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|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1530s 1540s 1550s – 1560s – 1570s 1580s 1590s|
|Years:||1560 1561 1562 1563 1564 1565 1566 1567 1568 1569|
|Births – Deaths – By country
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 1560s, ordered by year.
- February 27 – Treaty of Berwick: Terms agreed with the Lords of the Congregation in the Kingdom of Scotland for forces of the Kingdom of England to enter Scotland to expel French troops defending the Regency of Mary of Guise.
- March 7 – A Spanish-led expedition, commanded by Juan de la Cerda, 4th Duke of Medinaceli, overruns the Tunisian island of Djerba.
- March 17 – Leaders of the Amboise conspiracy, including Godefroy de Barry, seigneur de La Renaudie, make an unsuccessful attempt to storm the château of Amboise, where the young French king and queen are residing. La Renaudie is subsequently caught and executed, along with over a thousand of his followers.
- April 15 – Denmark buys the Estonian island of Saaremaa from its last prince bishop.
- May 11 – At the Battle of Djerba, the Ottoman fleet, commanded by Piyale Pasha, overwhelms a large joint European (mainly Spanish) fleet, sinking about half its ships.
- June 12 – Battle of Okehazama: Oda Nobunaga defeats Imagawa Yoshimoto.
- July 6 – The Treaty of Edinburgh is signed between England, France and Scotland. The French withdraw from Scotland. This largely ends the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland, and ends the wars between England and its northern neighbour.
- August 2 – Livonian War: Russians defeat the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in the Battle of Ergeme, precipitating the dissolution of the order.
- August 17 – The Scottish Reformation Parliament adopts a Protestant confession of faith and rejects papal authority, beginning the Scottish Reformation and disestablishing Roman Catholicism in Scotland.
- August 21 – A total eclipse of the sun is observable in Europe.
- September 29 – Eric XIV becomes king of Sweden upon the death of his father Gustav Vasa.
- December 5 – Seventeen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, is widowed by the death of her first husband, King Francis II of France. Her mother-in-law, Catherine de' Medici, becomes regent of France.
- December 6 – Charles IX of France succeeds his elder brother, Francis II, at the age of ten.
- Publication of the complete Geneva Bible.
- The first tulip bulb is brought from Constantinople to the Netherlands (probable date).
- The first scientific society, the Academia Secretorum Naturae, is founded in Naples by Giambattista della Porta.
- Solihull School is founded in the West Midlands of England.
- The oldest surviving violin (dated inside), known as the Charles IX, is made in Cremona, in northern Italy.
- Bairam Khan loses power in the Mughal Empire.
- Mongols invade and occupy Qinghai.
- The great age of piracy in the Caribbean starts around this time.
- January 31 – The Edict of Orleans suspends the persecution of the Huguenots in France.
- March 1 – Kingston Grammar School is founded in England.
- April 14 – The citizens of Nuremberg see what appears to be an aerial battle followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object and a large crash (with smoke) outside the city. A news notice (an early form of newspaper) is printed on (April 14) describing the event.
- May 8 – Madrid is declared the capital of Spain by Philip II.
- June 4 – Old St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London is badly damaged by fire and the spire is destroyed after being struck by lightning. The spire is not rebuilt.
- June 6 – Sweden conquers Livonia (modern Estonia).
- June 25 – Francis Coxe, an English astrologer, is pilloried at Cheapside in London and makes a public confession of his involvement in "sinistral and divelysh artes".
- June 29 – Erik XIV is crowned King of Sweden.
- July – Killing of the hated encomendero Pedro de Avendaño and two other Spaniards triggered the Second Great Rebellion of the Mapuche in the Arauco War.
- July 12 – Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow (started in 1534) is finished.
- August – English merchant Anthony Jenkinson arrives in Moscow on his second expedition to the Grand Duchy of Moscow.
- August 19 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is denied passage through England after returning from France. She arrives at Leith, Scotland on August 19.
- September – The Protestant reformer John Knox has a three-day debate in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland with Quintin Kennedy, commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, on transubstantiation. The result is inconclusive but Kennedy is fighting a losing battle against the Reformation, which had been confirmed by the Scottish government in 1560.
- October 18 – Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima: Takeda Shingen defeats Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts.
