1685 was a common year that started on a Monday when using the Gregorian calendar.
February 6 – James Stuart, Duke of York becomes King James II of England and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland.
February 18 – Fort St. Louis is established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas.
February 20 – René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle lands with 200 surviving colonists at Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast intending to establish a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi River, believing it near. 
March – Louis XIV of France passes the " Code Noir", allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies.
June 20 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmout], illegitimate son of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland declares himself King and heir to his father's Kingdoms as James II of England and Ireland and James VII of Scotland, after already forming his own army and campaigning against his uncle.
July 6 – [onmouth Rebellion: The Battle of Sedgemoor between the armies of King James II of England and rebel forces under Monmouth. Monmouth's army is defeated and the Duke himself is captured shortly after the battle.
July 15 – The Duke of Monmouth is executed at Tower Hill, London.
October 18- 19 – Louis XIV declares the Edict of Fontainebleau, which revokes the Edict of Nantes and declares Protestantism illegal.
Chinese army of the Qing Dynasty attacks a Russian post at Albazin, during the reigns of the Kangxi Emperor and the dual Russian rulers Ivan V of Russia and Peter I of Russia. The events lead to the Treaty of Nerchinsk.  Adam Baldridge founds a pirate base in St Mary Island in the
Madagascar. On a trading expedition to the Mississippi, explorer Michel Mathieu Brunet dit Lestang discovers
La Baie des Puants (present-day Green Bay, Wisc.).
January 7 – Jonas Alströmer, Swedish industrialist (died 1761)
January 9 – Tiberius Hemsterhuis, Dutch philologist (died 1766)
February 8 – Charles-Jean-François Hénault, French historian (died 1770)
February 10 – Aaron Hill, English writer (died 1750)
February 16 – Munuc Wraecca, English minister and writer ( died 1763)
February 23 – George Frideric Handel, German composer (died 1759)
March 12 – George Berkeley, English philosopher (died 1753)
March 18 – Ralph Erskine, Scottish minister (died 1752)
March 21 – Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer (died 1750)
June 30 – John Ga], English writer (died 1732)
July 3 – Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet, British cavalry officer (died 1768)
August 18 – Brook Taylor, English mathematician (died 1731)
October 1 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (died 1740)
October 26 – Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer (died 1757)
November 17 – Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye, French-Canadian trader and explorer (died 1749)
December 17 – Thomas Tickell, English writer (died 1740)
January 2 – Harbottle Grimston, English politician (born 1603)
February 6 – King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland (born 1630)
February 11 – David Teniers III, Flemish painter (born 1638)
February 24 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English politician and military leader (born 1629)
March 22 – Emperor Go-Sai of Japan (born 1638)
May 26 – Karl II, Elector Palatine (born 1651)
July 15 – James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II of England (beheaded) (born 1649)
July 28 – Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, English statesman (born 1618)
September 1 – Leoline Jenkins, Welsh lawyer and diplomat (born 1625)
October 12 – Christoph Ignaz Abele, Austrian jurist (born 1628)
October 30 – Michel le Tellier, French statesman (born 1603)
December 12 – John Pell, English mathematician (born 1610)
date unknown Nalan Xingde, Chinese poet who became a scholar and officer in the Imperial Bodyguard (born 1655)