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|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1560s 1570s 1580s – 1590s – 1600s 1610s 1620s|
|Years:||1590 1591 1592 1593 1594 1595 1596 1597 1598 1599|
|Categories:||Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 1590s, ordered by year.
- January 11 – The Cortes of Castile approves a new subsidy, the "millones".
- March – Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, takes Breda by concealing 68 of his best men in a peat-boat to get through the impregnable defences.
- March 14 – Battle of Ivry: Henry IV of France again defeats the forces of the Catholic League under the Duc de Mayenne.
- May–August – Henry IV of France unsuccessfully attempts to besiege Paris. Henry is forced to raise the siege when the Duke of Parma comes to its rescue with a Spanish army.
- May 17 – Anne of Denmark is crowned queen of Scotland.
- May 21 – The Treaty of Istanbul is signed.
- August 18 – John White, governor of the Colony of Roanoke, returns from a supply-trip to England and finds his settlement deserted. After the unsuccessful search, he returns to England on October 24.
- September 15 – Urban VII succeeds Sixtus V as the 228th pope; he dies of malaria twelve days later.
- September 15 – The Neulengbach earthquake causes significant damage and some loss of life in Lower Austria and Vienna; the effects are felt as far as Bohemia and Silesia.
- December 5 – Gregory XIV succeeds Urban VII as the 229th pope.
- December 7 – Agnes Sampson is questioned by King James VI of Scotland and confesses to practising witchcraft.
- Orthodox Patriarch Meletius I of Alexandria succeeds Silvester.
- Japan is united by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
- The Spanish are pushed out of southern Gelderland by the Dutch forces.
- A group of English merchants gains the right to trade in Ottoman territory in return for supplying the sultan with iron, steel, brass and tin for his war with Persia.
- March 13 – Battle of Tondibi: In Mali, forces sent by the Saadi Dynasty ruler of Morocco, Ahmad al-Mansur, and led by Judar Pasha, defeat the Songhai Empire, despite being outnumbered by at least five to one.
- April 10 – English merchant James Lancaster sets off on a voyage to the East Indies.
- April 21 – Japanese tea-master Sen no Rikyū commits seppuku on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
- May 15 – In Russia, Tsarevich Dimitri, son of the Ivan the Terrible, is found dead in mysterious circumstances, at the palace in Uglich. The official explanation is that he has cut his own throat during an epileptic seizure. Many believe he has been murdered by his rival, Boris Godunov, who becomes tsar.
- May 24 – Sir John Norreys, with an expeditionary force sent by Queen Elizabeth I of England, takes the town of Guingamp after a brief siege, on behalf of Henry of Navarre.
- May 30 – Timbuktu is captured by an expedition of Arma people sent by the Saadi ruler of Morocco and led by Judar Pasha.
- June – Zutphen is captured by the Dutch under Maurice of Nassau.
- July – Deventer is captured by the Dutch under Maurice of Nassau.
- July 22 – The Durtnell (Dartnell) family of Brasted, Kent, England, begin to work as building contractors. They will still be functioning under the twelfth generation of the family in the 21st century.
- August – Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex leads an English army in support of the Protestant Henry IV of France at the Siege of Rouen.
- September 1 – HMS Revenge is captured by the Spanish following battle near the Azores.
- September 14 – Hulst is captured by Maurice.
- October 21 – Nijmegen is captured by Maurice.
- October 29 – Pope Innocent IX succeeds Pope Gregory XIV as the 230th pope.
- The city of Hyderabad, India is founded by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah.
- The Rialto Bridge in Venice, designed by Antonio da Ponte, is completed.
- Publication of the first of the Conimbricenses commentaries on Aristotle by the Jesuits of the University of Coimbra.
- January 30 – Pope Clement VIII (born Ippolito Aldobrandini) succeeds Pope Innocent IX, who died one month earlier, as the 231st pope.
- February 7 – George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, sets fire to Donibristle Castle in Scotland and murders James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray.
