Famous 17th Century Historical Personalities

Find out more about the greatest 17th Century Historical Personalities, including Charles I of England, Louis XIV of France, James II of England, Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Shivaji.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Peter the Great

Peter the Great.
15
Famous As: First Emperor of Russia
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 Henry IV of France

Henry IV of France.
9
Famous As: King of France (1589-1610)
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.

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 3 Shivaji

Shivaji.
62
Famous As: King
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shivneri
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.

 4 Anne, Queen of Great Britain

Anne, Queen of Great Britain.
5
Famous As: Queen of Britan
Birthdate: February 6, 1665
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St James's Palace, Westminster, England
Died: August 1, 1714

Many biographers consider Anne, the Queen of Great Britain, a weak and irresolute woman. It is said that she lacked political astuteness and was easily influenced by others. Though she was troubled by poor health throughout her life, she became increasingly obese and ill during her 30s and eventually died at the age of 49.

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 5 Charles II

Charles II.
17
Famous As: King of England, Scotland & Ireland
Birthdate: May 29, 1630
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St James's Palace
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.

 6 William III of England

William III of England.
12
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: November 4, 1650
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Binnenhof, South Holland
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.

 7 George I of Great Britain

George I of Great Britain.
9
Famous As: King of Britain
Birthdate: May 28, 1660
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover
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. 
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 8 James II of England

James II of England.
10
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: October 14, 1633
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London
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

Charles I of England.
11
Famous As: King of England
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 Maria Theresa of Spain

Maria Theresa of Spain.
4
Famous As: Queen of France
Birthdate: September 10, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Died: July 30, 1683
Maria Theresa of Spain was the queen consort of France from 1660 to 1683, as the wife of Louis XIV of France. She lost five of her six children early and was also often ignored by the court. She died due to a wound on her arm at age 44.

 11 Mary II of England

Mary II of England.
4
Famous As: Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland
Birthdate: April 30, 1662
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: St James's Palace
Died: December 28, 1694

Mary II of England was Queen of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 to 1694. Although she co-reigned along with her husband William III of England, she also took major decisions by herself whenever William was abroad. Mary has been portrayed in films, such as Orlando and England, My England.

 12 George II of Great Britain

George II of Great Britain.
14
Famous As: Former King of Great Britain & Ireland
Birthdate: October 30, 1683
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover
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.

 13 Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain.
14
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: November 6, 1661
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Madrid
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.

 14 Ahmed I

Ahmed I.
8
Famous As: Ottoman Emperor
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.

 15 Philippe I, Duke of Orléans

Philippe I, Duke of Orléans.
9
Famous As: Son of Louis XIII of France
Birthdate: September 21, 1640
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Died: June 9, 1701

Philippe I, Duke of Orléans received the dukedoms of Chartres and Valois in 1661 as the younger son of Louis XIII of France. Unlike most royal persons of his generation, Philippe was open about his homosexuality and did not think twice before acting effeminately in public. However, he fathered several children and earned the nickname the grandfather of Europe.

 16 Hausa Queen Amina

Hausa Queen Amina.
5
Famous As: Queen of Nigeria
Birthdate: 1533 AD
Birthplace: Zaria, Nigeria
Died: 1610 AD

Nigerian warrior queen Amina ruled the 16th-century city-state Zazzau at a time when women leaders were hard to come by. Her 34-year-old reign saw her expanding her kingdom and developing trade routes. Some believe she was merely a mythical figure, but remnants of the walls she had built prove otherwise.

 17 Murad IV

Murad IV.
5
Famous As: Ottoman Sultan
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.

 18 Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb.
31
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: November 4, 1618
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dahod
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..

 19 Akbar

Akbar.
53
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: October 14, 1542
Sun Sign: Libra
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.

 20 Anne of Austria

Anne of Austria.
4
Famous As: Queen of France
Birthdate: September 22, 1601
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: January 20, 1666

Spanish princess Anne of Austria was also an archduchess of the House of Habsburg. She later became the queen of France, as King Louis XIII’s wife, and also ruled as the regent for her son, Louis XIV. She is one of main characters in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

 21 Philip III of Spain

Philip III of Spain.
5
Famous As: King
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.

 22 Louis XIII of France

Louis XIII of France.
4
Famous As: King of France
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.

