In the year 1616...
- The Roman Catholic Church officially denounces the Copernican view of the cosmos. Galileo is summoned to Rome, where he is forbidden to uphold it or teach it.
- Mughal emperor Jahangir continues to expand Mughal holdings in the Deccan, capturing the city of Ahmadnagar and annexing half its kingdom.
- Cardinal Richelieu is named secretary of state of France through the favor of King Louis XIII's mother, Marie de’ Medici, marking the start of his influence over French national affairs.
- At the instigation of Francis Bacon, English king James I dismisses the chief justice of the king’s bench, Sir Edward Coke. Coke had zealously defended English common law against the encroachments of royal prerogative, declaring null and void any and all royal proclamations that were contrary to law. Coke's dismissal became a rallying point for opponents of King's policies, and ultimately proved a precursor to the English Civil War.
- Dutch navigator Willem Schouten discovers and becomes the first to round Cape Horn, naming it after his hometown of Hoorn in the Netherlands. Later that year, Schouten becomes the first European to discover the island groups now known as the Bismarck Archipelago.
- British explorer William Baffin, on his second expedition to the Canadian Arctic to seek the Northwest Passage, makes several important discoveries, including Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island, and Baffin Bay. Baffin becomes convinced that the Northwest passage does not exist, and his report discourages arctic exploration for a time.
- French poet Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné publishes his epic poem Les Tragiques, an apocalyptic allegory condemning War.
- Portuguese soldiers found Belém, Brazil as a military outpost to defend northern Brazil from French incursions. Today Belém is a large city (pop. 1.5 million) and the most important port on the Amazon River.
- Pocahontas and several other Native Americans visit England. Pocahontas, as the daughter of Chief Powhatan, is treated like a European princess and presented to the King and Queen.
These people were born in 1616:
- Hungarian poet, statesman, general, and political writer Nicholas Zrinyi, one of the first to use Hungarian as a literary language.
- Flemish mystic Antoinette Bourignon, future founder of the Bourignian heresy, which preached that true Christianity was a matter of internal emotion, not of faith and practice.
- Danish physician, naturalist, and philologist, and mathematician Thomas Bartholin, the first to describe the entire lymphatic system.
- French nobleman François de Vendôme, duc de Beaufort, who opposed the power of Cardinal Richelieu and Richelieu’s successor, Cardinal Mazarin.
- English mathematician John Wallis, who systematized the use of formulas and invented the symbol for infinity.
- German poet and playwright Andreas Gryphius.
- English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper.
- French painter Eustache Le Sueur.
- Florentine painter Carlo Dolci.
- Dutch painter of Rembrandt's school Ferdinand Bol.
These people died in 1616:
1615 - 1616 - 1617