January – French writer Charles Perrault publishes Histoires ou contes du temps passé ("Mother Goose tales") in Paris, a collection of popular fairy tales, including Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood, The Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard.
January 8 – Scottish student Thomas Aikenhead became the last person in Great Britain to be executed for blasphemy when he is hanged outside Edinburgh.
March 9 – Peter the Great of Russia sets out to travel in Europe officially incognito as "Artilleryman Pjotr Mikhailov".
March 13 – The Spanish conquest of Petén, and of Yucatán, is completed with the fall of Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya Kingdom, the last independent indigenous peoples of the Americas.
March 22 – Charles II of Spain issued a Royal Cedula extending to the indigenous nobles of the Spanish Crown colonies, as well as to their descendants, the preeminence and honors customarily attributed to the Hidalgos of Castile.
April 5 – Charles XII, the "Swedish Meteor", becomes king of Sweden upon the death of his father, Charles XI.
May 7 – The 13th century royal Tre Kronor ("Three Crowns") castle in Stockholm burns to the ground. A large portion of the royal library is destroyed.
June 1 – Augustus II the Strong becomes king of Poland.
June 30 – The earliest known first-class cricket match takes place in Sussex (England).
September 5 – Battle of Hudson's Bay (Nine Years' War): French warsship Pélican captures York Factory, a trading post of the English Hudson's Bay Company in modern-day Manitoba (Canada).
September 11 – Battle of Zenta – Prince Eugene of Savoy crushes the Ottoman army of Mustafa II and effectively ends Turkish hopes of recovering lost ground in Hungary.
September 20 – The Treaty of Ryswick signed by France and the Grand Alliance to end both the Nine Years' War and King William's War. The conflict having been inconclusive, the treaty is proposed because the combatants have exhausted their national treasuries. Louis XIV recognises William III as King of England & Scotland and both sides return territories they have taken in battle. In North America, the treaty returns Port Royal (Nova Scotia) to France. In practice, the treaty is little more than a truce; it does not resolve any of the fundamental colonial problems and the peace lasts only five years.
December 2 – St Paul's Cathedral is opened in London.
December 14 – Charles XII of Sweden is crowned king at the age of 15.
The Manchus of the Qing dynasty conquers Outer Mongolia.
The Royal African Company loses its monopoly on the slave trade.
Christopher Polhem starts Sweden's first technical school.
The use of palanquins increases in Europe.
January 30 – Johann Joachim Quantz, German flautist and composer (d. 1773)
February 24 – Bernhard Siegfried Albinus, German anatomist (d. 1770)
March 9 – Friederike Caroline Neuber, actress (d. 1760)
August 6 – Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1745)
October 7 – Canaletto, Italian artist (d. 1768)
October 26 – John Peter Zenger, newspaper printer (d. 1746)
November 10 – William Hogarth, English artist (d. 1764)
January 8 – Thomas Aikenhead (hanged) (b. c. 1678)
January 26 – Georg Mohr, Danish mathematician (b. 1640)
January 28 – John Fenwick, English conspirator (b. c. 1645)
February 4 – Adrien de Wignacourt, 63rd Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller (b. 1618)
March 1 – Francesco Redi, Italian physician (b. 1626)
March 19 – Nicolaus Bruhns, German organist and composer (b. 1665)
March 26 – Godfrey McCulloch, Scottish politician and murderer (executed) (b. 1640)
March 27 – Simon Bradstreet, English colonial magistrate (b. 1603)
April 5 – King Charles XI of Sweden (stomach cancer) (b. 1655)
April 8 – Niels Juel, Danish admiral (b. 1629)
June 7 – John Aubrey, English antiquary and writer (b. 1626)
October 31 – William Moore, Captain William Kidd's gunner (hemorrhage in head caused by Captain Kidd hitting him with a bucket)
November 22 – Libéral Bruant, French architect (b. c. 1635)
Ann Baynard, English natural philosopher (b. 1672)
Karin Thomasdotter, Finnish official (b. 1610)
1697 (MDCXCVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (dominical letter F) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Julian calendar, the 1697th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 697th year of the 2nd millennium, the 97th year of the 17th century, and the 8th year of the 1690s decade. As of the start of 1697, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.