Living History Lectures ~ Tames Alan

Historical, educational, hysterical. One costumed woman tells you like it WAS.

Random Historical Facts: 17th Century

On September 25, 1660, Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary the first mention in English of anyone drinking a cup of tea.

Posted 09/15/2011

In London in 1652, the first coffeehouse opened in a shed in St. Michael Cornhill courtyard.

Posted 01/15/2012

In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed. London didn’t join their ranks until 1684, but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe’s major towns and cities were lit at night.

Posted 12/15/2013

During the reign of James II of England, wigs became so large that it gave rise to the term “bigwig” for a wealthy or important person.

Posted 11/15/2013

By the 17th century, ribbons on a wedding dress were no longer called “favors” but “true love knots.” This is where we get the term "tying the knot".

Posted 06/15/2015

In July 1643, Charles I issued a proclamation concerning licentiousness. “Let no woman presume to counterfeit her sex by wearing man’s apparel under pain of the severest punishment which law and our displeasure shall inflict.” It was not effective.

Posted 07/15/2015

As the Netherlands’ largest trading company in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was also the world’s first company

to issue stock.

Posted 10/15/2015

In the 17th century, wealthy people had different wigs for different activities, such as a periwig for riding and a full-bottom wig for entertaining important people. Of course, one always wore his best wig to church.

Posted 04/01/2017

The first English book written solely about dentistry was published in 1685 and was called The Operator for the Teeth, by Charles Allen.


Approximately 35 million Americans share DNA with at least one person who was on the Mayflower. That's over 10% of the population, or almost the entire population of California.


Women were first permitted to perform on the English stage in the early 1660s, after the Restoration of King Charles II.  By the end of the seventeenth century, women players were much in demand, both on the stage and as subjects of painted portraits and prints. These helped to enhance the fame of early actresses such as Nell Gwyn and Moll Davis.

Posted 10/15/2018

In 1635 The Boston Public Latin School, the first public school in what is now the United States, was founded. 


Posted 09/01/2019



In 1626, after the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians, they built a wall to keep the natives out.  Wall St. is named after this wall.