1715

Louis XIV of France reigned as the King of France from 1643 to 1715. Louis XIV is the longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign country in the history of Europe. Under his rule, France often asserted its military prowess and emerged as the most dominant European monarchy. His life inspired several films, such as The Taking of Power by Louis XIV.

 3 
Charles II
(King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1660 to 1685)
Charles II
30
Birthdate: May 29, 1630
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St James's Palace, London, England
Died: February 6, 1685
Charles II, son of King Charles I of England, ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1660 to 1685. He was initially defeated by Oliver Cromwell and forced to go into exile, but returned to England after Cromwell’s death. He introduced the Clarendon Code and later sided with the Tories.
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 4 
Henry IV of France
(King of France (1589-1610))
Henry IV of France
23
Birthdate: December 13, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: May 14, 1610

Henry IV of France reigned as the King of France from 2 August 1589 until his death on 14 May 1610. Remembered for his concern about the welfare of the people of France, Henry worked to eliminate corruption, promote agriculture, encourage education, and regularize state finance. The character of Ferdinand in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost was loosely based on Henry.

 5 
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
(Founder of the Maratha Kingdom of India)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
69
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: April 3, 1680

Shivaji was an Indian warrior-king. He is credited with founding the Maratha Empire, which became a force to reckon with during the 18th century. He is also credited with creating his own navy. Considered one of the most important Indian kings and a hero of the Hindus, Shivaji's life and work have inspired several works of art, including films.

 6 
George II of Great Britain
(Former King of Great Britain & Ireland (1727 - 1760))
George II of Great Britain
21
Birthdate: November 10, 1683
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: October 25, 1760
George II was the king of Great Britain from 1727 to 1760. He had negligible control over his country’s policies, as the Parliament took most of the significant decisions back then. His participation in the 1743 Battle of Dettingen made him the last British monarch to fight in a battle.
 7 
Ahmed I
(Ottoman Emperor)
Ahmed I
16
Birthdate: April 18, 1590
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manisa, Turkey
Died: November 22, 1617
Ahmed I reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 till 1617. He ended the Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide upon taking over the throne. He constructed the iconic Blue Mosque of Turkey. He also patronized art, especially calligraphy, and wrote poems under the pseudonym Bahti.
 8 
James II of England
(King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1685 to 1688)
James II of England
17
Birthdate: October 14, 1633
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 16, 1701

James II of England reigned as the king of Ireland, Scotland, and England from 1685 to 1688. His deposition as king, caused by the Glorious Revolution of 1688, ended a century of civil and political strife by establishing the principle that Parliament would be preferred over the Crown as opposed to the principles of divine right of kings and absolutism.

 9 
Charles I of England
(King of England, Scotland & Ireland from 1625 to 1649)
Charles I of England
17
Birthdate: November 19, 1600
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland
Died: January 30, 1649

Charles I, the King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625 to 1649, was said to be authoritarian and was in constant battle with the Parliament over the issue of royal prerogative. The friction led to a civil war from 1642 to 1645 between him and the English and Scottish Parliaments. He was defeated and executed in 1649 for treason.

 10 
George I of Great Britain
(Former King of Great Britain and Ireland (1714 - 1727))
George I of Great Britain
17
Birthdate: May 28, 1660
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: June 11, 1727
George I ruled as the king of Great Britain and Ireland from 1714 to 1727. He also ruled the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1698 to 1727. He was the House of Hanover’s first British monarch. George's reign witnessed the rise of Robert Walpole and the cabinet government. 
 11 
Murad IV
(Ottoman Sultan)
Murad IV
7
Birthdate: July 26, 1612
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 8, 1640

Murad IV, who ruled as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, was infamous for his cruelty. He took over the throne at 11 and subsequently came to be known for his exploits in the Ottoman–Safavid War, which changed the map of the Caucasus.

