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This article is about the year 1596.
|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1560s 1570s 1580s – 1590s – 1600s 1610s 1620s|
|Years:||1593 1594 1595 – 1596 – 1597 1598 1599|
|1596 by topic|
|Arts and science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2349|
|Bahá'í calendar||−248 – −247|
|English Regnal year||38 Eliz. 1 – 39 Eliz. 1|
|Chinese calendar||乙未年 (Wood Goat)
4292 or 4232
— to —
丙申年 (Fire Monkey)
4293 or 4233
|- Vikram Samvat||1652–1653|
|- Shaka Samvat||1518–1519|
|- Kali Yuga||4697–4698|
|Japanese calendar||Bunroku 5 / Keichō 1
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||316 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2139|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1596.|
- 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 13 – Jan van Goyen, Dutch painter (d. 1656)
- February 2 – Jacob van Campen, Dutch artist and architect (d. 1657)
- March 31 – René Descartes, French philosopher and Mathematician (d. 1650)
- May 9 – Abraham van Diepenbeeck, painter (d. 1675)
- June 23 – Johan Banér, Swedish soldier (d. 1641)
- June 29 – Emperor Go-Mizunoo of Japan (d. 1680)
- July 12 – Michael I of Russia (d. 1645)
- August 16 – Frederick V, Elector Palatine (d. 1632)
- August 18 – Jean Bolland, Belgian Jesuit, Founder of the Bollandist (d. 1665)
- August 19 – Elizabeth Stuart, later Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia (d. 1662)
- September 4 – Constantijn Huygens, Dutch poet (d. 1687)
- October 18 – Edward Winslow, American Pilgrim leader (d. 1655)
- November 1 – Pietro da Cortona, Italian painter (d. 1669)
- December 3 – Nicolò Amati, Italian violin maker (d. 1684)
- December 21
- date unknown
- January 27 – Sir Francis Drake, English explorer, English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, pirate and politician (b. 1540)
- February 17 – Friedrich Sylburg, German classical scholar (b. 1536)
- March 23 – Henry Unton, English diplomat (b. 1557)
- May 6 – Giaches de Wert, Flemish composer (b. 1535)
- July 23 – Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon (b. 1526)
- August 11 (date of burial) – Hamnet Shakespeare (b. 1585), son of William Shakespeare
- September 15 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (b. 1535)
- October 3 – Florent Chrestien, French writer (b. 1541)
- November 1 – Pierre Pithou, French lawyer and scholar (b. 1539)
- November 10 – Peter Wentworth, English Puritan politician (b. 1530)
- November 29
- date unknown
- probable – Henry Willobie, English poet (b. 1575)