1685 1686 1687 - 1688 - 1689 1690 1691
1650s 1660s 1670s - 1680s - 1690s 1700s 1710s
Events of 1688
- March – William Dampier makes the first recorded visit to Christmas Island.
- Spring – James VII & II orders his Declaration of Indulgence, suspending penal laws against Catholics, to be read from every Anglican pulpit in England. The Church of England and its staunchest supporters, the peers and gentry, are outraged.
- April 18 (Julian calendar) – The Germantown Quaker Protest Against Slavery is drafted by 4 Germantown Quakers.
- April 29 – Death of Friedrich Wilhelm, the "Great Elector" of Brandenburg-Prussia. Friedrich III becomes Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia until 1701, when he becomes the first King of Prussia as Friedrich I.
- June 10 – The birth of King James' heir, James Francis Edward Stuart (1688–1766; later to become known as the "Old Pretender") increases public disquiet about a Catholic dynasty. The fears are confirmed when the baby is baptised into the Catholic faith.
- June 30 – A high-powered conspiracy of notables (the Immortal Seven) invite Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange and Princess Mary to "defend the liberties of England" and depose King James VII and II.
- July – Phetracha stages a coup d'état and becomes king of Ayutthaya.
- October 27 – King James II of England fires minister Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland.
- November 5 – The Glorious Revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Torbay with a multinational force of 15,000 mercenaries. He makes no claim to the English Crown, saying only that he has come to save Protestantism, and begins a march on London.
- November 9 – William of Orange captures Exeter after the magistrates flee the city.
- November 23 – A group of 1,500 Old Believers immolate themselves to avoid capture when troops of the tsar lay siege to their monastery on Lake Onega.
- November 26 – Hearing that William of Orange has landed in England, Louis XIV declares war on the Netherlands. Perhaps revealingly, he does not attack the Netherlands but instead strikes at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire with about 100,000 soldiers. The Nine Years' War begins in Europe and America.
- December 11 – Having led his army to Salisbury and been deserted by his troops, James VII and II is forced to flee to France. The Glorious Revolution puts William III and Mary II on the throne as joint monarchs.
- Edward Lloyd opens the London coffee house that soon becomes a popular meeting place for shipowners, merchants, insurance brokers and underwriters. In time the business association they form will outgrow the coffee house premises and become Lloyd's of London.
- Fall of Belgrade to the Austrians as the Ottoman Empire continues to lose ground in Europe.
- Francesco Morosini becomes Doge of Venice.
- Fire destroys Bungay in England.
- The Ottoman Turks besiege Vienna.
- Neuruppin becomes a Prussian garrison town.
- Antonio Verrio begins work on the Heaven Room at Burghley House.
- Janez Vajkard Valvasor becomes a member of the Royal Society.
- The Austrians incite a rebellion against the Ottomans in Bulgaria.