 12 
Louis XIII of France
(Former King of France (1610 – 1643))
Louis XIII of France
10
Birthdate: September 27, 1601
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France
Died: May 14, 1643

Louis XIII of France reigned as the King of France between 1610 and 1643. He is best remembered for saving the kingdom from the mismanagement of his mother Marie de' Medici, who was exiled by a 16-year-old Louis XIII. He is also credited with popularizing wigs among men, which had not been fashionable since antiquity.

 13 
Nader Shah
(Shah of Iran from 1736 to 1747)
Nader Shah
26
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dargaz, Iran
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

 14 
Kangxi Emperor
(Emperor of the Qing Dynasty from 1661 to 1722)
Kangxi Emperor
7
Birthdate: May 4, 1654
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: December 20, 1722
Son of emperor Shunzhi and empress Xiaokang, Xuanye, or the Kangxi Emperor, was the Qing dynasty’s third emperor. Apart from signing the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia, he crushed the revolt of the three warlords, known as the Rebellion of Wu Sangui. He was also known to be a workaholic.
 15 
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
(King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632)
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
4
Birthdate: December 9, 1594
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 6, 1632

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden reigned as the King of Sweden from 30 October 1611 until his death on 6 November 1632, at the age of 37. He is credited with transforming Sweden into a great European power. Considered one of the greatest modern military commanders, Gustavus Adolphus turned Sweden into one of Europe's primary military forces during the Thirty Years' War.

 16 
Charles XII of Sweden
(King of Sweden (1697 – 1718))
Charles XII of Sweden
9
Birthdate: June 27, 1682
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: December 11, 1718
Charles XII ruled Sweden as an absolute monarch for 18 years during the Great Northern War. He took over the throne at 15. Although appreciated for his effective legal and tax reforms, he is known to have led Sweden to immense destruction by participating in the 1707-1709 campaign against Russia.
Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire
6
Birthdate: November 4, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 18, 1648
 18 
Akbar
(3rd Emperor of the Mughal Empire (1556 - 1605))
Akbar
61
Birthdate: October 25, 1542
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Umarkot, Pakistan
Died: October 27, 1605

Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, played an important role in inculcating Persian culture into the Indian subcontinent. Akbar is considered one of the most important rulers of the Mughal Empire, an empire that seeped foreign ideas and culture into medieval India, the effects of which are still visible in modern-day India, especially in the northern parts of the country.

 19 
Philip III of Spain
(King of Spain (1598 - 1621))
Philip III of Spain
8
Birthdate: April 14, 1578
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: March 31, 1621

Philip III of Spain was the king of Spain from 1598 to 1621. He also reigned over Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia as Philip II. He was the son of Philip II of Spain and Anna of Austria. He was believed to be a weak man, who relied too much on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma.

 20 
Charles II of Spain
(King of Spain from 1665 to 1700)
Charles II of Spain
27
Birthdate: November 6, 1661
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: November 1, 1700

Charles II of Spain reigned as the king of Spain from 1665 to 1700. He was the last king from the House of Habsburg to rule the Spanish Empire. Despite suffering from many illnesses throughout his life, Charles proved to be a reasonably influential king. The town of Charleroi and the Caroline Islands in modern Belgium were named after Charles.

 21 
Sambhaji
(Ruler)
Sambhaji
14
Birthdate: May 14, 1657
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Purandar fort, India
Died: March 11, 1689

The Maratha Empire’s second Chhatrapati, Sambhaji Bhosale, was the eldest son of Shivaji. After losing his mother at 2, he was raised by his grandmother. A treaty made him a Mughal mansabdar. Later, following repeated clashes with the Mughals, he was eventually captured and tortured to death.

 22 
Philip IV of Spain
(King of Portugal (1621 - 1640), King of Spain (1621 - 1665))
Philip IV of Spain
7
Birthdate: April 8, 1605
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 17, 1665

Philip IV of Spain was the king of Spain from 1621 to 1665 and the king of Portugal from 1621 to 1640. He was a fine horseman and a keen hunter but was considered a weak ruler with excessive dependence on the ministers. Even though the Spanish empire expanded considerably during his reign, he was not a popular king.