- The first Calvinists settle in England after fleeing Flanders.
- Publication of the Anglo-Genevan metrical psalter including the "Old 100th", the version of the hymn "All People That on Earth Do Dwell" made from Psalm 100, attributed to the probably-Scottish clergyman and biblical translator William Kethe, exiled in Geneva.
- Ruy López de Segura develops modern techniques of chess playing in Spain.
- First publication (anonymously in London) of William Baldwin's Beware the Cat (written early 1553), an early example of extended fiction (and specifically of horror fiction) in English. This edition appears to have been suppressed and no copies survive.
- Between 1561 and 1670 3,229 alleged witches are executed in southwestern Germany, most by burning.
- January 6 – Shane O'Neill of Tyrone pleads his cause at the Palace of Whitehall in London before Queen Elizabeth I of England, who recognises his status. He returns to Ireland on May 26 and resumes his rebellious activities by November.
- January 17 – Huguenots are recognized under the Edict of Saint-Germain.
- January 18 – First performance of Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville's play Gorboduc before Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is the first known English tragedy and the first English language play to employ blank verse.
- March 1 – Over 80(?) Huguenots are massacred by the ultra-Catholic Francis, Duke of Guise in Wassy-sur-Blaise, marking the start of the First War of Religion in France. Protestant forces led by Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Gaspard de Coligny quickly seize control of Orléans, Rouen, and other cities throughout France.
- March – English merchant Anthony Jenkinson has an audience with Ivan the Terrible in Moscow before continuing his second expedition through the Grand Duchy of Moscow to Qazvin, capital of the Safavid dynasty in Persia.
- May 1 – Jean Ribault, French navigator, lands in Florida and later establishes a Huguenot colony at Charlesfort on Parris Island, off the coast of South Carolina.
- July 12 – Fray Diego de Landa, acting Bishop of Yucatan, burns the sacred books of the Maya.
- September 20 – Treaty of Hampton Court between Queen Elizabeth I of England and Huguenot leader Louis, Prince of Condé.
- September 22 – Maximilian, son of the Emperor Ferdinand I, succeeds as King of Bohemia.
- October – John Hawkins initiates the English trans-Atlantic slave trade, shipping slaves from Sierra Leone on the Guinea Coast to Hispaniola in the Caribbean. As a result, the Spanish prohibit English ships from trading at their new world ports.
- October 4 – English forces under Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick, land at Le Havre to aid the Huguenots.
- October 26 – Rouen is captured by Royalist forces under Antoine de Bourbon, King of Navarre, who is mortally wounded.
- November 5 – In Scotland, the rebellion of George Gordon, Earl of Huntly is crushed by James Stewart, Earl of Moray, at the Battle of Corrichie.
- November 20 – Maximilian of Bohemia is elected King of the Romans.
- December 19 – Battle of Dreux: Huguenot forces under Condé and Coligny, and Catholic forces under the ageing Anne, duc de Montmorency, and Francis, Duke of Guise, fight a bloody battle, narrowly won by the Catholic side. The official leaders of both armies (Condé and Montmorency) are captured in the battle.
- The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquers Malwa and its last Sultan, Baz Bahadur, flees.
- The Church of England approves the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, defining its doctrinal stance.
- Dudley Grammar School is established and Gresham's School is granted a royal charter in England.
- Fausto Sozzini publishes Brevis explicatio in primum Johannis caput, originating Socinianism.
- Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola publishes Regola delli cinque ordini d'architettura (Rules of the Five Orders of Architecture); it will become in succeeding centuries the most published book in architectural history.
- February 1 – Sarsa Dengel succeeds his father Menas as Emperor of Ethiopia.
- February 18 – Francis, Duke of Guise, is assassinated while besieging Orléans.
- March 19 – Edict of Amboise signed at the Château d'Amboise by Catherine de' Medici, acting as regent for her son Charles IX of France, having been negotiated between the Huguenot Louis, Prince of Condé, and Anne, duc de Montmorency, Constable of France. It accords some toleration to the Huguenots, especially to aristocrats. It officially ends the first phase of the French Wars of Religion and the combined Huguenot and royal armies then march north to besiege the English in Le Havre.
- May 30 – At Bornholm, the Danish fleet fires on the Swedish navy, leading to a Danish defeat and precipitating the Northern Seven Years' War.
