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|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1520s 1530s 1540s – 1550s – 1560s 1570s 1580s|
|Years:||1554 1555 1556 – 1557 – 1558 1559 1560|
|1557 by topic|
|Arts and science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2310|
|English Regnal year||3 Ph. & M. – 4 Ph. & M.|
— to —丁巳年十二月十一日
|- Vikram Samvat||1613–1614|
|- Shaka Samvat||1479–1480|
|- Kali Yuga||4658–4659|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||557–558|
|Japanese calendar||Kōji 3
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||1557 MDLVII|
|Minguo calendar||355 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2100|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1557|
- April 12 – The Spanish settlement of Cuenca, Ecuador, is founded.
- April 30 – Arauco War: Battle of Mataquito: Spanish forces of the Governor Francisco de Villagra launch a dawn surprise attack against the Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro in present-day Chile.
- June 7 – Mary I of England joins her husband Philip II of Spain in his war against France.
- August 10 – Battle of St. Quentin: French forces under Marshal Anne de Montmorency are decisively defeated by the Spanish and English under Duke Emanuel Philibert of Savoy. Montmorency himself is captured, but Philip II refuses to press his advantage, and withdraws to the Netherlands.
- September 11–October 8 – The Colloquy of Worms convenes.
- October 27 – Emperor Ōgimachi accedes to the throne of Japan.
- Özdemir Pasha conquers the Red Sea port of Massawa for the Ottoman Empire.
- Cossack chieftain Dimitrash tries to take Azov.
- With the permission of the Ming Dynasty government of China and the benefit of both Western and Eastern merchants, the Portuguese settle in Macau (retroceded in 1999). Direct Sino-Portuguese trade had existed since 1513, but this is the first official legal treaty port on traditional Chinese soil that will form a long-term Western settlement. Soon after, China legalizes foreign trade, and Chinese began to migrate overseas.
- Spain becomes bankrupt, throwing the German banking houses into chaos.
- Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, is refounded by John Caius.
- The following schools are founded in England:
- Welsh-born mathematician Robert Recorde publishes The Whetstone of Witte in London, containing the first recorded use of the equals sign and also the first use in English of plus and minus signs.
- German adventurer Hans Staden publishes a widely-translated account of his detention by the Tupí people of Brazil, Warhaftige Historia und beschreibung eyner Landtschafft der Wilden Nacketen, Grimmigen Menschfresser-Leuthen in der Newenwelt America gelegen ("True Story and Description of a Country of Wild, Naked, Grim, Man-eating People in the New World, America").
- February 15 – Vittoria Accoramboni, Italian noblewoman (d. 1585)
- February 24 – Mathias, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1619)
- May 31 – Tsar Feodor I of Russia (d. 1598)
- August 16 – Agostino Carracci, Italian painter and graphical artist (d. 1602)
- August 19 – Frederick I, Duke of Württemberg (d. 1608)
- September 16 – Jacques Mauduit, French composer (d. 1627)
- date unknown
- Julius Caesar, English judge and politician (d. 1636)
- Giovanni Croce, Italian composer (d. 1609)
- Balthasar Gérard, assassin of William I of Orange (d. 1584)
- Toda Katsushige, Japanese warlord (d. 1600)
- Olaus Martini, Archbishop of Uppsala (d. 1609)
- Thomas Morley, English composer (d. 1602)
- Oda Nobutada, Japanese general (d. 1582)
- probable – Giovanni Gabrieli, Italian composer and organist (d. 1612)
- January 2 – Pontormo, Italian painter (b. 1494)
- January 8 – Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach ("Albert the Warlike"), Prince of Bayreuth (b. 1522)
- April 9 – Mikael Agricola, Finnish scholar (b. c. 1510)
- April 21 – Petrus Apianus, German astronomer (b. 1495)
- June 11 – King John III of Portugal (b. 1502)
- July 8 (date of will) – Geoffrey Glyn, by his will founding Friars School, Bangor
- July 16 – Anne of Cleves, Fourth Queen of Henry VIII of England (b. 1515)
- August 1 – Olaus Magnus, Swedish ecclesiastic and writer (b. 1490)
- August 18 – Claude de la Sengle, 48th Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller (b. 1494)
- September 1 – Jacques Cartier, French explorer (b. 1491)
- September 13 – John Cheke, English classical scholar and statesman (b. 1514)
- September 27 – Emperor Go-Nara of Japan (b. 1497)
- October 5 or October 6 – Kamran Mirza, Mughal prince (b. 1509)
- October 20 – Jean Salmon Macrin, French poet (b. 1490)
- October 25 – William Cavendish, English courtier (b. 1505)
- November 19 – Bona Sforza, queen of Sigismund I of Poland (b. 1494)
- December 13 – Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia, Italian mathematician (b. 1499)
- date unknown