 23 
Yongzheng Emperor
(Fourth Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1722 - 1735))
Yongzheng Emperor
6
Birthdate: December 13, 1678
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: October 8, 1735

Yongzheng reigned over the Qing dynasty as its fourth Emperor from 1722 to 1735. He was also the third Qing emperor to reign over the Eighteen Provinces. Remembered for his hard-working nature, Yongzheng's most prominent objective was to come up with an effective government at minimum expense. Yongzheng, who cracked down on corruption, is credited with forming the Grand Council.

 24 
William III of England
(Former King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689 - 1702))
William III of England
19
Birthdate: November 14, 1650
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: March 8, 1702
King William III of England, son of William II, Prince of Orange, was also known as William of Orange. A staunch Protestant, he is remembered for his joint rule with his wife, Queen Mary II, and for his exploits such as the Glorious Revolution and the Nine Years' War.
 25 
Frederick William I of Prussia
(Former King of Prussia (1713 - 1740))
Frederick William I of Prussia
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1688
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 31, 1740

The Soldier King Frederick William I of Prussia is remembered for transforming his nation into a prosperous state. He was known for his simple lifestyle, as opposed to his father’s kingly excesses. His experience at the War of the Spanish Succession led him to strengthen Prussia militarily, too.

 26 
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor)
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 5, 1705

Second son of Emperor Ferdinand III, Leopold I became the heir apparent to his father’s throne on the death of his elder brother in 1654, being coroneted as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1658. Although he received little training for the throne, Austria became a great European power during his reign, emerging victorious in struggles against Ottoman Empire and France.

 27 
Aurangzeb
(6th Emperor of the Mughal Empire (1658 - 1707))
Aurangzeb
41
Birthdate: November 3, 1618
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dahod, Gujarat, India
Died: March 3, 1707

Aurangzeb reigned over most part of the Indian subcontinent for 49 years as the sixth Mughal emperor. He helped the Mughal Empire reach its greatest extent and helped India become the biggest manufacturing power and the world's largest economy. He was known for his religious piety and led a very simple life..

 28 
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1578
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: February 15, 1637

Ferdinand II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1619 to1637. He was a member of the House of Habsburg and the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria and Maria of Bavaria. A zealous Catholic, he wanted to restore the Catholic Church as the only religion in the empire, a move that earned him the ire of Protestant groups. 

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1552
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 20, 1612

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the King of the Romans and as the King in Germany between 1576 and 1612. Best remembered as an intellectual aficionado of occult arts, Rudolf is often seen as the founding father of the Scientific Revolution. He devoted his time to astrology and alchemy in an attempt to find the Philosopher's Stone.

 30 
Frederick I of Prussia
(Former King of Prussia (1701 - 1713))
Frederick I of Prussia
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1676
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
Died: February 25, 1713

Frederick I of Prussia reigned as the King of Prussia from 1701 until his death in 1713. He crowned himself in 1701 in Königsberg and proclaimed himself King in Prussia. A patron of learning and arts, Frederick I is credited with founding the Academy of Arts in 1696 as well as the Academy of Sciences in 1700.

Prince George of Denmark
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1653
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: October 28, 1708
Michael I of Russia
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1596
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: July 12, 1645
 33 
Augustus II the Strong
(Elector of Saxony)
Augustus II the Strong
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1670
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: February 1, 1733
 34 
Shunzhi Emperor
(Former Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1643 - 1661))
Shunzhi Emperor
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1638
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mukden Palace, Shenyang, China
Died: February 5, 1661

Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the first Qing ruler of China proper. Shunzhi relied on Buddhist priests and eunuch officials. While some believe he had died of smallpox, others state he had retired to a monastery to cope with the death of his favorite consort.

