Born in 1639

Feb 4 Alessandro Melani an Italian composer and the brother of composer Jacopo Melani, and castrato singer Atto Melani. Along with Bernardo Pasquini and Alessandro Scarlatti, he was one of the leading composers active in Rome during the 17th century. He is also ranked among the second school of Roman opera composers which began with his brother's 1668 opera Il Girello. He is chiefly remembered today for his large output of liturgical music that he wrote while serving in various musical posts in Rome. Of particular interest is the large number of polychoral motets that he produced and his eight ascribed oratorios. Three published collections of his liturgical music survive today along with numerous solitary motets from other published volumes. A number of original manuscripts also survive
Feb 6 Daniel Georg Morhof a German writer and scholar.
Mar 20 Ivan Mazepa the Cossack Hetman of the Hetmanate in Left-bank Ukraine, from 1687–1708, and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire ad personam 1707-1709. He was famous as a patron of the arts, and also played an important role in the Battle of Poltava where after learning of Peter I's intent to relieve him as acting Hetman of Ukraine and replace him with Alexander Menshikov, he deserted his army and sided with Charles of Sweden. The politicization of this desertion has held a lasting legacy in both Russian and Ukrainian national history
Apr 3 Alessandro Stradella an Italian composer of the middle baroque. He enjoyed a dazzling career as a freelance composer, writing on commission, and collaborating with distinguished poets, producing over three hundred works in a variety of genres
Apr 12 Martin Lister an English naturalist and physician.
May 8 Giovanni Battista Gaulli an Italian artist working in the High Baroque and early Rococo periods. He is best known for his grand illusionistic vault frescos in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, Italy. His work was influenced by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
May 27 Laura Martinozzi a Duchess consort of Modena. On the death of her husband, she became the regent of the Duchy in the name of her son, Francesco
Jun 21 Increase Mather a major figure in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay. He was a Puritan minister who was involved with the government of the colony, the administration of Harvard College, and most notoriously, the Salem witch trials. He was the son of Richard Mather, and the father of Cotton Mather, both influential Puritan ministers
Aug 28 Marie Mancini the third of the five Mancini sisters; nieces to Cardinal Mazarin who were brought to France to marry advantageously. Along with two of their female Martinozzi cousins, the Mancini sisters were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes
Sep 17 Hans Herr born in Zürich, Switzerland, a descendant of the Knight, Hugo Herr. He joined the Swiss Brethren and became a bishop. He was the first Mennonite bishop to emigrate to America
Sep 29 William Russell Lord Russell an English politician. He was a leading member of the Country Party, forerunners of the Whigs, who laid the groundwork opposition in the House of Commons of England to the concept of a reign of an openly Catholic King during the reign of King Charles II but ultimately resulted in his execution for treason, almost two years before King Charles died and James acceded to the throne
Oct 14 Simon van der Stel the last Commander and first Governor of the Cape Colony, the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Dec 18 Gottfried Kirch a German astronomer and the first 'Astronomer Royal' in Berlin and, as such, director of the nascent Berlin Observatory.
Dec 22 Jean Racine a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France , and an important literary figure in the Western tradition. Racine was primarily a tragedian, producing such "examples of neoclassical perfection" as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie, although he did write one comedy, Les Plaideurs, and a muted tragedy, Esther, for the young