- July 28 – The English surrender Le Havre to the French after a siege.
- August 13 – Northern Seven Years' War: War against the Kingdom of Sweden is declared by Denmark–Norway and the Free City of Lübeck.
- September 4 – Northern Seven Years' War: King Frederick II of Denmark, advancing from Halland, takes Älvsborg fortress from Sweden.
- December 4 – The Council of Trent (opened December 13, 1545) officially closes. It reaffirms all major Roman Catholic doctrines, and declares the Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament to be canonical, along with the rest of the Bible. Chapter 1, Session 24, promulgates the decree Tametsi, stipulating that for a marriage to be valid, consent (the essence of marriage) as expressed in the vows has to be given publicly before witnesses, one of whom has to be the parish priest.
- January 26 – Battle of Ula (Livonian War): A Lithuanian surprise attack results in a decisive defeat of the numerically superior Russian forces.
- March 25 – Battle of Angol in Chile: Spanish Conquistador Lorenzo Bernal del Mercado defeats and kills the toqui Illangulién.
- June 22 – French settlers abandon Charlesfort, the first French attempt at colonizing what is now the United States, and establish Fort Caroline in Florida.
- July – English merchant Anthony Jenkinson returns to London from his second expedition to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, having gained a considerable extension of trading rights for the English Muscovy Company.
- September 10 – Battle of Kawanakajima in Japan: Takeda Shingen fights the forces of Uesugi Kenshin for the final time.
- November 21 – Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi sails from Mexico. Later, he will conquer the Philippine Islands, founding Manila.
- First recorded report of a 'rat king'.
- approx. date – Idris Alooma starts to rule the Kanem-Bornu Empire.
- January – In Russia, it is the beginning of the Oprichnina under Ivan the Terrible.
- January 26 – The Battle of Talikota, a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan sultanates, ends the last Hindu kingdom in South India.
- February 13 – Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi lands with his troops on the shores of Cebu Island in the Philippines.
- March 1 – The city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is founded as São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro by the Portuguese.
- April 27 – Cebu City is established as San Miguel by López de Legazpi, becoming the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.
- May 18 – Ottoman troops land on the island of Malta, beginning the Siege of Malta.
- June 17 – Matsunaga Hisahide assassinates the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru.
- July 29 – Mary, Queen of Scots, widowed, marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
- August 6 – Sark granted as a Fief by Elizabeth I to Hellier de Carteret Seigneur of Saint Ouen
- August 28 – St. Augustine, Florida (named after St. Augustine), is established. It is the oldest remaining European settlement in the United States.
- September 4 – The Spanish fleet of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés lands on modern-day Florida to oust the French under Jean Ribault. He later destroys the French colony of Fort Caroline.
- September 8 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés settles in St. Augustine, Florida.
- September 11 – The Knights of Malta lift the Siege of Malta after four months.
- October – The first Martello tower, the Tour de Mortella, designed by Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino (el Fratin), is completed as part of the Genovese defence system at Mortella (Myrtle) Point in Upper Corsica.
- October 18 – Ships belonging to the Matsura clan of Japan fail to capture the Portuguese trading carrack in the Battle of Fukuda Bay, the first recorded naval battle between Japan and the West.
- The pencil is first documented by Conrad Gesner; it is becoming common in England.
- John Beddoes School is founded at Presteigne in Wales.
- Huntingdon Grammar School is established.
- January 7 – Pope Pius V succeeds Pope Pius IV as the 225th pope.
- March 28 – The foundation stone of Valletta, which will become Malta's capital city, is laid by Jean Parisot de Valette, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- April 5 – The Compromise of Nobles is presented to Margaret of Parma, Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, but succeeds only in delaying the beginning of the Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands.
- August 5 – The Siege of Szigetvár is begun by Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- August 10 – Beeldenstorm: Outbreak of destruction by Calvinists of religious art in the Low Countries.
- September 7 – Suleiman the Magnificent dies in his tent at the Siege of Szigetvár and Selim II succeeds him as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- September 7 – The Siege of Szigetvár ends in battle with 2,300 Hungarian and Croatian defenders including their general, Nikola Šubić Zrinski, annihilated by an army of 90,000 soldiers of the Ottoman Empire under Sokollu Mehmed Pasha.
