17th Century Leaders

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 1 Tokugawa Ieyasu

Tokugawa Ieyasu
14
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: January 31, 1543
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Okazaki Castle, Mikawa (now Okazaki, Japan)
Died: June 1, 1616

Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He is considered one of the three "Great Unifiers" of Japan. He was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada, a minor local warlord. He grew up to be an ambitious young man with exemplary leadership qualities and eventually founded the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. 

 2 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
11
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1650
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ash, Musbury
Died: June 16, 1722

 3 Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
2
Famous As: King of Sweden (1611-1632)
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.

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 4 Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV of France
14
Famous As: King of France (1643-1715)
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.

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 5 Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell
26
Famous As: English Statesman
Birthdate: April 25, 1599
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, Kingdom of England
Died: September 3, 1658
The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Oliver Cromwell was a military leader and a devoted Puritan who belonged to an affluent landowning family. During the English Civil War, Cromwell fought against King Charles I and caused the deaths of at least 3,000 soldiers and civilians.

 6 Shivaji

Shivaji
35
Famous As: 1st Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire (1674-80)
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.

 7 Charles XII of Sweden

Charles XII of Sweden
5
Famous As: King of Sweden
Birthdate: June 17, 1682
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stadsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 30, 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.
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 8 Kösem Sultan

Kösem Sultan
8
Famous As: Ottoman sultana
Birthdate: 1589 AD
Birthplace: Tinos, Republic of Venice (currently the territory of Greece)
Died: September 2, 1651

 9 Robert Walpole

Robert Walpole
6
Famous As: Prime Minister of Great Britain (1721-42)
Birthdate: August 26, 1676
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houghton, Norfolk, England
Died: March 18, 1745

 10 Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys
6
Famous As: Member of Parliament
Birthdate: February 23, 1633
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 26, 1703

 11 Cardinal Richelieu

Cardinal Richelieu
12
Famous As: Clergyman, Statesman
Birthdate: September 9, 1585
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 4, 1642

Cardinal Richelieu was a French clergyman and statesman who was active in the early 17th century. He held powerful positions in both the Catholic Church and French government and served as the chief minister to Louis XIII of France in 1624. He helped the French maintain their dominance in the Thirty Years' War that engulfed Europe. 

 12 Albrecht von Wallenstein

Albrecht von Wallenstein
4
Famous As: Military leader and statesman who fought on the Catholic side during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648)
Birthdate: September 24, 1583
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heřmanice, Czechia
Died: February 25, 1634

 13 Roger Williams

Roger Williams
4
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 12, 1603
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1683 AD

Roger Williams was a 17th-century Puritan minister and theologian. He founded Providence Plantations, which later became the US state of Rhode Island. He advocated for fair dealings with Native Americans and believed in religious freedom. He disapproved of perpetual chattel slavery. After being expelled by the Puritan leaders, he founded the First Baptist Church in America. 

 14 John III Sobieski

John III Sobieski
3
Famous As: Military leader, Politician
Birthdate: August 17, 1629
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Olesko
Died: June 17, 1696

Well-educated and well-traveled, John III Sobieski initially joined the Swedes as a soldier, in opposing Polish ruler John Casimir. He then switched to the Polish side. He gradually rose through the ranks to become a grand marshal and a grand-hetman, and eventually became the king of Poland.

 15 Johan de Witt

Johan de Witt
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Politician
Birthdate: September 24, 1625
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dordrecht
Died: August 20, 1672

 16 Prince Rupert of the Rhine

Prince Rupert of the Rhine
3
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: December 17, 1619
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: November 29, 1682

Prince Rupert of the Rhine was a German-English admiral, army officer, colonial governor, and scientist. Renowned for his energy and quick-thinking, Rupert made long-lasting and impressive contributions to the doctrine and development of the Royal Navy. He is also credited with shaping modern Canada's political geography. 

 17 Philippe II, Duke of Orléans

Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
3
Famous As: Statesman, Regent of France (1715-1723)
Birthdate: August 2, 1674
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint-Cloud, France
Died: December 2, 1723

Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, was the regent of the Kingdom of France from 1715 to 1723. He was the son of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, and Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate. He was named the regent of France for Louis XV, who succeeded to the throne at the age of five. Philippe died months after Louis attained majority.

 18 Charles Evans Hughes

Charles Evans Hughes
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glens Falls, New York, U.S.
Died: August 27, 1948

 19 Richard Cromwell

Richard Cromwell
4
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: October 4, 1626
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England
Died: July 12, 1712

 20 Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 1, 1563
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: May 24, 1612

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury was a British statesman best remembered for his contribution during the Union of the Crowns. One of the main discoverers of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, Robert Cecil served as the Lord High Treasurer from 1608 to 1612. From 1596 to 1612, he served as the Secretary of State of England.

 21 Prince Eugene of Savoy

Prince Eugene of Savoy
3
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: October 18, 1663
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 21, 1736

Prince Eugene of Savoy was a field marshal who served in the army of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty and of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the most influential military commanders of his generation, Prince Eugene served three Holy Roman emperors in a career spanning 60 years. Consequently, he played important roles in many battles, including the Battle of Turin.

 22 Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Politician
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.