 35 
Hong Taiji
(Emperor of the Qing dynasty)
Hong Taiji
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1592
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchuria, China
Died: September 21, 1643

Hong Taiji reigned as the khan of the Later Jin from 1626 to 1636. He is credited with establishing the Qing dynasty and reigned as its emperor from 1636 to 1643. He also played a major role in consolidating the empire founded by his father Nurhaci. Over the years, Hong Taiji has been portrayed in many TV series and films.

Władysław IV Vasa
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1595
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łobzów, Poland
Died: May 20, 1648
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1608
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz
Died: April 2, 1657

Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III is largely held responsible for ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 with 2 peace treaties known as the Peace of Westphalia. He also conspired against Generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein when he was denied control of the imperial army. He was also instrumental in the Peace of Prague.

 38 
Christian IV of Denmark
(King of Denmark and Norway Who Led Denmark into the 'Thirty Years' War')
Christian IV of Denmark
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1577
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, Denmark
Died: February 28, 1648

Christian IV was the king of Denmark and Norway in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Ambitious as a ruler, he involved Denmark in many wars, including 2 failed campaigns against Sweden and the Thirty Years’ War, which proved to be a disaster for his kingdom’s economy.

 39 
Yŏngjo
(Korean King)
Yŏngjo
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gyeonghuigung, Seoul, South Korea
Died: April 22, 1776
 40 
Koxinga
(Ming Loyalist General and Former Ruler of the Kingdom of Tungning (1661 - 1662))
Koxinga
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1624
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hirado, Hizen Province, Japan
Died: June 23, 1662

Koxinga was a Ming loyalist who opposed and resisted the Manchu invasion of China. In 1661, he established the House of Koxinga after defeating the Dutch military camp in Taiwan. He then ruled the Kingdom of Tungning from 1661 to 1662. Today, Koxinga is considered a deity in coastal China and is worshiped in places like Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

 41 
Alexis of Russia
(Tsar of Russia from 1645 until his death in 1676)
Alexis of Russia
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1629
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1676
 42 
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
(Hetman of Zaporizhian Host (1648 –1657))
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
3
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: Subotiv, Ukraine
Died: August 6, 1657
 43 
Ismail Ibn Sharif
3
Birthdate: 1645 AD
Birthplace: Rissani, Morocco
Died: March 22, 1727
 44 
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor and Ruler of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy from 1705 to 1711)
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1678
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 17, 1711

Emperor Leopold I’s eldest son, Joseph I became the king of Hungary at the tender age of 9 and the king of Romans at 11. Though he strengthened Austria’s financial situation, bringing the Viennese city bank under the state, he failed to retain the Spanish crown for the Habsburg Monarchy.

 45 
Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
(Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia)
Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1620
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 29, 1688
 46 
Ivan V of Russia
(Tsar of Russia)
Ivan V of Russia
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1666
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1696
 47 
Ahmed III
(Sultan)
Ahmed III
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1673
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dobrich, Bulgaria
Died: July 1, 1736
 48 
Toyotomi Hideyori
(Japanese General Who First United All of Japan and the Son of 'Toyotomi Hideyoshi')
Toyotomi Hideyori
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1593
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Japan
Died: June 4, 1615

The son of Japanese samurai and the second Great Unifier of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hideyori is remembered in Japanese history for his suicide at age 21 after being tricked by Ieyasu in the summer Siege of Osaka. Some even believe he had escaped, as his corpse was never found.  

 49 
Charles XI of Sweden
(Former King of Sweden (1660 - 1697))
Charles XI of Sweden
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1655
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tre Kronor, Sweden
Died: April 5, 1697

Charles XI of Sweden reigned as the king of Sweden from 1660 to 1697. He is credited with correcting Sweden's economic, political, and financial situation, which was largely neglected at that time. Widely regarded as the greatest king in Swedish history, Charles XI is credited with shaping Sweden through major reforms.

Feodor III of Russia
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1661
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: May 7, 1682