- March 3 – Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland's oldest university, is founded.
- March 14 – Ultimate Pi Day: the largest correspondence between calendar dates and significant digits of pi since the introduction of the Julian calendar.
- April 4 – The future Henry IV of France, King designate of Henry III of France, announces in a declaration, so-called "Expedient," his intention to take instruction in and convert to the Catholic religion.
- April 13 – Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598) open with beginning of the Siege of Busan.
- April 24 – Battle of Sangju: The Japanese are victorious over the Koreans (Joseon).
- April 28 – Battle of Ch'ungju: Japan inflicts a decisive defeat on Korea.
- May 7 – The Battle of Okpo is another naval victory for Korea over Japan.
- May 29 – Battle of Sacheon: Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin destroys all 13 Japanese ships taking part, using his improved turtle ship for the first time in battle.
- June 2 – The Battle of Dangpo is another decisive naval victory for Korea over Japan.
- July 8 – Battle of Hansan Island: Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin destroys or captures around 60 Japanese ships without loss in a battle in which around 190 ships take part.
- July 20 – The Japanese capture the Korean capital Pyongyang, causing Seonjo to request the assistance of Ming Dynasty Chinese forces, who recapture the city a year later.
- July 30 – Alonso de Sotomayor petitions the viceroy of Peru for more troops to help resist attacks by Indians and English pirates.
- August 9 – English explorer John Davis, commander of the Desire, probably discovers the Falkland Islands.
- August 14 – The Koreans are victorious over the Japanese in the naval Battle of Hansan.
- August 15 (or 19) – The Portuguese galleon Madre de Deus, laden with treasure, is captured by English privateers in the Azores.
- September 1 – Battle of Busan: The Korean fleet makes a surprise attack on the Japanese but fails to break their supply lines to Busan.
- October 5 – The Koreans are victorious over the Japanese in the naval Siege of Jinju.
- November 17 – John III is succeeded by his son Sigismund as King of Sweden.
- The Collegium Melitense is founded by Bishop Garagallo.
- William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, chief adviser of Queen Elizabeth I of England, is taken seriously ill.
- Negotiations begin for the dissolution of the childless marriage of Henry IV of France and Marguerite de Valois.
- The Confucian shrine of Munmyo is destroyed by fire.
- January – Siege of Pyongyang (1593): A Japanese invasion is defeated in Pyongyang by a combined force of Korean and Ming troops.
- January 18 – Siamese King Naresuan in combat on elephant back killed Burmese Crown Prince Minchit Sra on Monday, Moon 2 Waning day 2, Year of the Dragon, Chula sakarat 954, reckoned as corresponding to January 25, 1593, of the Gregorian calendar, and commemorated as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.
- January 27 – The Roman Inquisition opens the seven-year trial of scholar Giordano Bruno.
- February 2 - Battle of Piątek: Polish forces led by Janusz Ostrogski are victorious.
- February 12 - The Battle of Haengju is victory for Korea over Japan.
- May 18 - Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.
- June 22 – Battle of Sisak in Croatia: The Habsburgs defeat the Ottoman Empire.
- July 29 - The Long War breaks out in Hungary, between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans.
- Mihai Viteazul becomes prince of Walachia.
- Henry Constable's Spiritual Sonnetts are written.
- The book Controversiae written by Robert Bellarmine.
- c. 1593-1604 - According to John Warwick Montgomery, the Rosicrucian manifestos are initially composed by Tobias Hess in anticipation of the opening of the vault in 1604 according to Simon Studion's apocalyptic timetable.
- February 27 – Henry IV is crowned King of France at Chartres.
- March 21 – Henry IV enters his capital of Paris for the first time.
- April 16 – Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby is found poisoned. At the time of his death, he was, after his mother, second in line to the throne of England.
- April 17 – Saint Hyacinth is canonized.
- June 5 – First voyage of Willem Barents in the Arctic Ocean in search of the North-east passage.