- The Spanish gold escudo, worth 16 silver reales, is first minted during the reign of Philip II of Spain.
- Pope Pius V expels most prostitutes from Rome.
- Between July 19, 1566 and July 7, 1567 – The first bridge crossing the Neretva river at Mostar (in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina) is completed by the Ottoman Empire. The white marble bridge becomes known as Stari Most ("Old Bridge").
- January – A Spanish force under the command of Captain Juan Pardo establishes Fort San Juan in the Native American settlement of Joara. The fort is the first European settlement in present day North Carolina.
- January 23 – After 45 years' reign, the Jiajing Emperor dies in the Forbidden City.
- February 4 – The Longqing Emperor ascends the throne of the Ming dynasty.
- February 10 – Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, is murdered at the Provost's House in Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh.
- May 15 – Mary, Queen of Scots, marries James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.
- June 15 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is defeated at Carberry Hill by the Scottish nobles, and imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle.
- July 24 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and replaced by her 1-year-old son James VI.
- July 25 – The city of Santiago de León de Caracas in Venezuela is founded by Diego de Losada.
- July 29 – James VI is crowned at Stirling.
- August 22 – The Duke of Alba is sent to the Netherlands with a strong Spanish force to suppress unrest there. He replaces Margaret of Parma as Governor of the Netherlands. Prince William of Orange is outlawed, and Lamoral, Count of Egmont imprisoned.
- September 9 – At a dinner, the Duke of Alba arrests Lamoral, Count of Egmont and Philip de Montmorency, Count of Horn for treason.
- September 29 – The Second War of Religion begins in France when the Louis, Prince of Condé and Gaspard de Coligny fail in an attempt to capture King Charles IX and his mother at Meaux. The Huguenots do capture several cities (including Orleans), and march on Paris.
- October 7 – Bible translations into Welsh: New Testament first published in Welsh, in William Salesbury's translation from the Greek.
- November 10 – Battle of Saint-Denis: Anne de Montmorency, with 16,000 Royalists, falls on Condé's 3,500 Huguenots. The Huguenots surprisingly hold on for some hours before being driven off. Montmorency is mortally wounded.
- King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway founds Fredrikstad in Norway.
- Construction of Villa Capra "La Rotonda" in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio, begins. It will be one of the most influential designs in architecture.
- Rugby School, one of the oldest public schools in England, is founded.
- Although sparse maritime trade existed since its founding, the Ming dynasty government of China officially revokes the haijin maritime trade ban, reinstating foreign trade with all countries except Japan.
- January 6–January 13 – In the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom the Diet of Torda declares religious freedom firstly in Europe.
- February 17 – Treaty of Adrianople (sometimes called the Peace of Adrianople): The Habsburgs agree to pay tribute to the Ottomans.
- March 23 – The Peace of Longjumeau ends the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de' Medici and Charles IX make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.
- May 2 – Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes from Loch Leven Castle.
- May 13 – Battle of Langside: The forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.
- May 16 – Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England.
- May 19 – Queen Elizabeth I of England arrests Mary, Queen of Scots.
- May 23 – Battle of Heiligerlee: Troops under Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeat a smaller loyalist force under the Duke of Arenberg in an attempt to invade the Northern Netherlands. This is effectively the start of the Eighty Years' War.
- July 21 – Battle of Jemmingen: The main Spanish army of the Duke of Alva utterly defeats Louis of Nassau's invading army in the Northeastern Netherlands.
- August 18 – The Third War of Religion begins in France after an unsuccessful attempt by the Royalists to capture Condé and Coligny, the Huguenot leaders.
- September 29 – The Swedish king Eric XIV is deposed by his half-brothers John and Charles. John proclaims himself king John III the next day.
- October 5 – William I of Orange invades the southeastern Netherlands.
- October 20 – Battle of Jodoigne. Spanish forces under the Duke of Alva destroy Orange's rearguard. Orange abandons his offensive.
- The Russo-Turkish War in Astrakhan begins.
- Ashikaga Yoshiaki is installed as Shogun, beginning the Azuchi–Momoyama period in Japan.
- Akbar the Great of the Mughal Empire besieges and captures the massive Chittorgarh Fort in northern India.