 23 Maurice de Saxe

Maurice de Saxe
2
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: October 28, 1696
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Goslar, Germany
Died: November 20, 1750

 24 James Oglethorpe

James Oglethorpe
3
Famous As: Founder of the colony of Georgia
Birthdate: December 22, 1696
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Surrey
Died: June 30, 1785

Remembered as the founder of the British colony of Georgia in the US, James Oglethorpe was a renowned British soldier, MP, and social reformer. Educated at Oxford, he initially fought for the Austrian army against the Turks. As an MP, he brought in prison reforms. He was also the governor of Georgia.

 25 Michiel de Ruyter

Michiel de Ruyter
4
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: March 24, 1607
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vlissingen, Netherlands
Died: April 29, 1676

Michiel de Ruyter was a Dutch admiral best remembered for his achievements during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. An important member of the Dutch Navy during his time, De Ruyter is widely considered one of the most talented admirals of all time. Regarded as a Dutch folk hero, Michiel de Ruyter's life and career inspired the 2015 Dutch film, Michiel de Ruyter.

 26 Yŏngjo

Yŏngjo
3
Famous As: Korean King
Birthdate: October 31, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gyeonghuigung, Seoul, South Korea
Died: April 22, 1776

 27 Malhar Rao Holkar

Malhar Rao Holkar
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1693
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jejuri
Died: April 20, 1766

 28 Michael I of Russia

Michael I of Russia
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1596
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: July 12, 1645

 29 Augustus II the Strong

Augustus II the Strong
4
Famous As: Elector of Saxony
Birthdate: May 12, 1670
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: February 1, 1733

 30 Peter Stuyvesant

Peter Stuyvesant
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 1592 AD
Birthplace: Peperga, Friesland, Netherlands
Died: July 31, 1672

Peter Stuyvesant was the last Dutch director-general of the New Netherland colony. After his right leg had to be amputated post an expedition, he wore a wooden leg. Though he tried his best to prevent the British occupation of the New Amsterdam (later New York), he was eventually forced to surrender.

 31 Nanny of the Maroons

Nanny of the Maroons
4
Famous As: Resistance fighter
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: Ghana
Died: 1755 AD

 32 Robert Catesby

Robert Catesby
6
Famous As: Conspirator
Birthdate: March 3, 1572
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lapworth, England
Died: November 8, 1605

 33 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.

 34 Jean-Baptiste Colbert

Jean-Baptiste Colbert
5
Famous As: Economist, Politician
Birthdate: August 29, 1619
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reims
Died: September 6, 1683

Born into a merchant family in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert grew up to hold various administrative posts. Patronized by Cardinal Mazarin, he became affluent and later became one of the most efficient administrators during the regime of Louis XIV. He also established the French merchant navy.

 35 Jan van Riebeeck

Jan van Riebeeck
4
Famous As: Dutch Colonial Administrator
Birthdate: April 21, 1619
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Culemborg
Died: January 18, 1677

Jan van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and navigator. He is credited with founding the Dutch Cape Colony and Cape Town. Jan van Riebeeck is of historical and cultural importance to South Africa as many South Africans consider him the founding father of their country. Several South African villages and towns have streets named after Van Riebeeck.

 36 Daniel Morgan

Daniel Morgan
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 6, 1736
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 6, 1802

 37 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

 38 Hong Taiji

Hong Taiji
3
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.

 39 George Villiers

George Villiers
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 28, 1592
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leicestershire
Died: August 23, 1628

Rumored to be a possible lover of the English king James I, statesman George Villiers, was a royal favorite but later grew unpopular with people for his inefficiency and faulty foreign policies. He practically ruled England in the initial years of Charles I’s reign and was eventually assassinated by an army officer.

 40 Powhatan

Powhatan
3
Famous As: Native American Leader
Birthdate: June 17, 1545
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Virginia, United States
Died: March 31, 1618

 41 Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor

Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
4
Famous As: Holy Roman emperor
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.

 42 Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne

Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne
2
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: September 11, 1611
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sedan, France
Died: July 27, 1675

 43 Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Bohdan Khmelnytsky
3
Famous As: Hetman of Zaporizhian Host (1648 –1657)
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: Subotiv, Ukraine
Died: August 6, 1657

 44 Myles Standish

Myles Standish
4
Famous As: Colonist
Birthdate: 1584 AD
Birthplace: Lancashire, United Kingdom
Died: October 3, 1656

 45 Metacom

Metacom
3
Famous As: Tribal Leader
Birthdate: 1638 AD
Birthplace: Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 12, 1676

 46 Ishida Mitsunari

Ishida Mitsunari
4
Famous As: Military Commander
Birthdate: 1559 AD
Birthplace: Ōmi Province
Died: November 6, 1600

 47 Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: May 24, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy
Died: July 9, 1737

 48 William Laud

William Laud
3
Famous As: Archbishop of Canterbury (1633–1645)
Birthdate: October 7, 1573
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 10, 1645

 49 Edward Braddock

Edward Braddock
3
Famous As: military personnel
Birthdate: December 31, 1695
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Perthshire
Died: July 13, 1755

 50 Massasoit

Massasoit
3
Famous As: Native Leader
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Mount Hope, Bristol, Rhode Island, United States
Died: 1661 AD