- June 11 – Philip II of Spain recognizes the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paves the way for the stabilization of the rule of the Principalía.
- June 24–July 1 – Action of San Mateo Bay: English privateer Richard Hawkins in the Dainty is attacked and captured by a Spanish squadron off Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
- July 22 – After a 2-month siege, the city of Groningen submits to Dutch troops, bringing the whole northern Netherlands under the Republic
- St. Paul's College, Macau is founded in Macau by Jesuits, being the first western style university in the far east.
- In Amsterdam, the Compagnie van Verre is created, with the goal of breaking the Portuguese monopoly on spice trade.
- Tulip bulbs planted by Carolus Clusius in the Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Holland, first flower.
- January – Mehmed III succeeds Murad III as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- May 18 – The Treaty of Tyavzino brings to an end the Russo-Swedish War (1590–1595).
- May 24 – The Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.
- June 9 – Battle of Fontaine-Française: Henry IV of France defeats the Spanish, but is nearly killed due to his rashness.
- July 21 – A Spanish expedition led by navigator and explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira makes the first European landing in Polynesia, on the Marquesas Islands.
- July 23 – Spanish raid on Cornwall in England.
- August 13 – Battle of Calugareni: The Wallachians, led by Michael the Brave, accomplish a great tactical victory against the vast army of the Turks, numbering over 150,000 men, led by Sinan Pasha.
- August 28 – Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins depart from England on their final voyage to the Spanish Main which ends in both of their deaths.
- September 2 – Battle of the Lippe (Eighty Years' War): Spanish cavalry led by Cristóbal de Mondragón (aged over 80) defeat combined forces of the Dutch Republic and England led by Philip of Nassau (who dies of wounds received) on the banks of the river Lippe in Germany.
- October 26 – Battle of Giurgiu: Michael the Brave again defeats the Turkish army led by Sinan Pasha,led by Transylvanian Prince Sigismund Bathory pushing them on the east side of the Danube.
- December 9 – Probable first performance of William Shakespeare's Richard II in London.
- December 14 – Sultan Murad, 4th son of Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Empire invades Ahmednagar Sultanate which is bravely defended by Chand Bibi.
- The Austrians incite a rebellion against the Ottomans in Bulgaria.
- The Riksdag of the Estates at Söderköping in Sweden elects the Lutheran Duke Charles as the country's regent in place of Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland and Sweden.
- Sir Walter Raleigh travels up the Orinoco river in search of the fabled city of El Dorado.
- Probable first performance of William Shakespeare's plays Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream in London.
- February 14 – Archbishop John Whitgift begins building his hospital at Croydon.
- April 9 – Siege of Calais : Spanish troops capture Calais.
- May 18 – Willem Barents leaves Vlie on his third and final Arctic voyage.
- June – Sir John Norreys and Sir Geoffrey Fenton travel to Connaught to parley with the local Irish lords.
- June 10 – Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk discover Bear Island.
- June 17 – Barents discovers Spitsbergen.
- June 24 – Cornelis de Houtman arrives in Banten, the first Dutch sailor to reach Indonesia.
- July 5 – An English fleet, commanded by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Lord Howard of Effingham, sacks Cádiz.
- July 14 – King Dominicus Corea (Edirille Bandara) is beheaded by the Portuguese in Colombo, Ceylon.
- August - David Fabricius discovers the star Mira.
- September 17 – The Spanish capture Amiens.
- September 20 – Diego de Montemayor founds the city of Monterrey, Mexico.
- October 8–October 10 – The Union of Brest: The Ukrainian Church west of the Dnipro becomes known as the Ukrainian rite of Catholicism, whereas the East officially renounces the authority of the Pope.
- October 24–October 26 – Battle of Keresztes: The Turks defeat a combined Habsburg–Transylvanian army.
- Elizabeth I of England decrees that all Africans should be removed from the British realm in reaction to the food crisis.
- The first water closet, by Sir John Harington, is installed in a manor near Kelston in England.