 23 Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire

Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire
4
Famous As: Sultan
Birthdate: November 4, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: August 18, 1648

 24 Kösem Sultan

Kösem Sultan
6
Famous As: Ottoman sultana
Birthdate: 1589 AD
Birthplace: Tinos, Republic of Venice (currently the territory of Greece)
Died: September 2, 1651

 25 Anne of Denmark

Anne of Denmark.
5
Famous As: Queen of England
Birthdate: December 12, 1574
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Skanderborg, Denmark
Died: March 2, 1619

Often described as a "dumb blonde," Anne of Denmark, who became the queen of Scotland, England, and Ireland, through her marriage to King James VI and I, was an art connoisseur known for attending extravagant masques. She probably also converted to Catholicism later, going against James’s anti-Catholic stance.

 26 Madame de Montespan

Madame de Montespan.
3
Famous As: Maîtresse en titre of Louis XIV
Birthdate: October 5, 1640
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lussac-les-Châteaux, France
Died: May 27, 1707

Madame de Montespan was the chief Royal mistress of King Louis XIV of France. Thanks to her strong influence over Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan was sometimes referred to as the true Queen of France during Louis' reign. One of the most celebrated chief Royal mistresses of all time, Madame de Montespan had seven children with Louis XIV of France.

 27 Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 9, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna
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.

 28 Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
4
Famous As: Electress
Birthdate: August 19, 1596
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palace Buildings, Rosyth, Scotland
Died: February 13, 1662

 29 Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh.
2
Famous As: Warrior
Birthdate: December 22, 1666
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Patna
Died: October 7, 1708
Guru Gobind Singh, the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the 10th guru, or spiritual leader, of the Sikhs after his father was killed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He established the concept of the “Five Ks” of Sikhs and formed the Khalsa community. He also finalized the Guru Granth Sahib.

 30 Sambhaji

Sambhaji
16
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: May 14, 1657
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Purandar fort, India
Died: March 11, 1689

 31 Christina, Queen of Sweden

Christina, Queen of Sweden
4
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: December 18, 1626
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tre Kronor
Died: April 19, 1689

 32 Nur Jahan

Nur Jahan
3
Famous As: Empress
Birthdate: May 31, 1577
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Died: December 18, 1645

 33 Queen Nzinga

Queen Nzinga.
3
Famous As: 17th Century Queen of Angola
Birthdate: 1583 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Matamba
Died: December 17, 1663

Queen Nzinga, also known as Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba, was the queen of the Kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba. Born into the family of Ndongo, Nzinga assumed power after the demise of her father and sibling, after which she fought for the stature and Independence of her kingdoms from the Portuguese. Her reign lasted 37 years.

 34 Prince George of Denmark

Prince George of Denmark
3
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: April 2, 1653
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: October 28, 1708

 35 Philip IV of Spain

Philip IV of Spain.
5
Famous As: King of Portugal
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.

 36 Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana.
5
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 17, 1556
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Delhi, Mughal empire
Died: October 1, 1627

Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana was an Indian poet who served in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was counted among the Navaratnas, Akbar's nine important ministers. Rahim is best remembered for his couplets and books on astrology.

 37 Alexis of Russia

Alexis of Russia
3
Famous As: Tsar of Russia
Birthdate: March 29, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 29, 1676

 38 Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba

Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 39 Turhan Sultan

Turhan Sultan
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 1627 AD
Birthplace: Slobodskaya Ukraina
Died: August 4, 1683

 40 Shunzhi Emperor

Shunzhi Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor of China
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.

 41 Ivan V of Russia

Ivan V of Russia
3
Famous As: monarch
Birthdate: August 27, 1666
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: January 29, 1696

 42 Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange

Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
5
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: November 4, 1631
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 24, 1660

 43 Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 13, 1608
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz
Died: April 2, 1657

 44 Christian IV of Denmark

Christian IV of Denmark
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: April 12, 1577
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, Denmark
Died: February 28, 1648

 45 Władysław IV Vasa

Władysław IV Vasa
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 9, 1595
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łobzów, Poland
Died: May 20, 1648

 46 William II, Prince of Orange

William II, Prince of Orange
3
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: May 27, 1626
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: November 6, 1650

 47 Hong Taiji

Hong Taiji
5
Famous As: Emperor
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.

 48 Mariana of Austria

Mariana of Austria
3
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: December 24, 1634
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Died: May 16, 1696

 49 Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.
3
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
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. 

 50 Charles XI of Sweden

Charles XI of Sweden.
3
Famous As: King of Sweden
Birthdate: November 24, 1655
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tre Kronor
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.