- Polybius' "The Histories" first translated into English by Christopher Watson.
- Huguenots besieged Chartres.
- A Spanish expedition under Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira discovers the Solomon Islands
- January 11–May 6 – The first recorded lottery in England is performed nonstop at the west door of St Paul's Cathedral. Each share costs ten shillings and proceeds are used to repair harbours and for other public works.
- March 13 – Battle of Jarnac: Royalist troops under Marshal Gaspard de Tavannes surprise and defeat the Huguenots under the Prince of Condé, who is captured and murdered. A substantial proportion of the Huguenot army manages to escape under Gaspard de Coligny.
- June 10 – German Protestant troops reinforce Coligny near Limoges.
- July 1 – The Union of Lublin unites the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth following votes in the Assemblies of three Lithuanian provinces (Volhynia, Ukraine and Podlasie) in favour of the incorporation.
- July–September – Huguenot forces under Coligny and 15-year-old Prince Henry of Navarre besiege Poitiers.
- August 24 – Battle of Orthez: Huguenot forces under Gabriel, comte de Montgomery defeat Royalist forces under General Terride in French Navarre. Catholics surrender under the condition that their lives will be spared. Huguenots agree, but then massacre the Catholics anyway.
- September – A Royalist army under the Duc d'Anjou and Marshal Tavannes forces Coligny to abandon the siege of Poitiers.
- October 3 – Battle of Moncountour: The Royalist forces of Tavannaes and Anjou defeat Coligny's Huguenots.
- November–December – Rising of the North in England: Three northern Earls lead a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I in an attempt to place the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, on the English throne but are driven out of the country.
- The Mercator projection is first used in Gerardus Mercator's world map Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendata.
- Damcar appears on the Mercator map or Arabia.
- The trade compact of 1536 is renewed, exempting French merchants from Ottoman law and allowing them to travel, buy and sell throughout the sultan's dominions and to pay low customs duties on French imports and exports.
- Akbar founds Fatehpur Sikri to honor the Muslim holy man Shaikh Salim Chisti, who has foretold the birth of Akbar's son and heir, Jahangir.
- Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher
- William Shakespeare, English playwright
- Edward Wright (baptized October 8, 1561), English mathematician and cartographer
- Bergin, Thomas G., ed. (1987). Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. Oxford; New York: New Market Books.
- "Himmelserscheinung über Nürnberg" [Celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg]. NEBIS (in German). Zurich Library. April 14, 1561. (2 pages).
- BBC History Magazine vol 12 no 6 (June 2011), p13
- "All People That on Earth Do Dwell". The Cyber Hymnal. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- Ringler, William A.; Flachmann, Michael, eds. (1988). "Preface". Beware the Cat. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library.
- Moody, T. W.; et al., eds. (1989). A New History of Ireland. 8: A Chronology of Irish History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-821744-2.
- "Gorboduc, or the Tragedy of Ferrex and Porrox". Archived from the original on 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 223–226. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 153–156. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Evers, Vernd (2003). Architectural Theory: from the Renaissance to the present. Taschen. p. 845. ISBN 978-3-8228-1699-8.
- Vignola. Canon of the Five Orders of Architecture, translated with an introduction by Branko Mitrovic. New York: Acanthus Press, 1999). p. 17. ISBN 0-926494-16-3.
- Hart, Martin (1982) [c. 1973]. Rats. Allison & Busby. p. 66. ISBN 0-85031-297-3.
- Vigano, Marino (2001). "Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino and the Tower at Mortella Point, Corsica (1563)". Fort (Fortress Study Group) 29: 41–57.
- Arnade, Peter J. (2008). Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots: the Political Culture of the Dutch Revolt. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-0-8014-7496-5.
- Clark, Roger H.; Pause, Michael (2012). Precedents in architecture : analytic diagrams, formative ideas, and partis (4th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley. ISBN 9780470946749.
- Bertrand, Romain (2011). L'Histoire à parts égales. Paris: Seuil. p. 66. ISBN 978-2-02-105017-2.
- Polybius: "The Rise Of The Roman Empire", Page 36, Penguin, 1979.
- Crane, Nicholas (2003). Mercator: the man who mapped the planet. London: Phoenix. ISBN 0-7538-1692-X.