- King Sigismund III Vasa moves the capital of Poland from Kraków to Warsaw.
- Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, is founded.
- The Black Death hits parts of Europe.
- Dutch ships, commanded by Frederick de Houtman, reach Sumatra and Java for the first time.
- The 4th of a 5 year run of poor harvests, largely caused by the weather, a pattern typical of the last third of the century. This causes famine throughout Europe, which leads to food riots in Britain.
- January 24 – Battle of Turnhout: Maurice of Nassau defeats a Spanish force under Jean de Rie of Varas in the Netherlands.
- February 5 – In Nagasaki, Japan, 26 people are martyred. They practiced Catholicism and were taken captive after all forms of Christianity were outlawed the previous year.
- February 8 – Sir Anthony Shirley, England's "best-educated pirate", raids Jamaica.
- March 11 – Amiens is taken by Spanish forces, but retaken by France on September 25.
- March 18 – Tycho Brahe's stipend is stopped.
- March 29 – Tycho Brahe leaves Ven and moves to Copenhagen (Farvergården).
- April 4 – Christian Friis and Axel Brahe go to Ven to check complaints, and a commission is established to investigate Tycho Brahe's leadership.
- April 22 – The vicar on Ven is dismissed: he had followed Tycho's orders not to perform an exorcism.
- April 23 – Probable first performance of William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor.
- April 27 – Johannes Kepler marries Barbara Muhleck.
- June – Tycho Brahe is not allowed to make observations from The Watermill Tower, and he is not allowed to perform chemical experiments at his house in Farvergade.
- June 1 – Tycho writes a recommendation supporting Longomontanus, who is planning to study in Germany.
- June 2 – Tycho leaves Copenhagen and goes to Rostock.
- June 10 – Tycho is removed from his job working at Epiphany Chapel in Roskilde.
- June 16 – Tycho flees and becomes a servant of the king of Spain.
- July – The Isle of Dogs (a play now lost) is written by Thomas Nashe and Ben Jonson, and performed at the Swan Theatre.
- July 10 – Tycho Brahe's famous letter to the king Christian IV is sent from Rostock.
- July 14 – Scottish poet Alexander Montgomerie is declared an outlaw after the collapse of a Catholic plot.
- August 13 – Beginning of the Siege of Namwon.
- August 17 – Islands Voyage: Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on an expedition to the Azores.
- August 24 – Christian IV of Denmark refuses to let Tycho Brahe return to Denmark.
- August 28 – Battle of Chilcheollyang: The Japanese fleet defeats the Koreans. It is the only Japanese naval victory in the Imjin War.
- September – Tycho Brahe leaves Rostock, where plague is spreading, and travels to Wandsbæk.
- October – John Gerard, a Jesuit priest, escapes from the Tower of London.
- October 20 – Tycho starts new observations in Wandsbæk, where he writes his famous elegy.
- October 26 – Battle of Myeongnyang: The Koreans, commanded by Yi Sunsin, are victorious over the Japanese.
- December 15 – Johannes Kepler writes a letter to Tycho about his book, Mysterium Cosmographicum.
- December 31 – Tycho writes his preface to the Emperor Rudolf II in his book, Mecanica.
- Jacopo Peri writes Dafne, now recognised as the first opera.
- Bali is discovered by the Dutch explorer Cornelis Houtman.
- Abbas I ends the Uzbek raids on his lands.
- Yaqob succeeds his father Sarsa Dengel as Emperor of Ethiopia.
- The first edition of Francis Bacon's Essays is published.
- Andreas Libavius publishes Alchemia, a pioneering chemistry textbook.
- 12 million pesos of silver cross the Pacific. Although it is unknown just how much silver flowed from the Spanish base of Manila in the Philippines to the Ming Dynasty of China, it is known that the main port for the Mexican silver trade—Acapulco—shipped out 150,000 to 345,000 kg (4 to 9 million taels) of silver annually from this year to 1602.
- A Dutch Expedition commanded by Frederick de Houtman returns to Amsterdam after having successfully reached the Spice Islands. This achievement opens the Spice trade, which had until then been monopolised by the Portuguese, to the Dutch, who in the next years launch several more expeditions to the Indies.
- Tobias Hess corresponds with Simon Studion and agrees with him that the Papacy must fall in 1604.
- January 7 – Boris Godunov seizes the throne of Russia, following the death of his brother-in-law, Tsar Feodor I; the Time of Troubles starts.
- April 13 – Edict of Nantes: Henry IV of France grants French Huguenots equal rights with Catholics; this is considered the end of the French Wars of Religion.
- April 30 – Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate holds America's first Thanksgiving celebration
- May – Tycho Brahe's star catalogue Astronomiæ instauratæ mechanica, listing the positions of 1,004 stars, is published.
- May 2 – The Peace of Vervins ends the war between France and Spain.
- August 14 – Battle of the Yellow Ford in Ireland: Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, gains victory over an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal in the Nine Years' War against English rule.
- September 13 – Philip III of Spain starts to rule on the death of his father.
- September 25 – Battle of Stångebro at Linköping in Sweden: The Catholic King Sigismund of Sweden and Poland is defeated in his attempt to resume control of Sweden by the Protestant forces of his uncle, Charles. Sigismund is deposed shortly thereafter.
- Autumn – Second Dutch Expedition to Indonesia: After being separated from the main Dutch fleet of Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck, three ships under Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck land on the island which they name Mauritius, after Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, and sight the dodo.
- December 16 (November 19 by lunar calendar) – Battle of Noryang: An allied Korean and Chinese fleet under Admiral Chen Lin defeats the Japanese navy, ending the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98) but the Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin is killed in the battle.
- December 21 – Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelantaro, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile; all Spanish cities south of the Bío Bío River eventually fall victim to the Destruction of the Seven Cities by the Mapuches, and all conquest of Mapuche territories by Europeans practically ceases until the later 19th century Occupation of Araucanía.
- Pentecost – Calvinist congregations in Zürich introduce music into their services.
- Philosopher Tommaso Campanella organizes an uprising in Calabria against the rule of the Spanish viceroy; he is captured, tortured and sentenced to 27 years in jail.
- The Parliament of England passes an act that allows transportation of convicts to colonies.
- Illustrations of Ottoman Turkish and European riflemen, with detailed illustrations of their firearms, appear in Zhao Shizhen's book Shenqipu in this year, during the Ming dynasty of China.
- January 8 – The Jesuit educational plan known as the Ratio Studiorum is issued.
- March 12 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, is appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by Queen Elizabeth I of England.
- April 23 – The Earl of Essex arrives in Dublin at the head of 16,000 troops, the largest army ever seen in Ireland.
- May 29 – Essex takes Cahir Castle, supposedly the strongest in Ireland, after a short siege.
- June 20 – The Synod of Diamper is convened.
- July 24 – The Swedish King Sigismund III Vasa is dethroned by his uncle Duke Charles, who takes over as regent of the realm until 1604, when he becomes King Charles IX.
- August 15 – First Battle of Curlew Pass: Irish forces defeat the English.
- September 21 – The first reported performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at the Globe Theatre in London, is recorded by Swiss traveller Thomas Platter the Younger.
- September 28 – The Earl of Essex arrives back in England, disobeying the Queen's strict orders.
- October 18 – Battle of Sellenberk: Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeats the army of Andrew Báthory near Șelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanians.
- November – A Persian embassy arrives in Moscow.
- The forces of Minye Thihathu II of Toungoo and his ally Min Razagyi of the Kingdom of Mrauk U end the First Toungoo Empire by capturing Pegu (modern-day Bago, Burma).
- The first Capuchin friar is entombed in the Capuchin catacombs of Palermo.
- A Dutch fleet returns to Amsterdam, carrying 600,000 pounds of pepper and 250,000 pounds of cloves and nutmeg.
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